Bin Abdullah: ‘Taliban groups’ only bully the weak, says Zaid

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PETALING JAYA: Former minister Zaid Ibrahim today lambasted what he called “Taliban groups” that were disrupting the recent ruling by the Court of Appeal to allow children born out of wedlock to have the name of their biological fathers included after the “bin” or “binti”.

He described such groups as arrogant, and who delighted in bullying the weak, including innocent children.

“These Taliban groups only want the implementation of fatwa (edict) against puny humans. Is there a fatwa against a casino in Genting? Is there a fatwa on 1MDB? Is there a fatwa prohibiting the use of government assets to benefit leaders personally?” he asked in a blog post.

“Surely there is none. The ‘bin Abdullah’ issue is more important to them,” said Zaid.

He was responding to the decision of the National Registration Department (NRD) to continue including the words “bin Abdullah” after the names of children born out of wedlock despite the Court of Appeal’s ruling that the practice contravened the Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1957 besides causing humiliation to such children.

In the July 25 decision, Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli, who sat with two other judges, said the NRD had acted beyond its powers to use “bin Abdullah” in registering children born out of wedlock.

“We believe Islam does not permit the public humiliation of innocent children,” the judge said in allowing an appeal by a couple challenging the refusal of the NRD to name their child after the father.

However, NRD director-general Mohd Yazid Ramli said the department would continue the practice of using “bin” or “binti Abdullah” to register children born out of wedlock until a final judgement by the Federal Court, a stand widely criticised by lawyers.

On the other hand, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi defended the NRD’s stand while urging Muslims to support the religious authorities in making fatwa the foundation for registering children.

Zaid, however, reminded that the fatwa concerned issued by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) had not been agreed by all the states.

For example, he said, Perlis adopted a fatwa in January 2013 allowing children born less than six months after their parents’ marriage to use the name of their father for registration.

“Unfortunately, the Taliban groups in Malaysia are furious with the ruling of the Court of Appeal. They said the fatwa must be upheld. This arrogant attitude is wrong. What must be upheld is justice for children and the parents involved.”

Zaid said people who lacked forgiveness and compassion were not qualified to fight for Islam.