TR02_130918_PAS_ BN201809127864

Caning ‘free marketing’ of Shariah law, says PAS

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KUALA LUMPUR — PAS Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Mahfodz Mohamed said the controversial caning of two lesbians in the Terengganu Shariah High Court can be viewed as “free marketing” as to what Islamic administration entails.

In his opening speech at the ulama convention in conjunction with PAS’ 57th muktamar (general assembly) in Kuala Terengganu yesterday, Mahfodz said while some criticised the decision, there were also many who applauded the punishment upon further understanding.

“The caning in Terengganu was an eye-opener to some, who learned some valuable lessons on the beauty of Islam. Of course, some were against it and even questioned the punishment, but our duty is to give the best explanation from a religious viewpoint,” he said.

“Not everyone is against it. Therefore, this can be viewed as free marketing, especially since it was conducted in Terengganu but it managed to get the whole
nation talking.”

The opening of the muktamar was telecast live from the venue at a hotel in Kuala Terengganu over social media.

On Sept 3, two women found guilty for attempted lesbian sex were caned six times in public at the Terengganu Shariah
High Court.

The punishment was widely criticised and included comments from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who was among party leaders and state muftis to respond, insisted that Islamic caning is not meant to torture but to educate
the offenders.

Mahfodz, in his keynote address, also stressed that PAS will continue to put religion on the forefront of its fights.

“PAS has been consistent with our stance that Islam is of utmost priority. Only with Islam and the implementation of Shariah laws will God grace us with His blessings,” he said.

Yesterday’s ulama convention was the curtain-raiser to the four-day muktamar.

The PAS Youth wing later convened at the Duyong Marina and Resort on Pulau Duyong.