Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Bersih's demands in line with Islam: PAS Ulama head

Harakahdaily,23 June 2011
KUALA LUMPUR, Jun 23: The head of PAS's Ulama wing said the electoral reform group Bersih's demands for clean and fair elections were in line with Islam.

In a statement to Harakahdaily, Harun Taib (right) said Islam enjoined Muslims to fight those who betray the people in matters of governance.

“It is obligatory upon every Muslim to support whatever actions, words or stand taken in defence of truth, without taking into account differences in religion, race or political loyalty," said Harun.

According to him, spreading the truth and ensuring that corruption and injustice are eradicated was considered as part of jihad (fighting in the way of God).

“Even if such actions (in defending truth) are spearheaded by non-Muslims, supporting them is obligatory," he added.

His comments come amid remarks by pro-UMNO leaders that the Bersih rally on July 9 was against Islamic values because it was led by a non-Muslim, referring to the coalition's chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan.

'Muslims must speak up'

On claims that PAS was not consistent in its Islamic ideology, Harun's reply was that the list of failures by UMNO in defending Islam in the country "is too long".

Harun's support for Bersih echoes another statement by former Perlis mufti Asri Zainul Abidin (left), who described the coalition's intentions as "good", and said Islam encouraged participating in a peaceful rally with such intentions.

"It is forbidden for the demonstrators or police to provoke anyone, resulting in riots. The police should realise that the demands are good for the country and not only for the betterment of the people but also the police," said Asri.

Earlier, a Muslim youth empowerment group said silence on the part of Muslims over injustices would only strengthen corrupt despots.

Islamic Renaissance Front director Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa said Muslim history was rife with instances of Islamic scholars speaking up against unjust leaders.

"Many were imprisoned as a result of their criticisms against rulers of their time. We are the inheritors of this tradition, which provides today’s Muslims with a storehouse of democratic ideas," he added, urging Malaysians to attend the Bersih rally.

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