JAN 17 — We at the Islamic Renaissance Front are alarmed at the increasing misrepresentation of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s comments regarding Malaysia’s sex laws.
It is a reflection of the easy exploitation of a controversial issue for political purposes.
The point remains that the sex laws are archaic and outdated; they are also liable to misapplication and manipulation for political purposes. We see no endorsement of homosexual activity, or any demand for homosexuality to be rendered acceptable in Islam in DSAI’s comments.
However throughout the years, we have never seen anybody being charged for sodomy in this country except for the law being an instrument of political persecution.
The legitimacy and relevance of those Victorian laws for the current contemporary context, at any rate, has been a longstanding issue of concern from various humanitarian organisations, local and international. That concern has been voiced by Human Rights Watch, the Human Rights Committee of the Malaysian Bar, SUARAM, PT Foundation, Women’s Candidacy Initiative, Empower, among others.
Those who seek to politicise these comments are either misunderstanding them outright, or are hoping to steer public attention from the real issue at hand, which is the independence and integrity of Malaysia’s laws and judiciary.
The Islamic Renaissance Front once again calls for calm and reasoned debate at the face of easily stoked frenzies and sentiments.
For the important questions remain obscured and unanswered in the process: what is the vision of justice and common humanity that we ought to construct for a multicultural modern society like Malaysia? How will the Malaysian people, in its complex totality have a say in that process? What enlightened role can Islam play?
We need to come together. Justice for Malaysia requires our combined efforts and visions. It must emerge out of reasoned and informed discussions, not the cheap sensationalism of inane and desperate newspapers with corroboration from the ill-informed religious scholars.
* The following have placed their names with this release: Ahmad Farouk Musa, Mohd Radziq Jalaludin, Ahmad Fuad Rahmat, Edry Faizal Eddy Yusof and Muhammad Nazreen Jaafar.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.