State mufti to talk about human rights

National 2 minutes, 38 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

ISLAM provides an inclusive environment of fairness and justice that does not merely take into account basic human rights, but the rights of the environment, government and of Allah SWT, said the state mufti.

Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr Ustaz Hj Abdul Aziz Juned said it is not only man who must be taken care of, but all existing entities.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, the state mufti said he would be talking on universal human rights from the perspective of Islam at a forum in Kuala Lumpur.

He said Islam is much broader, transcending all existing perspectives on human rights.

“We will look at a few examples which have already happened. For example, people only see basic human rights as limited to the individual freedom of expression and the rights to democracy,” said the state mufti.

“For example, conventional pawn broking applies riba (interest) which means the eventual amount paid back to the broker will far exceed the value of the item pawned. Under pajak gadai Islam (Islamic pawn broking), the client will only pay back the original value.

“If you are unable to redeem or pay the amount, the item will be sold or auctioned for a fair price. Any amount gained from that exceeding the value will be paid to the owner… The risk of loss to the client under conventional pawn broking is so high,” he explained.

“That is the problem with conventional systems. The effect is not only on a person, but also on a country. They will be in debt and will always continue to be in debt because the interest will always exceed the capital. A cycle of owing against debt,” he added.

When asked about possible objections from organisations expected to attend the forum, such as the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (COMANGO), the state mufti said there was no intention to defend Brunei’s presentation.

“We do not intend to “do battle” with any quarter in explaining our perspectives of rights based on Islam. We only want to expose the facts under Islam… people only see human rights as the responsibility of man towards man.”

He added there would be no discussions at the forum on hudud punishments and its possible implementation in Malaysian states, referring to recent statements made in the media about Kelantan using Brunei as a model for Syariah and hudud.

“We don’t know about their issues, just as they do not know about ours. We will not be discussing that topic as it is unrelated. However, I do not know if others will bring it up,” he said.

He also said there was also no intention yet for Brunei to organise a multi-religious platform for discussion, as is commonly done in Malaysia.

Pehin Dato Dr Ustaz Hj Abdul Aziz is one of the guest members on a panel which features former Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Abd Hamid Mohamad, and Perak’s Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir.

The forum, themed Channel for Global Wisdom of Universal Fundamental Rights, aimed to introduce the concept of universal fundamental rights as a necessary component in justice.

The Brunei Times