Mufti mis­quoted, says dept

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: The Fed­eral Ter­ri­to­ries Is­lamic Re­li­gious Depart­ment (Jawi) yes­ter­day clar­i­fied re­ports over Mus­lims risk­ing com­mit­ting close prox­im­ity when us­ing Uber or Grab ser­vices.

Its spokesman, Mo­hamad Razif Mo­hamad Fuad, said Fed­eral Ter­ri­to­ries Mufti Datuk Dr Zulk­i­fli Mo­hamad Al-Bakri was mis­quoted by media that had picked up the state­ment from Jawi’s web­site.

He said the state­ment was made to an­swer one of the ques­tions posted by peo­ple on Jawi’s Face­book page.

“The mufti did not clas­sify us­ing Uber or Grab ser­vices as com­mit­ting close prox­im­ity. He was giv­ing guide- lines for Uber pas­sen­gers and driv­ers, who were un­cer­tain if they were com­mit­ting the of­fence.”

He said the state­ment posted on Mon­day listed rec­om­men­da­tions for pas­sen­gers and driv­ers who were not com­fort­able to be in a ve­hi­cle with the op­po­site gen­der. “He ad­vised pas­sen­gers to can­cel the book­ing if they are not com­fort­able. For driv­ers, they can re­quest their pas­sen­ger to sit at the back and limit con­ver­sa­tion with their pas­sen­ger. Driv­ers were ad­vised not to take iso­lated routes to avoid mis­un­der­stand­ing.”

Razif said the guide­lines were not an edict (fatwa) and was merely the mufti’s opin­ion.

On Tues­day, sev­eral por­tals high­lighted that trav­el­ling by Uber or Grab was akin to com­mit­ting khalwat, or close prox­im­ity, based on the mufti’s state­ment. The state­ment has since re­ceived neg­a­tive feed­back from Ne­ti­zens.

“These peo­ple re­ally hu­mil­i­ate the fol­low­ers of Is­lam. Have some faith in fel­low Mus­lims!” said Face­book user Regi­nald Ho Chun Yoon.

Sariah Os­man, how­ever, said this was not an is­sue as women usu­ally sit in the back seat.

Datuk Dr Zulk­i­fli Mo­hamad Al-Bakri

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