KUALA LUMPUR: Controversial academic Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, according to Sisters in Islam (SiS), is propagating views which will eventually result in terrorism in the country.
The NGO was referring to Ridhuan’s column, in a Malay daily on Monday, in which he claimed that there was no such thing as a ‘moderate Muslim”, implying that Muslims were extremists.
He described himself in the interview as a “fundamentalist”, a term linked with militancy, while others who beg to differ and say it means setting aside the Hadiths and returning to the Quran.
“‘Moderation’ in Islam, ‘Al Wasathiyah’, is an important element. Departing from this principle means ‘Irhab Al Fikri’ or ‘terrorism in thought’,” said Sisters in Islam (Sis) researcher Afiq Mohamad Noor in a statement.
“In Malaysia, we don’t have IS, but if people like Ridhuan are not confronted and put in their place, Malaysia will soon tread the IS path.”
”Terrorism in thought”, he stressed, could result in “physical terrorism” i.e. a breakdown in law and order and a return to the law of the jungle for no rhyme or reason.
Moderation, according to Afiq, was promoted by Islamic scholars like Al Imam Ibnu Taymiyah, Ibnu Al Qayyim, Al Syathibi and Ibnu Atheer.
“Ridhuan probably never read the works of the great scholars who argue that moderation (Al Wasathiyah) is an integral part of Islam,” he asked.
Islam, he said, has never recognised societal classification such as “clergies”, for example. He added that having a group of people who dominate and control Islam is “foreign and unheard of” in the traditions of the religion.
“These are people who reject scientific discussions and debates, which also use their influence and power to label people as infidels and heretics,” he said. “Islam seems like a religion that is rigid, stationary and anti-establishment.”
Islam, he warned, cannot be “monopolized” by any group. “It’s not an exclusive religion. Authorities and religious groups who monopolize religion are like robber barons controlling companies.”
“Ridhuan’s personal attacks contradict Islamic values as well as Malay culture,” he said.
“If I were given a choice to leave behind the principles of human rights and freedom of expression which I believe in, then without a doubt, I would advise Ridhuan to shut up and stop embarrassing and polluting a religion that I love.”
“They claim to be moderate Muslims? What is the meaning of moderate? Islam is not a moderate religion. Islam is fundamental in nature,” said Ridhuan in his column, criticizing the Group of 25 Eminent Malays for penning an Open Letter on Islam, civil law and the secular Federal Constitution.