G25 slammed over 'khalwat' statement

The G25 group was criticised by Malaysia's Islamic authorities for suggesting that it should stop punishing Muslims who were in close proximity with each other.
PHOTO: AFP

SEREMBAN - The G25 pro-moderation movement has earned the wrath of the state mufti for suggesting, among others, that the Islamic authorities should stop punishing Muslims who committed close proxi­mity (khalwat).

State Mufti Datuk Mohd Yusof Ahmad said the G25 was ignorant about Islamic teachings and should stop making statements that could mislead Muslims.

"The G25 is a lost movement. But what concerns me is that its actions can adversely affect fellow Muslims," he said.

He added that if the G25 conti­nued to question Islamic laws, then it could unwittingly be "ex-communicated" from Islam.

Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin, who is of G25, a group of eminent Malays, said on Sunday that they would propose to the Government to review or abolish Syariah laws which were not in line with the spirit of the Federal Constitution.

As examples, she cited laws on khalwat, the unilateral conversion of children to Islam by a spouse who was earlier married under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act, and the tussle over bodies of those who had quietly embraced Islam to be reviewed.

Noor Farida said Islam was a religion of justice, mercy and compassion and that intruding on another individual's privacy was against it.

However, Mohd Yusof told repor­ters yesterday that G25 could not claim that the Federal Constitution was above the Syariah laws as "there is nothing above the Quran".

He said G25 members might have been respected for holding high po­­si­­tions in the civil service previously but this did not give them the licence to question the basic tenets of Islam.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the G25 should stop confusing Muslims.

"I hope the G25 would repent as Allah's laws cannot be questioned."

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