PAS MP Khalid Samad comes to defence of SIS over ruling

PAS MP Khalid Samad comes to defence of SIS over ruling
Zainah Anwar, founder of the Sisters In Islam (SIS) women’s rights group.

KUALA LUMPUR - Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who has been at loggerheads with Sisters In Islam in the past, has questioned an edict issued by the Selangor fatwa committee that implicated the feminist group.

"There are a lot of things that I do not see eye to eye with SIS.

"We have debated a lot but, to me, the principle of justice is that we cannot judge without giving room for defence," he said, adding he had not read anything from SIS that supported liberalism and pluralism.

On Tuesday, Khalid and two other MPs from PAS - Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Parit Buntar) and Hanipa Maidin (Sepang) - had questioned the committee on its recent ruling that 'pluralism' and 'liberalism' violated Islamic teachings.

SIS, on learning that the fatwa had deemed the group as deviating from Islam, filed for a judicial review, naming the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais), the Selangor government and the committee as respondents.

"This (accusation of deviating from Islam) is a very serious alle­gation," Khalid told a press confe­rence at the office of the Global Movement of Moderates Found­a­tion here yesterday.

He and Dr Mujahid had earlier met SIS in a closed door meeting at the office.

Present were SIS founding member Zainah Anwar and board director Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir.

"The fatwa came as a shock. I was told SIS had met Mais in 2012 to discuss women's issues in Islam.

"Now, two years later, they are slapped with a fatwa calling them deviant," said Khalid.

Asked if they questioned the wisdom of the Sultan of Selangor in consenting to the fatwa, Zainah said a fatwa could be reviewed and changed under the law.

"For instance, there was a previous fatwa in Selangor that the Amanah Saham Nasional and Amanah Saham Bumiputra were haram. But in 2011, the authority reviewed it and changed it to tidak halal.

"There are many fatwas that have been reviewed for the sake of justice," said Zainah.

On the meeting between SIS and Mais, as mooted by Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali, Marina said they welcomed the meeting with the council.

"We want a chance to defend ourselves," she said.

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