KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — Popular religious scholar Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin yesterday compared Islamic clerics who twist the truth to dogs amid the continuing fallout from an event at which some Muslims touched the culturally “haram” animal.
The former Perlis mufti stressed that he had not expressed his support nor opposition to the “I Want to Touch a Dog” event held in Petaling Jaya Sunday but merely related what the Quran said about canines.
“While we’re busily discussing the issue about touching dogs, let us not forget that there are bigger issues raised in the Quran related to dogs, like ULAMA WHO ACT LIKE DOGS,” Asri wrote on his Facebook page yesterday.
“A Mat Rempit, robber, or a dishonest leader is not worse than an ulama who hides the truth or who twists facts to mislead people. Therefore, the Quran equates ulamas who twist the truth to dogs whose tongues are hanging out,” he added.
Pahang Mufti Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Othman, Selangor Mufti Datuk Tamyes Abdul Wahid and Johor Islamic Religious Council advisor Datuk Nooh Gadut have reportedly criticised the dog-patting event, claiming that it is “haram” or forbidden for Muslims to touch canines according to the Shafi’i school of thought.
The Islamic Development Department (Jakim) have announced an investigation of the event, while the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) said yesterday that it had given prior approval but was not informed beforehand that the event would involve Muslims touching dogs.
Asri has disputed claims that touching a dog is “haram”, pointing out that if it is considered “haram” to touch canines because the animal is deemed unclean like excrement, then it would also be “haram” for one to clean their or their children’s behinds.
The religious scholar also said yesterday that according to the Quran, clerics who sell out God’s teachings for self-interest are like dogs whose tongues are always hanging out.
“Yes! The ulama are not infallible angels or prophets. They are just like other people exposed to wrongdoing and sin,” said Asri.