‘Only fatwa committee can issue Islamic decrees’

JOHOR BARU: Fatwa or Islamic decrees in Johor can only be issued by the fatwa committee, said the state exco in charge of Islamic affairs, Mohd Fared Mohd Khalid.

Although it did not specifically refer to anyone, Mohd Fared’s reminder comes on the heels of a recent controversial declaration that was made during campaigning for the Pulai and Simpang Jeram by-elections.

On Sept 2, Perikatan Nasional chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that it was “haram”, or forbidden in Islam, to vote for Pakatan Harapan’s Pulai candidate Suhaizan Kayat.

In his statement yesterday, Mohd Fared said fatwas can only be made in accordance with the provisions of Clause 48 of the Islamic Religious Administration Enactment (Johor State) 2003.

“A fatwa can be made and decided, whether by order of Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar and at the will of the committee itself or at the request of any person through a letter addressed to the state mufti as outlined in Clause 47 of the Enactment,” Mohd Fared said.

“No one or any party in Johor, either personally or on behalf of any organisation that is qualified, entitled and empowered to set, issue or announce any law in religious affairs, other than according to the provisions (in the enactment),” Mohd Fared said.

He added that everyone should always maintain decency and unity among Muslims in Johor.

Any statements that are divisive and misleading to Bangsa Johor should be avoided, Mohd Fared said.

“Islam in Johor remains dignified, and even its legalisation is encouraged with expansion through continuous preaching under the patronage of His Majesty as the head of Islamic religion in the state,” Mohd Fared added.

Perikatan and Pakatan Nasional are vying for the Pulai parliamentary and Simpang Jeram state seats in the Sept 9 by-election.

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