KEADILAN DISAGREES WITH PAS’ MUKTAMAR MOTION CALLING FOR SISTERS IN ISLAM TO BE BANNED (Updated 8 May))

Press Statement
07 June 2009

KEADILAN DISAGREES WITH PAS’ MUKTAMAR MOTION CALLING FOR SISTERS IN ISLAM TO BE BANNED

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KEADILAN) disagrees with PAS’ Muktamar motion today calling for the National Fatwa Council to study with a view to ban non-governmental organization Sisters in Islam (SIS). KEADILAN is further disturbed that the motion also called for SIS members to be rehabilitated.

Freedom of speech and association are cherished principles under a modern and democratic state. Differing and dissenting views (and association) are not only allowed but should be protected as these are the essence of a democratic, fair and just society – where any views or association whether in the majority or minority, mainstream or fringes are allowed to stand and even flourish without threat of repercussion.

The correct way is to engage and debate with any organization in a mature and civilized manner rather than seeking for its ban and punishment for its members.

KEADILAN therefore calls upon PAS to reconsider its resolution especially since it was not debated and reaffirm its commitment to the protection of freedom of speech and association.

Issued by,
MUSTAFFA KAMIL AYUB
Vice President
Parti Keadilan Rakyat

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PKR steps away from backing PAS on SIS ban
Jun 8, 09 5:35pm Malaysiakini.com
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PKR leaders today expressed disappointment with their ally PAS for calling for a ban on non-governmental organisation Sisters in Islam (SIS).

mustafa kamil ayubPKR’s vice-president Mustaffa Kamil Ayub (left) said that the party was disturbed by the call made during PAS’s muktamar yesterday.

He said that the freedom of speech and association were cherished principles under a modern and democratic state.

He added that differing and dissenting views (and association) were not only allowed but should be protected as these were the essence of a democratic, fair and just society.

He said such views should be allowed to stand and “even flourish without threat of repercussion”.

“The correct way is to engage and debate with any organization in a mature and civilized manner rather than seeking for its ban and punishment for its members,” he added in a statement.

He said PAS should reconsider its resolution, especially since it was not debated at the muktamar.

jonson chong johnson chongLikewise, PKR’s director of communications Jonson Chong (left) said that any differences in views must be tolerated and/or debated, rather than calling for a ban on the organisation that espoused different opinions.

“Moreover, religion or religious views are very personal matters, and they ought not be strictly regulated by the authorities.

“Instead, every individual ought to study and analyse their own beliefs, which leads to a better understanding of their own religions, if not a stronger faith in their own beliefs,” he said in a statement.

He added that Malaysia was a pluralistic society where one must accept in having differing views and opinions between religions and cultures, and also within the same religions and cultures.

“PKR believes that the goal for all Malaysians should be a progressive and democratic society, where diverse views are tolerated and debated; not a regressive and undemocratic society where diversity is condemned and rejected,” he added.

Unhappy with SIS’ liberal approach

Yesterday a motion which was tabled and accepted as the PAS muktamar was a call for the National Fatwa Council to ban the prominent women’s organisation.

The motion was largely seen as a hardline approach by the party against the organisation, which was seen to be too liberal in its views.

sisters in islam logoThe motion called for the National Fatwa Council to conduct a study over SIS’ “liberal approach”.

According to the motion, the “liberal approach” by SIS was confusing the Islamic society and has “infiltrated the minds of Muslims and which may destroy the Islamic faith”, especially among the younger generation which has adopted its “secular views”.

“Following this, it called on the Fatwa council to ban SIS if it is proven to be against the Islamic belief and syariah, and that the authorities work together to rehabilitate its members.”

In an immediate reaction SIS said that the call for its banning was retrogressive and anti-democratic, and contravened the right to freedom of expression under the Federal Constitution.

The group said the PAS resolution showed its intolerance and prejudice against SIS.

SIS also stressed that the move by PAS demonstrated the “arrogance and undemocratic practices” of the Islamic party and that it had forgotten the key reason why they did well at the 2008 general election.

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