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PAS deny calling those who oppose Hadi’s bill infidels

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PETALING JAYA: Barely 24 hours before PAS holds a rally in support of widening the shariah court’s power, the Islamist party has denied labelling those against the initiative as “infidels”.

“We have never labelled those who opposed (amendment to) Act 355 as infidels. It is a misunderstanding on Dr Asri’s part,” the party’s Dewan Ulama information chief Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali told FMT, referring to Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, more popularly known as Maza.

Khairuddin was responding to a Facebook post by Asri who claimed those who disagreed with amending the act would be categorised as infidels, enemies of Islam and those who despised God’s laws.

Khairuddin also revealed that he had discussed the bill with Asri, and claimed that the outspoken mufti was not against amending the act.

He said Asri had no issue with handing out 100 strokes of the rotan, but did not agree with the proposal to increase the jail term to 30 years and impose a fine of RM100,000.

“I took it positively. I asked him to publicly declare what aspects of the bill he agreed and disagreed with.”

Last year, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang tabled a private members’ bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355), to give wider powers to shariah courts in the country in dealing with Muslim offenders.

The amendments, among others, seek an increase in the current jail term from three to 30 years, a fine of up to RM100,000 and up to 100 strokes of the cane.

The Islamist party is holding a rally in support of the shariah amendments at Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow afternoon.

In January, PAS said it was aiming to attract 300,000 people, adding that over 200 NGOs would attend the rally.

Meanwhile, Bebas, a movement that upholds equality, opposes racial discrimination and advocates religious freedom in Malaysia, is organising a peaceful rally tomorrow to oppose the proposed amendments to Act 355. Their event will be taking place at the Tasik Taman Jaya in Petaling Jaya, tomorrow afternoon.

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