Quran academic ‘crossed red line’, host G25 now says after Jakim criticism (VIDEO)

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — Pro-moderation group G25 said today it disagreed with the views of a Muslim scholar that it had invited to speak on Quran, after religious authorities called his opinions liberal and deviant.

The group of retired civil servants — who had organised a seminar together with the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) last Saturday featuring University of Notre Dame assistant professor in theology Mun’im Sirry — said it did not necessarily agree with Mun’im’s views at the seminar just because it had co-sponsored the event.

“G25 doesn’t agree with the interpretation by Mun’im,” G25 member Datuk M. Redzuan Kushairi told Malay Mail Online.

“This is the classic case of trying to use human reason, so much so that you go beyond certain parametres, a certain red line. I think he crossed the red line,” he added.

Redzuan took issue with Mun’im’s suggestion that the Muslim holy book may have originated elsewhere.

“To me, that’s going beyond it. He’s trying too much to use human reason. You cannot question the Creator. You cannot question the words of the Creator,” Redzuan said.

Redzuan added that Mun’im, who has a PhD in Islamic studies and written a book on the Quran according to his biography on the University of Notre Dame’s website, had also “crossed the red line” in other parts of his presentation on the Quran.

Muslims believe that the Quran was delivered orally over a period of time to the Prophet Muhammad in his birth place in Mecca, and later in Medina after he migrated.

Jakim director-general Tan Sri Othman Mustapha accused IRF and G25 today of trying to bring in liberal and deviant ideas into the country, highlighting Mun’im’s purported remarks on the Quran at their seminar on moderation in the Quran. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng
Jakim director-general Tan Sri Othman Mustapha accused IRF and G25 today of trying to bring in liberal and deviant ideas into the country, highlighting Mun’im’s purported remarks on the Quran at their seminar on moderation in the Quran. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

Jakim director-general Tan Sri Othman Mustapha accused IRF and G25 today of trying to bring in liberal and deviant ideas into the country, highlighting Mun’im’s purported remarks on the Quran at their seminar on moderation in the Quran.

Redzuan stressed that even though there were “red lines” and the religion and the Quran should not be questioned, G25 believed that discussion should be allowed.

“It’s only through discussion you reach better understanding,” he said.

Instead, he slammed Jakim for “jumping to conclusions” and making “wrong accusations” without first talking to the seminar organisers.  

“We regret the tendency and practice of jumping to conclusions, labelling and demonising of moderate Islamic groups like the IRF and G25. And we would like to underline once again that the main focus for the G25 is for good governance, transparency and accountability, and we are against corruption and abuse of power,” said Redzuan.

Malay Mail Online is trying to reach Mun’im for comments.

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