Monday, 8 Oct 2018
KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s ulama, Syariah judges and intellectuals have been urged to help change the negative image of Islam as a religion which is seen by some as being all about punishment.
Prof Mohammad Hashim Kamali (pic), the CEO of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies Malaysia (IAIS), said cases such as last month’s caning of two women who pleaded guilty to attempting same-sex relations in Terengganu have put Islam in the limelight of public scrutiny.
“It is as if Islam is concerned with punishment more than anything else. But that is not really what Islam is all about.
“When you look at the Quran, the most prominent aspects of our belief are so closely associated with rahmah (compassion),” Mohammad Hashim said in his welcoming remarks at the roundtable discussion here titled: ‘Philosophy and procedures of Syariah criminal punishments towards achieving the aim of Compassion For All (Rahmatan Lil Alamin).’
“Of course Islam stands for justice but it is rahmah that moves the value structure of Islam.
“When you apply justice without compassion it is dry literalism, and I am very happy, it is heartening that we now see a fresh focus on the compassionate voice of Islam.
“This is what has been missing not just in Malaysia but internationally,” he said.
Mohammad Hashim said that while Islam is known by some in the general public as if it is all about punishment, he was encouraged that there was now an opportunity to correct the wrong perception.
“I hope the ulama and the judges and the intellectuals of Malaysia will consider this as part of their new struggle for Islam, to make Islam known for what it stands, to change the negative image of Islam,” he said.
The roundtable discussion was officiated by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
Mujahid is scheduled to hold a media conference at 12.45pm after the end of the roundtable discussion.