In response to Nurul Izzah’s statement on 3rd November, ‘Timbalan Ketua Muslimat’ PAS, Dr. Siti Mariah Mahmud, made a statement on 7th November saying:
“Adalah satu tuduhan yang tak masuk akal menuduh seorang muslimah mukminah, yang solat, yang puasa, yang tutup aurat mengajak orang Melayu meninggalkan Islam dan menyokong orang Melayu Murtad.” (It is a nonsensical accusation to accuse a Muslimah Mukminah, who prays, fasts, (and) cover her aurahs to suggest to the Malays to leave Islam and support the Muslim apostates).
Is it true, Dr. Mariah? So what does a person who prays, fasts, (and) covers her aurahs meant when she says,“When you ask me, there is no compulsion in religion… how can anyone say, ‘Sorry, this (religious freedom) only applies to non-Malays’? It has to apply equally” ?
Please take a look at Prof. Dr. Musdah Mulia (I have no idea whether she really prays or fasts) but she wears hijab and dressed in Muslimah clothing. She claims to be a good Muslim and a popular ‘Muslim’ leader in Indonesia. She served as Senior Advisor of the Minister of Religious Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia from 2000 to 2007 and head of Research Division of The Council of Indonesian Ulema (MUI) from 2000 to 2005. She does looks like a great Muslim lady.
In February, 2010, the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy published an article ‘Ada Apa Dengan Kebebasan Agama’ (What is it with freedom of religion?) written by Dr. Musdah Mulia where it says:
“hak kebebasan beragama bersifat mutlak, berada di dalam forum internum yang merupakan wujud dari inner freedom (freedom to be), dan itu termasuk hak non-derogable (tak bisa ditangguhkan pemenuhannya oleh negara dalam keadaan apa pun)”
Even though Dr. Siti Musdah Mulia covers her aurah and wearing her hijab, she is a Liberal Muslim activist. In 2007, she received the International Women of Courage Award for her efforts on supporting human rights and liberalism, claiming that Islam accepts freedom in religion. As it was reported on The Jakarta Post on an article ‘Siti Musdah Mulia: A Courageous Woman’:
One of the rights she is fighting for is the state’s guarantee of freedom of religion. Musdah believes pluralism is a must to build the country.
“Pluralism is the key for the continuation of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia,” she said.
She is also known for supporting the LGBTs, claiming that they should be respected and dignified by Muslims. She promoted and supported the so called ‘Lesbian Muslim’, Irshad Manji, by calling her a ‘Muslimah Mujtahidah’. Two years earlier, the Jakarta Post published an article ‘Islam ‘Recognizes Homosexuality’, also featuring Musdah Mulia:
Moderate Muslim scholars said there were no reasons to reject homosexuals under Islam, and that the condemnation of homosexuals and homosexuality by mainstream ulema and many other Muslims was based on narrow-minded interpretations of Islamic teachings.
“There is no difference between lesbians and nonlesbians. In the eyes of God, people are valued based on their piety,” she told the discussion organized by nongovernmental organization Arus Pelang.
“The essence of the religion (Islam) is to humanize humans, respect and dignify them.”
Musdah said homosexuality was from God and should be considered natural, adding it was not pushed only by passion.
It is rather odd, if wearing a hijab is enough to show one’s faith and her understanding of Islam. After all, as Helen Ang had often pointed out, even Hannah Yeoh sometimes wears hijab. Or does that means she too would never “suggest the Malays to leave Islam and support the Muslim apostates”; especially since Hannah Yeoh is from PAS’s ally party DAP – the party led by non-Muslim leaders whom according to PAS’s spiritual leader understand Islam better than UMNO’s Muslim leaders?
I think that as a Muslim leader Dr. Mariah should understand the implications of Nurul Izzah’s words at the forum to the Muslims especially to the PR members and supporters who idolised Nurul Izzah. It is very important for Dr. Mariah to put Islam first in making any judgment and not making foolish statements just to show her support for Anwar’s Ibrahim’s daughter. Or maybe Dr. Mariah doesn’t know what she was saying when she made the statement. Either those or we’re going to hear about ‘Hannah Yeoh: An exemplary figure for Muslimah Mukminah’ from her soon.