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The Nut Graph Interview (Part 2)

By Shanon Shah

"...Khalid Samad:As far as non-Muslims are concerned, it shouldn't be of any real interest to them. This is like [when] Muslims [say], “Look, my religion says I have to pray five times (a day).” You can argue, why five times, why not once, but it's not really relevant to them.

[For] the Muslims themselves, or for the non-Muslims who have an understanding of Islamic jurisprudence, and they want to argue on the basis of Islamic teachings that this fatwa contradicts Islamic teachings, they can do so. But for them to say, oh Islam is not fair, Islam is sexist, or Islam is gender biased, all that sort of thing, I don't think that's the way to go.

TNG:You mentioned enforcement. Do you think that it's proper that the Syariah Criminal Offences Act turns non-compliance of personal religious obligations, such as prayer, fasting, and consumption of halal food, into actual crimes that are punishable by the state?

Khalid Samad:I don't think that's the intention and I don't think that's the direction to go lah. First, just explain to the people because otherwise people, especially the younger generation, will think there's nothing wrong. They see many people doing it, and what's wrong with it? If girls get involved in, say lesbianism, or boys [in] homosexual relationships. I mean, the religion has to be clear and the scholars have to clarify what Islam's stand on all these issues are, so that its adherents can follow.

Whether it should be made into an enactment that can then be enforced and can be made into a criminal act, I think that's not something which is even being considered. We always opt for persuasion first. There's no point trying to enforce everything. I mean, even the ones about prayers and all that also we can't enforce. So, it's more a question of public education, that sort of thing..."

More from The Nut Graph
Also, read the first part of the interview here.

-Pejabat YB Khalid Samad-


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