Lawyer slams mufti over illogical, baseless accusation

Latheefa-KoyaPETALING JAYA: There is no basis for Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria to accuse his counterpart from Perlis, Mohd Azri Zainul Abidin, of trying to “legalise zina” over the issue of the national registration department’s registration of Muslim babies born out of wedlock, says a PKR leader.

Latheefa Koya, who is also a lawyer, said that such an accusation was shocking as it was “illogical, baseless, as well as an unacceptable discourtesy from one mufti to another”.

“What Asri, the court of appeal and many other Muslims are saying is that children born out of wedlock should not be made to suffer for the actions of their parents by denying them legitimacy.

“Neither Asri nor anyone else is suggesting that adultery be made permissible among Muslims,” Latheefa said in a statement, referring to the Court of Appeal’s decision last Thursday, to allow a Muslim child born out of wedlock to use the name of the biological father.

She added that there are already provisions under shariah law for parents of a child born out of wedlock to be prosecuted for comitting the act of zina.

“There has been no suggestion by anyone that such provisions be repealed.

“All that is wanted is that the innocent child should not be made to suffer. Nothing in Islamic jurisprudence justifies the punishment of the blameless,” she said.

Latheefa, who is also PKR central committee member, called for those holding power over religious matters as well as in government to clear any misunderstanding over the matter.

“This matter must be discussed calmly and reasonably, especially by people like Harussani and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. They must act responsibly, and not engender an atmosphere of intolerance and paranoia.

“The adoption of such intolerant and extreme positions will only help towards creating a fertile ground for Islamic State-like attitudes to take root in our society,” she said.

Yesterday, Asri said Muslim religious leaders should accept the difference of opinion on certain issues.

The Perlis mufti, who is popularly known as Dr Maza, was responding to Harussani who took a swipe at him for supporting the Court of Appeal’s decision on illegitimate Muslim children using their biological father’s name.

On July 26, Justices Abdul Rahman Sebli, Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Zaleha Yusof released a written judgment on a ruling they had made two months before, which allowed the parents of a child to have the biological father’s name instead of “bin Abdullah” as had been practised before.

“We believe Islam does not condone such open and public humiliation of an innocent child,” Rahman had written.


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