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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Council of Churches: Pahang mufti’s ‘kafir harbi’ remark seditious

KUALA LUMPUR - The Pahang mufti’s use of the “kafir harbi” term is seditious and provocative, the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) said today.

CCM said it was greatly alarmed at Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Osman’s use of the infidel label on all those who oppose the introduction of the Islamic penal code — hudud — in multicultural Malaysia.

“It is to date, one of the most divisive and provocative statements made by a state official which creates suspicion and disunity in a multiracial society,” the umbrella body for local churches said in a statement signed off by its general secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri.

“The statement is seditious in nature and no one should be above the law,” it added.

CCM said it was “surprising” that the Inspector-General of Police said that the police will not take action in this case, pointing to the prime minister’s repeated calls for moderation and “zero tolerance of extremist racial and religious statements”.

“This stand is incomprehensible and does not inspire confidence that all Malaysian should enjoy equal protection under the law,” it said.

It urged ministers, mentri besar and chief ministers to stand up and declare their distaste for such statements made by paid officials of the state.

The term kafir harbi is used to describe non-Muslims who can be slain for opposing Islam. Abdul Rahman was initially reported as using it on DAP members, but later expanded it to include any who opposed Islam.

The mufti’s remarks were first published in Utusan Malaysia five days ago, and drew criticism including from Malay rights wing group Perkasa, and Barisan Nasional component parties such as MIC and MCA.

He has refused to apologise or retract his remarks, further insisting that his opinion could not be legally challenged.

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