G25: Cops must take serious view of ‘kafir harbi’ statement

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KUALA LUMPUR: Group 25 (G25), an informal group of former high-ranking civil servants and eminent persons, has urged the police and the authorities concerned to take a serious view of a statement by Pahang Mufti Abdul Rahman Osman on “kafir harbi” (warring infidels).

G25 added in a statement that the “kafir harbi” remark was dangerous in a multi-religious, multi-racial and multi-cultural nation and could be seen as provocative. “This kind of situation, issuing negative statements, should not be repeated.”

Expressing disappointment with the Pahang Mufti for his statement on “kafir harbi”, G25 said it was dangerous, confusing and in conflict with the Federal Constitution and Rule of Law.

Briefly, said the NGO, its stand was based on several salient facts.

For starters, the term “kafir harbi” used during the time of the Prophet in Madinah cannot be taken out of context and pinned on a nation of many multis like Malaysia. “The Pahang Mufti needs to understand that it’s a constitutional democracy that decides in Malaysia,” said G25. “DAP and everyone else has the right to speak out on their respective agenda as long as they are within the confines of the law, and not in any way treasonous to the Agong and the nation.”

“We have not so far seen any stakeholder, including civil society, carrying out activities that violate the Federal Constitution and the law.”

In fact, stressed the statement, the stakeholders like G25 as well, are laying emphasis on good governance, and individual freedom within the context of integrity, transparency and accountability. “This is in line with Islam and integrated in government administration as stressed many times by the Agong.”

Secondly, said G25, labeling the DAP as “kafir harbi” is not the done thing. “DAP is a legitimate party under the Federal Constitution.”

If the party is labeled ‘kafir harbi’, it appears to mean – without any basis – that the party has committed acts of treason against the nation, continued the statement. “This kind of labeling is not based on facts and is very irresponsible.”

“Ironically, the accusation comes from a Mufti who is supposed to have a high position in religion.”

Thirdly, said G25, it cannot be denied that the “kafir harbi” statement by the Pahang Mufti echoes calls by the Islamic State (IS) which uses religion as an excuse for perpetrating acts of violence in a bid to seize power (Iraq/Syria) and establish a state based on an extremist understanding of Islam. “According to IS militants, it is halal (permitted) to spill the blood of people of other faiths or people who have a different understanding of Islam,” said the NGO.

This approach was dangerous in Malaysia which is a nation of many multis, said G25, and the police and government should take appropriate and immediate action to stamp it out.