THE effects of hudud law on non-Muslims are very real.
International Movement for a Just World president Prof Dr Chandra Muzaffar said parties that subscribed to hudud should not be empowered.
He said most countries which adopted hudud law had failed to protect their people or their rights. “What is the meaning of hudud if there is so much corruption at the top but there are strict rules at the bottom?” he said, adding that some had a very narrow interpretation of hudud.
He noted that some countries which had adopted hudud law had a wide gap between the rich and the poor, an authoritarian system and poor treatment of minorities and women.
“Not a single hudud state can be an example to us,” he said to cheers during a session at the forum.
Non-Muslims, Dr Chandra said, would suffer should PAS implement hudud law. “It does not recognise the principle of shared rights and responsibilities. They have the notion of protecting you but not according you your rights,” he added.
Dr Chandra took a swipe at PAS for its narrow interpretation of hudud in Kelantan and previously in Terengganu, which he said did not emphasise on forgiveness and reform as stated in the Quran.
He warned of having an obsession with literal interpretations of hudud without looking at the underlying values and principles.
The emphasis, he said, should not be on prohibition and punishment as Islam was meant to educate and enlighten, adding that a narrow interpretation could destroy a nation.
He stressed that Islam was central to the identity of Malaysia and Muslims, but not hudud. “For PAS, hudud must be implemented if Islam is part of the identity of Malaysia. “Many Muslims do not think that hudud is central to the identity of Muslims. “Some argue that hudud does not really define Islam or its identity,” he said.