So the Shia in Malaysia are taking their plight of persecution here at the instance of the UMNO-led BN government to the United Nations, reports Malaysiakini.
You may or may not know this, but on 23rd June, 1996, the Islamic religious authorities issued a fatwa declaring that “ajaran Islam yang lain daripada pegangan Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah adalah bercanggah dengan hukum syarak dan undang-undang Islam ; dan dengan demikian penyebaran apa-apa ajaran yang lain daripada pegangan Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah adalah dilarang”.
In short, only the Sunni sect was kosher in Malaysia, and that all other sects, including the Shia, were prohibited.
This is interesting because some 12 years before, in September, 1984, the National Fatwa Council had decreed that only the Az-Zaidiah and Jaafariah schools of the Shia sect were acceptable to be practised in Malaysia.
In other words, in 1984, the National Fatwa Council ruled that the Az-Zaidiah and Jaafariah schools of the Shia sect were kosher to be practised in Malaysia.
The fatwa of June, 1996 in fact expressly repudiates the fatwa of 1984 that allowed the Az-Zaidiah and Jaafariah schools of the Shia sect to be practised in Malaysia.
So what was the National Fatwa Council saying in 1996?
That they got it wrong in 1984?
And if they had in fact got it wrong in 1984, here’s my poser to them.
Let’s say that after their decree in 1984, Pak Ali, a farmer in Kedah, a follower of the Jaafariah school, is overjoyed that he no longer needs to conceal his faith and can openly practise his beliefs without fear of action being taken against him by the religious authorities.
After all, JAKIM has decreed his Islam as kosher.
Let’s say that In May, 1995, just before the second fatwa that repudiates the earlier is issued, Pak Ali dies of a heart attack.
The following month, JAKIM issues the fatwa declaring Pak Ali’s beliefs as being outside the pale of Islam.
According to JAKIM, Pak Ali died a non-Muslim?
And if they are right in their second edict, who bears the sin of Pak Ali’s dying in a state of unbelief?
If JAKIM cannot give me a gilt-edged guarantee that they will bear the sin every time they get it wrong and I abide by their ruling, why the hell should they dictate my faith?
The fatwa of 1996 can be seen HERE. It expressly makes reference to the fatwa of 1984.