Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's top clerics on Monday issued a fatwa, deeming it 'haram' for Muslims to participate in the demonstrations that cause disturbance in the country, days after thousands defied government orders to stage a rally.
Malaysia's National Fatwa Committee, which a few years ago had ruled that the Muslims should not do yoga, has now advised them against participating in any gathering that is unproductive, against the law or causes disturbance.
National Fatwa Committee Chairman Proffesor Emeritus Abdul Shukor Husin said that the committee viewed seriously the issue as some Muslims had resorted to rioting during the opposition backed electoral reforms demonstrations here on April 28.
"Rioting, causing disturbance and damaging public property are all forbidden by Islam. This also applies to any intention to topple a duly-elected government by organising such demonstrations" he said.
"No one is exempted, and cannot support any efforts that can cause harm, anxiety or unrest among the Muslims to the point of the community becoming split, what more if there is bloodshed," he added after chairing a meeting of the committee here.
On April 28, thousands of people took to the streets in the Malaysian capital to demand electoral reform and clashed with police, breaking into barricades.
Shukor said that the Muslims who participated in such demonstrations must repent as Islam never called on its followers to resort to any action that could threaten people's lives just to pursue a specific agenda.
As the country practised democracy, more discussion channels could be implemented without sacrificing peace, he said.
He said that the meeting also discussed the issue of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) and decided that no fatwa (edict) was needed on it as it was clearly 'haram' in Islam.
He reminded the Muslims not to be directly or indirectly involved in any movement or campaign that supported LGBTs.
"Even showing support or sympathy (for LGBTs) is haram. It is the duty of all Muslims to get rid of this menace and if we support something that is not good, it can be said we are abetting it, which is a sin," he was quoted by Bernama as saying.
Story first published:
May 07, 2012 16:38 IST