Nasruddin says verses in Quran pertaining to Islam and religious freedom should be understood clearly (Photo by Hussein Shaharuddin/ The Mole)
KUALA LUMPUR: Pas Youth head Nasruddin Hassan Tantawi says Islam does not advocate religious freedom for Muslims but the religion also prohibits any form of compulsion for non-Muslims.
Speaking to The Mole, Nasruddin said: “Islam has never advocated religious freedom as the believers should accept that the religion is the only truth.”
“Thus someone who is born as a Muslim, he or she should embrace the religion, practice and defend it.”
Nasruddin in his blog post cited a verse from Quran (Al Anaam: 153) stating that there is no religious freedom and freedom to choose for a born Muslim, except to surrender himself to Allah.
He explained that the verse in Al-Baqarah: 256 is specific in detailing that Islam should not be forced to non-Muslims and Islam has advocated freedom for Muslims and non-Muslims to practice one’s own religion.
“That is what it meant. We should be able to understand these verses clearly,” Nasruddin added.
His comments was a stark contrast with a statement made by Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar in a public forum recently.
Nurul Izzah in response to a question on whether freedom of religion should be applied to Malays had said:
“And when you ask me, there is no compulsion in religion, even Dr (Ahmad) Farouk (Musa) quoted that verse in the Quran.
“How can you ask me or anyone, how can anyone really say, 'Sorry, this only apply to non-Malays.' It has to apply equally.”
Nasruddin however declined to comment on remarks made by Nurul Izzah, saying he has yet to listen and read the whole transcript.
Nurul Izzah who is also the MP for Lembah Pantai was heavily criticised following her statement by the media and her liberal-minded supporters.
In return, she had lodged a report to Selangor Religious Department (Jais) and confirmed that she will proceed with legal suits against Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian and a few other organisations for defamatory reports about her.
Lawyer Siti Kassim is reportedly disappointed that Nurul Izzah has retracted her remarks on religious freedom.
“In the following days she ‘retracted’ her remark, and said she did not support apostasy. But indirectly when you say you support freedom of religion, and if Malay wants to get out from Islam, that’s apostasy,” Siti was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile Jati president Datuk Hasan Ali believes that Nurul Izzah’s statement is politically motivated to woo non-Muslim voters especially in Sabah and Sarawak.
The Gombak Setia state assemblyman had previously commented that Nurul Izzah’s remarks has big implication to Muslims in the country.