PAS' Parit Buntar MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa today played down calls by some party members to rein in Halloween celebrations, waving it off as just a party.

"Halloween, it's a party, go. If I don't want to go, then don't say I'm banning it, just don't go," he told a forum on the Islamic state in Subang Jaya this morning.

NONEMujahid (right) was asked for his reaction to Terengganu PAS commissioner Abdul Wahid Endut's remark on Thursday likening Halloween to devil worship.

Johor PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed had on Monday also urged guidelines for the celebration which he said could lead to moral decay.

Later, a participant pointed out that PAS was only putting forward their liberal-minded leaders in the public sphere to address such issues but the majority of the party held differing views.

To this, Mujahid said: "In any political party, there is the dynamics of liberals and conservatives. Those who want to move forward and those who want to maintain the status quo.

"That is natural, I would consider that dynamics rather than two groups and I am the chairperson of the national unity (committee) so the party has given me the task to attend debates and forums, not because I am a liberal," he said.
Earlier, Mujahid took some heat from progressive Muslims amongst the speakers of the forum moderated by former Bar Council chairperson Cyrus Das.

Islamic Renaissance Front director Ahmad Farouk Musa targeted PAS' conservative quarters especially its ulama and youth wings for replicating the seventh century Medinan city-state model, which is the basis for today's Islamic state concept.

'Scriptures are guidelines'

Describing as a fallacy the notion that the Quran was the constitution that spells out everything required to form a truly Islamic government, Ahmad Farouk (below) asserted that scriptures merely lay out the basic foundations that guide mankind.

Hudud forum IRF Ahmad Farouk Musa"As the erudite Muhammad said: Every generation faces different circumstances and thus many laws and ways for society cannot be fixed for all time.

“This is also why the Quran fixes timeless laws, ethics and restrictions that are universal in its appreciation," he said. 

He added that governance was a human endeavour and nobody should have the right to claim that their rule resembled God's will and wish better.

"God does not seek to regulate all human affairs and instead leaves human beings considerable latitude in regulating their own affairs.

Hudud forum Nurul Izzah"If we were to say that the only legitimate source of law is the divine text, and the human experience and intellect are irrelevant to the pursuit of the divine will, then divine sovereignty will become an instrument of authoritarianism and an obstacle to democracy," he said.

Concurring, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah (above), quoted The Al-Azhar Bill of Rights drafted following the Arab Spring that states: "If the mind and text are apparently conflicting, the mind should be given precedence, and the text reinterpreted".

Nurul Izzah commented, "For me, it was a powerful statement from the grand mufti, post-Arab awakening, and today I ask you to really accept, breath life into the term... that multiculturalism is a fact of life. There is no going for it or against it."

'Substance over semantics'

Meanwhile Muhajid said people should not be overly concerned about the format of an Islamic state but rather look at the substance of Islam and the state.

bar council sedition forum 110808 malik imtiaz"It doesn't matter if Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state or not, although they ruin all their (pre-Islamic) holy places.

“It doesn't matter whether Iran is an Islamic state or not although they do not give the people freedom.

"What matters most is how does Islam integrate politics, democracy, and how can it be part of the mainstream," he said.

He added regardless of what name the type of state would go by, the foundation was that it rejected authoritarianism and upholds justice.

He added that PAS would abide by the constitution and conduct itself through consultation.

Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Malik Imtiaz Sawar (above) in turn argued that the federal constitution has clearly stated that it is the supreme law of the land and thus also supersedes Syariah law.

Thus, he said the debate about the Islamic state today was a question of whether we want to abide by the constitution that has defined the basic structure of Malaysian society.

However, he said, those in power were attempting to revise this by slipping in the concept of an Islamic state.
Borneo states put foot down
Agreeing, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian (below) read out from the Cobbold Commission report that culminated in the Malaysian constitution, which specifically stated that Malaysia is secular and Sabah and Sarawak had joined the Federation with this assurance.

Hudud forum Baru BianMeanwhile Christian lawyer Kenny Ng pointed out that this had also been agreed upon by our founding fathers.

However, National University of Singapore's Malaya Studies Department Head Syed Farid Alattas pointed out that the constitution was not a good argument against hudud law, pointing out that it can be amended.

"The crux of the matter is that there needs to be a revamping of the Muslim mindset," he proposed instead.

The forum this morning was jointly organised by the Oriental Hearts and Minds Study Institute and the Islamic Renaissance Front.