Vindictive persecution and religious tyranny

MARCH 16 — One cannot help but think these words when describing the oppression and injustice that has been senselessly inflicted upon Nik Raina and her family over the past three years.

Through a note that was delivered last week, JAWI has indicated that it has filed an appeal against the Shariah High Court judgement delivered on February 26. 

When I think about it, I suppose it was wishful thinking on our parts to believe that this case had actually ended and that the people in the Wilayah Persekutuan Religious Department (JAWI) actually possessed good sense, could be reasoned with and are rational in their decision making. 

After all, the Shariah High Court itself was cognisant of the fact that Nik Raina had suffered as a result of this ordeal and in light of the two judgements from the civil courts, had ordered her discharge.  Personally, I thought the case was over and said so in my column on March 4.

I suppose that it was just too much to hope for from JAWI. After all, they had pursued her for three years and based their case on an erroneous and faulty charge. This case has been the very definition of irrational, cruel and malicious behaviour. So perhaps this appeal was not unexpected.

Strangely, the chief prosecutor seems to have also forgotten JAWI’s own position of October 7, 2013.

They had left it to the Shariah High Court to decide whether or not to continue with the prosecution of Nik Raina under Section 103 of the Shariah Criminal Procedure Act. And now that the court has made its decision, they merajuk and tak puas hati, hence the decision to appeal.

JAWI, since when did your pride, ego, arrogance and the need to win at all costs, become more important than the need to uphold justice, fairness and the dignity of Islam? Since when was all of that more important than doing what is right for Nik Raina and her family? Is this what we should expect from the practice of Islamic justice in Malaysia? 

In your arrogance, do you even realise the damage you are doing to Islamic jurisprudence in this country? If you can do this to Nik Raina, how and why should we trust you to ensure and uphold justice and fairness in the name of Islam?

JAWI’s actions make a mockery of the “Sentiasa Dicontohi” slogan used to sign off on all their official letters. No, thank you. We can do without your example and conduct which, in this case, is a disgrace and embarrassment to Muslims.

It is important to realise that this case has gone through three courts of law, both civil and Shariah, and in every one, JAWI has been defeated. The actions of its officers in 2012 have even been described by the courts as unlawful, in bad faith and unconstitutional.

It is my hope that JAWI’s chief prosecutor is held and found acting in contempt of the High Court and the Court of Appeal orders directing that the persecution be discontinued.

From their own actions and this example, it is very clear that JAWI is not interested in justice. So what is really behind JAWI’s agenda? Why is the taxpayers’ money and court time being used in this wasteful and cruel manner?

These questions are falling on deaf ears as JAWI continues its senseless and malicious persecution of this brave and courageous woman. 

Nik Raina, know that many Malaysians stand with you against this tyranny. 

You are not alone. 

May Allah continue to give you and your family the strength and patience to carry on through this ordeal.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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