Malaysia Dateline

Mufti of Pahang remarks DAP as 'kafir harbi' sparks controversy.

Kafir harbi, dhimmi not relevant in modern times, say Muslim professionals

A group of Muslim professionals today said terms such as “kafir harbi” (warring infidels) and “kafir dhimmi” (disbelievers living under Islamic state) are outdated and not relevant in the modern political structure.

Muslim Professionals Forum (MPF) said the term “kafir harbi”, used by the Pahang mufti on those who oppose PAS’s plan to introduce legislations to pave the way for hudud, imprlied that someone could be legitimately killed due to their agression against the Islamic state.

“Hence, declaring certain individuals or groups in Malaysia kafir harbi tantamounts to legitimizing the ISIS discourse and would potentially open the floodgates of violent acts on Malaysian soil,” it said in a statement.

Pahang mufti Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Osman has refused to apologise for his remarks, and insisted what he said was a fatwa even if it was not gazetted.

He had earlier called DAP and anyone opposing the PAS bill as “kafir harbi”, drawing strong reactions from various groups.

MPF said Muslims scholars agree that the term kafir harbi itself was outdated and not applicable in the context of modern Muslim state.

“Many contemporary Muslim scholars, the likes of Shaikh Muhammad Abu Zahrah, Shaikh Abdullah Bayyah, Yusuf Qaradawi, Sheikh Wahbah al-Zuhayli, Dr Fahmi Huwaidi and Dr Muhammad Emarah Shakh have opined that the categories of kafir harbi and kafir dhimmi are no longer relevant and applicable within the socio-political structure of the modern world today,” it said, adding that the exceptions were groups such as al-Qaeda, Isis and Boko Haram who still use the terms.

MPF expressed regret that “the actions of the few in our country” had tarnished the image of the Prophet as a mercy upon mankind.

“Peaceful co-existence and harmonious cohesion with other religious communities has been well documented in Islamic history since the Prophet began his call to Islam in Makkah and unfolded one of the greatest political documents in human history, Sahifah al-Madinah or the constitution of Madinah (622 AD),” it said, adding that similar examples could be found during the Muslim rule in Spain.