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Monday, July 24, 2006

The Masjid Wilayah Resolutions

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Update (2130hrs, July 24): another translation, from a more conservative Muslim friendly source, can be found here, and here (the orchard and fruit are the same, only from different trees).

As promised, the following is an English translation of the Resolusi Masjid Wilayah declaration, of which the original (complete with a hanging sentence) in Bahasa Malaysia, can be read either here or here. This is Walski's own translation, and is not sanctioned by those who wrote the document. However, Walski has translated it without any bias, and as accurately as possible. If there are any translation errors, please do point them out, and the mistake shall be rectified as soon as is practical.

Resolusi Masjid Wilayah 23 Julai 2006 / 26 Jamadilthani 1427H

We, whom have assembled today at Masjid Wilayah, Kuala Lumpur, to discuss current challenges in implementing the Syariah system in this country, state our concern/worry about certain quarters that are trying to marginalize the position of Islam in the state system, by hiding behind the name [Walski's note: missing end of sentence?]. This secular group has not gotten support from the majority of Malaysians in carrying out their agenda, a struggle to uphold human rights. These efforts are a step in denying the historical fact that for hundreds of years, the Syariah has been accepted-in-use in the lives of individuals and society in this country.

We are also worried with the room that is given to these negative efforts in the local and international mass media, despite this view representing peripheral and obscure voices, compared to the understanding of a majority of Muslims.

We are worried, maybe these negative efforts are being instigated by element from outside this country that wish to weaken Islam. This situation will definitely worsen if these wild/outrageous views are entertained by the authorities* in this country. If the Muslim community is not concerned and sensitive enough towards this development, they will continue to misuse legal channels to achieve their aim.
(*Walski's note: this is the most relevant translation for berwewenang, which was used in the original statement)

Realizing this, therefore we whom have assembled at Masjid Wilayah for the “Syariah and Current Challenges” forum on 23 July 2006, agree with the following resolutions:

1. The special position of Islam is an important element in the Constitution and the national legal system. It also is the Muslims’ human right in this country. If this precedence is altered/threatened, it has the potential to give rise to many negative effects on society. Therefore, the existing formula, which has been proven to maintain prosperity all this while, needs to be reinforced, and accepted by all parties, Muslims and non-Muslims.

2. All Constitutional Articles and Laws pertaining to Islam need to be strengthened to close all avenues of misusing legal channels to weaken the position of Islam.

3. The entire Muslim ummah must unite in voice, attitude and action, in defending the position of Islam that is under threat.

4. Every threat against Islam means a threat to the prestige and position of the Malay Rulers, who are each state’s religious leader, and to the authority of Islamic institutions.

5. Insist that all attempts to remodel and erode the position of Islam in the Constitution and national legal system be stopped at once. Whatever dissatisfaction with Islam should be channeled to the discussion table with those in authority. The confrontational approach through road shows and legal dispute will only cause tension and threatens public order.

6. We insist that the mainstream media make a strong stand and not take sides in issues relating to Islam, and do not promote the view that Malaysia is a secular country, and that the practice of Islam is a personal right. We insist the media gives room to Muslims to view their opinions, and that they no longer marginalize the voice of mainstream Islam. The mainstream media must be professional and ethical in their reporting and analysis of Islam.

7. The right and freedom of religion must be understood within the context of Islam, and not according to individual bias. Freedom and human rights from a secular-liberal perspective goes against Islam as well as other religions.

8. All State Legislatures and Parliament must immediately pass enactments/acts that prevent non-Islamic propaganda/proselytizing** to Muslims, and the authorities should implement these enactments/acts immediately.
(** Walski's note: the word used in the statement, dakyah literally means propaganda; in this context, it denotes a negative connotation of proselytizing)

9. The government must make a stand to reject efforts of the West and NGOs that conspire with and use local NGOs, academicians and individuals to influence policy and laws pertaining to Muslims.

10. There are Muslim leaders who have stated opinions supporting those that say the practice of Islam is an individual’s right, and moralistic laws should not be implemented in Malaysia. These statements are regrettable, since Islamic moralistic laws in Malaysia have formed a vital part of laws in Peninsular Malaysia, long before the arrival of the colonialists.

11. The Malaysian Bar Council, which represents over 12,000 lawyers in Peninsular Malaysia have taken a biased stand without taking into consideration the views of Muslim lawyers, who constitute over 40% of the total number of lawyers. The Malaysian Bar Council, on the grounds of Human Rights, have interfered in the matters of Islam, and this goes against the purpose of setting up the Bar Council, and we insist that the Bar Council, as guardians of the sovereignty of law, follow the laws of this country.

Commentaries on this declaration shall come later, in a separate post. As such, the comments facility for this post has been disabled. You are, however, more than welcome to drop Walski an e-mail if you have something to say, and your off-post comments will be incorporated in Walski's own commentary post.