Sadly, despite its attempt to promote Malaysia as a moderate Muslim country,
the Malaysian government has failed to match its rhetoric with its actions,
says Sisters in Islam (SIS).
Sisters in Islam (SIS) is deeply disappointed that the Malaysian government has
deported the Saudi blogger Hamza Kashgari without due process. This deportation
was carried out despite the absence of an extradition treaty between the two
countries and the probability that Hamza might face the death penalty in Saudi
Arabia for alleged blasphemy.
Home Minister Dato Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s statement that we have an
agreement with other countries to always return their citizens should they ask
for them is therefore questionable. In the absence of an extradition treaty
with Saudi Arabia, under what legal provision did Hishammuddin act in deporting
Secondly, from what we understand, Hamza Kashgari’s lawyers had been denied
access to see their client since 10 February 2012 and were not informed of his
impending date of deportation. In fact, a court order was granted by Justice
Rohana Yusof to stop the deportation. Therefore, we demand to know which legal
provision was used by the Malaysian government to arrest and detain Hamza
Thirdly, the Saudi penalty for blasphemy is death – a punishment found neither
in the Qur’an nor under Malaysian law. What Allah exhorts in the Qur’an in
Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 159 is this:
And it was by God’s grace that thou [O Prophet] didst deal gently with thy
followers: for if thou hadst been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed
have broken away from thee. Pardon them, then, and pray that they be forgiven.
And take counsel with them in all matters of public concern; then, when thou
hast decided upon a course of action, place thy trust in God: for, verily, God
loves those who place their trust in Him. Hamza Kashgari withdrew his tweet and
made a public apology – surely the Islamic and humane way would be to show him
compassion and forgiveness.
Fourthly, do we not have any autonomy in deciding our own policies, or do we,
as Hishammuddin implies, adhere to the whims of countries we perceive as more
powerful? Do we no longer enjoy any independence in deciding what happens
within our borders? The Malaysian government should have exercised discretion
in favour of Hamza Kashgari and allowed for due process within our court
Sadly, despite having set up the Global Movement of Moderates recently in an
attempt to promote Malaysia as a moderate Muslim country, the Malaysian
government has failed to match its rhetoric with its actions. Nor indeed did it
heed or advocate God’s Mercy and Forgiveness as found in the Qur’an.