KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that his interpretation of Islam was just and fair compared to PAS’ hudud law.
The Opposition leader, who was accused by a political analyst of having “incorrect” thought on Islam, said there were more than 40 verses in the Quran that emphasised justice in meting out punishments.
“But PAS’ hudud prioritises four witnesses and the heaviest punishments, including stoning to death and beheading,” Dr Mahathir wrote on his blog.
He said if a woman was raped but there were no four witnesses without heavy sins, her report would be considered false and she would be whipped. If she gave birth, she would be accused of adultery and stoned to death.
Her rapist, even if known to her, would go free.
“Is it fair if a victim is punished and the rapist is free from accusation just because there are no four witnesses? If it is unfair, therefore it is not Islam. Islam is not tyrannical,” said the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman.
Kamarul Zaman Yusoff from Universiti Utara Malaysia wrote in an article, which was published on PAS organ Harakah Daily last Sunday, that Dr Mahathir did not have correct understanding of Islam because the former prime minister questioned “hadith” (Prophet Muhammad’s reported sayings and deeds) and rejected hudud law, a strict Islamic penal code.
Dr Mahathir also pointed out today that the hudud law propagated by PAS would only apply to Muslims, who would have their hands amputated if they committed theft, while a non-Muslim would be jailed two months for the same offence.
“In a multi-faith society in Malaysia, is it fair to have such disparate punishments?” he said.
“Based on my humble opinion, this punishment is not fair. Because it is not fair, it is not Islam; it is PAS’ hudud.”
He also said it was not forbidden to prioritise the Quran if a “hadith” differed from the holy book, pointing out that more than half a million “hadith” have been found to be false by Muslim scholar Al Bukhari. Scholars also have differing opinions on the veracity of other “hadith”.