The Moral Malaysia - Khalwat for non-muslims | Malaysian Sentinel : Malaysia's Politics from a Malaysian Citizen Blogger

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Moral Malaysia - Khalwat for non-muslims

A seminar on Syariah Law review wants non-Muslims found committing khalwat (close proximity) with Muslims to also be held liable.

This was among the proposals made at the two-day seminar organised by the Islamic Institute of Understanding Malaysia (Ikim) and the Syariah Judiciary Department Malaysia.

Syariah Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Mohd Asri Abdullah said the seminar had proposed that non-Muslims committing khalwat with Muslims should also be sentenced accordingly, but in the civil courts.

Article: The Star
In a multiethnic nation like Malaysia, such decisions have to be made in view of the 'neighbor'. Khalwat is a religious matter and imposing ones religious ideals onto another person, who does not adhere to such views, would cause much trouble to all parties.

There are several problems I see if this issue:
  1. Defining what is khalwat to the non-muslims. Close proximity is a subjective matter since what constitute close proximity really depends on the individual and on social norms and practices. Culture plays a part too, so this must be spelt out.
  2. Enforcement. This is a touchy one because the enforcer must be fair. There must not be a hint of bias but this is furthest from the truth. Another thing, where would this law be enforce?
  3. Human Rights. What guarantee do non-muslims have that such laws would not contravene basic human rights to association with one another? Would this law in fact broaden the rift between the muslim world and the non-muslim world?
In the end, we can clearly see that the agenda of an Islamic Malaysia is not championed by PAS but instead by the government of the day. I have no problem with all these amendments but I seriously worry that in an ever-changing, where more freedom is given so people could move forward, whether in Malaysia we are actually taking steps backwards? 

If that is the case, I really pity the generation after me who would have to live with the genius of this generation.


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