Malaysia: Why penalise Ahmadis under Shariah if considered non-Muslims? court asked

Tuesday April 10, 2018

Lawyer Aston Paiva (left) meets some of the Ahmadiyya community outside the courtroom at the Shah Alam High Court April 10, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Lawyer Aston Paiva (left) meets some of the Ahmadiyya community outside the courtroom at the Shah Alam High Court April 10, 2018. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaSHAH ALAM, April 10 — The Ahmadiyya community should be allowed to practise their faith since they are not considered Muslims by Selangor, the Shah Alam High Court was told today.

Lawyer Aston Paiva, who represented 39 Ahmadis arrested by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais), said the latter cannot attempt to charge the community with Shariah offences when they have refused to recognise the Muslim sect as adherents.

“This is not an apostasy case where they say that they renounce Islam. That cannot happen to an Ahmadi. An Ahmadi will never say they are no longer a Muslim. It defeats their whole purpose,” he said.

The Ahmadis, who are derogatorily called Qadianis here, adhere to the same beliefs as the Sunni branch of Islam, but also believe that their founder Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the Imam Mahdi, Islam’s prophesied redeemer.

“In other words, the government has treated them as non-Muslims, so they should just be treated how they want to be treated.

“On the one hand, you say they are not Muslims; on the other hand, you are arresting them and taking them to the Shariah Court to face charges,” Aston added, referring to the Selangor religious enforcers.

The Ahmadis are seeking a judicial review following Jais’ arrest of its community members — which included eight Pakistani asylum seekers, two Indian nationals, one Indonesian and three minors — on April 11, 2014 for performing Friday prayers in a place that was not a mosque.

The group was told that it had not obtained written permission to use the premises — a shoplot in Dolomite Park, Batu Caves — for purposes which may only be carried out on, in or by a mosque, contrary to Section 97 of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003.

The group was granted leave by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on August 14, 2014, before the proceedings were transferred to the Shah Alam High Court on September 15, 2015. A stay of proceedings was granted on February 5, 2016 pending the judicial review.

On May 5, 2017, an application was filed at the High Court to refer constitutional law questions to the Federal Court for determination, and on September 29 that year, it was allowed.

Two constitutional law questions were posed to the Federal Court: Whether the Shariah court has the jurisdiction to try offences relating to mosques, and whether the Shariah court has jurisdiction over members of the Ahmadiyya community.

However, on March 26 last month, the Federal Court referred the case back to the Shah Alam High Court.

Today, lawyer Hasnan Hamzah who represented the Selangor chief religious enforcement officer and chief Shariah prosecutor maintained that the arrest was lawful, as the Ahmadis were not authorised to use the premises as a mosque.

“It is unauthorised. When the raid was conducted, they did not have the authority to set up in the mosque,” he said, adding that the community needs to obtain a declaration from the Shariah court that they are “not Muslims”.

Judge Datuk Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera then quizzed Hasnan on the need for an official declaration, when the Selangor Fatwa Committee had already decreed the community as “kafir” or non-believers, and that any individual who follows it is an apostate on June 22, 1998.

However, Hasnan argued that the jurisdiction for such a declaration lies with the Shariah court and not a fatwa.

Meanwhile, lawyer Mohd Syahrizal Syah who represented Jais and the Selangor government said the Shariah offence charge against the 39 was constitutional, and the case should have been argued in the Shariah court and not the civil court.

Vazeer Alam then questioned Syahrizal on how such a law would apply to Ahmadis who are foreigners, but the latter insisted that they should have obtained official verification on their religious status before being allowed to practise their faith.

“They failed to show that they had received any verification that they are not Muslims. What was available were only a few documents from the United Nations, and their own identification papers to show they are refugees,” Syahrizal said.

Vazeer Alam then postponed the case for decision on May 30.


16 replies

  1. Reblogged this on Progressive Islam. and commented:

    I feel sorry and sad when I hear that kind of news.
    I cannot image how Ahmadiyyah members who live in Asia in fear!!
    Why Ahmadiyyah cannot protect themselve from persecuting ?
    Prayer is not solution— Ahmadiyyah need action— dont be silent.— need the new struggle and strategy— otherwise the extremist Muslim
    will not stop to persecute Poor Ahmadiyyah in Asia countries

    Progressive Muslim always with Ahmadiyya.

    • I live some of the time in Lombok, Indonesia, where many Ahmadis are still living in displacement camps. However, I can assure you, they are all content and happy with whatever Allah has in mind for them. No fear. … Yes, surely they are hoping that things will improve. (Hope you get my meaning).

    • In addition to prayers other actions are being taken. The Jama’at meets politicians, governors etc to raise understanding etc. In fact all possible things are being done, except that we do not want to be ‘just another militia’, as Riffat pointed out.

      • Dear Rafiq— That is why I came to conclusion that most Islamic clerics ( maybe 95 percent) of clerics around the world are hypocrite and Musyrickun.
        Why? They worship idol instead of Allah alone. There are nillion Muslim pray 5 times a day—do fasting — go pilgrym to Mecca—but their prayer never come reality— Alah never listen their prayer— Allah still disgrace, live in micery and poverty, very sad indeed

        Whereas Islam came to the world is to create peace, harmony, happiness and prosperity. This is the purpose of Islam. Not to kill each other?

        It seems to me that the life of Ahmadiyya in Islamic countries is not getting better but its geting worse and worse —it seems to me that Iskamic countries are not belong to Ahmadiyyah to live in—Christian countrie are good place to live in. Dont you think so Rafiq, Riffat?

        Christian countries are the only option to live in peace, freedom, happiness and prosperity.

        I urge Ahmadiyyah to be thankful to Allah and Christian who accept and welcome you to live with them. Be wise to live in Christian countries, you are visitor—adapt and assimilate their culture soon as possible—dont try to change their belief and culture—with Islamic tradition.
        You will be save to live in.

        Hopefully Allah give the strength and patient to Ahmadiyyah who live in conflict vountries Amen
        All our love ❤️

      • Dear Somi, you have been a guest at The Muslim Times for quite some time. Have you not yet noticed that what is needed for the Muslims is to accept the Imam of this age. If Allah has sent the Imam Mahdi and Messiah to guide the Muslims only by accepting him can we all be ‘rightly guided’ and get away from the mess the Muslim World finds itself in these days. Please watch and listen to today’s Friday Sermon of our beloved Khalifa. Mashallah, such wisdom packed into a one hour sermon. (today from our Mosque in Spain – the first Mosque built in Spain after 700 years. I was at the inauguration ceremony, Alhamdolillah)

    • ok, let me not erase this comment. Instead I need to draw the attention of the readers: Somi is free in accusing other Muslims as performing ‘shirk’ (for instance during Hajj. As you will note if you go to his website, Somi does not seem to realize that his views on Jesus is the biggest shirk of all. May Allah have mercy on him (and on us too of course).

      • Rafiq— to respind your comment.
        Because Allah warn Muslim in Holy Quran; Dont judge other religion, you will be judged back—
        I do not want to judge Christian belief- let Allah judge us all: who does follow Allah law and who does not.

        Among Muslim community, Allah advice us all to remind each other with love, kind and peace.,

        And keep reminding, because reminding benefits the believers. Q. 51;55.

        I dont like Dr Zakir Naik who judge Christisnity openly it look like he insult Christian belief in public. Now what happen to him? So do not try judging other religion!

        I will appreciate you if you find my misrake please correct it with Allah’s word. Thank Rafiq

        Allah bless you and your family insya Allah Amen
        All our ❤️

      • You main mistake is on the position of Jesus. We have already talked about it. (You may look at the old comments). And he died like all humans before and after him.

  2. Somi, I would like to say that As a Muslim you must first have a strong and unrelenting conviction in a living God who listens to prayers and who has plans for all of us and who is all knowing and omni-potent and the provider for all and who has created the heavens and the earth and the Only one God who has all the power to do all, who is near yet far and far yet near. God listens to our prayers and we see his miracles everyday, but those who do have the sight can’t see them, those who do not have an open heart cannot hear his call. So Somi, put aside your differences for once and just try to hear the call of Allah.

    You keep saying we are visitors in the western world and we should adapt. Tell me, you are a visitor too her at the Muslim Times, and you have been asked to adapt and change your ways so many times and how you comment and what you write by Rafiq countless times yet as a visitor you just ignore his request but you ask us to do what you choose not do yourself. How about you lead by example? Change your point of view, change your comments at the Muslim Times and then tell us to change. I think that makes more sense

    • Dear Riffat—to respond your comment ;
      We are Muslim Allah advice Muslim to remind each other.
      Progressive Muslim and Ahmadiyyah are brotherhood in faith.
      And keep reminding, because reminding benefits the believers. Q. 51;55. This us my duty among Muslim community.

      To other religion ( Chrustian, Buddha etc ) , Allah warn Muslim; Dont judge other religion. ! They eill judge you back—-
      That is why I remind Muslim who live in Christian countries ; Dont try judging the host countries tradition, they dont like it, instead try to adapt it— it does not means to convert to Christian.

      I love Ahmadiyyah Muslim that is why I care so much, when Isee some thing wrong I like to remind it. It does means you have to follow me, you are free— no imposing on you. That is we call Islam is beautiful teaching remind each other with care- love.

      Hopefully you understand my intention
      All our love ❤️

      • Thanks. Are you now allowing our ladies to wear hijab and me to enjoy halal food?

  3. Of course Rafiq—I dont impose my belief on you
    I just remind that old interpretation is not relevant anymore in 21st century— and cause problem with the Islamophobia and put risk on women even whole Muslim as we see since 9/11 2001.

    Whereas Islam is a religion of flexibility, not make Nuslim in difficulty. Woow that Islam is!
    All our ❤️

    • By the grace of Allah the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has its rightly guided Khalifa who advises us on how to adjust to the current times.

      • Theoretically yes, that is why in the oath of allegiance he ask us to obey him ‘in everything good’. In other words not blind obedience. However, we do believe that Allah guide his chosen Khalifas. Consequently we do not see any fault in his guidance… Alhamdolillah.

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