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MCA: ‘Kafir harbi’ references will divide citizens

PETALING JAYA: The increasing debate in the country on concepts such as “kafir harbi” could lead to greater confusion and divide citizens of different faiths, warned MCA religious harmony bureau chairman Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker (pic).

He said such terms were “alien” to the Federal Constitution, which is the highest law of the land, and should not be referred to with any semblance of legal force or authority as it may result in derogatory labels towards fellow citizens.

“It is indeed disturbing when our culture, our value system that have been providing us with a peaceful and harmonious existence is suddenly besiege with some attempts to introduce alien concepts into our legal system that may destroy national harmony and create disunity.

“These concepts, if discussed publicly, may confuse and influence nubile minds leading to more prejudices and even aggression along such misconceived lines,” Ti said in a statement, Monday.

He was commenting on a recent public forum organised by Pertubuhan Ikram Malaysia (Ikram) to discuss the modern-day relevance of the term “kafir harbi”, which refers to disbelievers that Muslims can wage war against and slay for opposing Islam.

The Muslim NGO had featured Islamic scholars such as Umno Youth exco member Ustaz Fathul Bari Mat Jahya, Amanah vice-president Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus, and Universiti Islam Antarabangsa lecturer Dr Maszlee Malik to give their take on the topic, “Is the term kafir harbi still relevant?”

Ti said the public forum was akin to giving recognition to such concepts, which may hinder efforts to build and cement national harmony and diversity.

For example, he said “kafir harbi” would provide justification for the “drawing of blood”, hence encouraging irresponsible parties to run amok or go on a rampage to injure others.

Meanwhile, the MCA central committee member said similar terms like “kafir dhimmi”, would result in unscrupulous parties taking the opportunity to extort money and other offerings in exchange for protection.

Kafir dhimmi commonly refers to non-Muslims living in an Islamic country who pay taxes in exchange for protection and security.

“It is time for leaders and all to be mindful of what’s good and healthy in order for the nation to progress further and not go into a gutter,” Ti added.

Earlier this month, Pahang mufti Datuk Seri Dr Abdul Rahman Osman courted controversy when he referred to political parties like DAP and its leaders as “kafir harbi”, whose killing was justifiable as they openly opposed Islamic principles.

He later clarified that all those labelled “kafir harbi” should be opposed but not necessarily by spilling their blood.-thestar

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