Unity, resilience needed against anti-Islam groups
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Minister of Religious Affairs has called for unity to stay powerful and resilient against anti-Islam groups.
“It is unity that brought us to uphold the religion of Allah (SWT). However, if our unity is weak, even if we are big in numbers, chaos can happen easily,” said Yang Berhormat Pg Dato Seri Setia Dr Hj Mohammad Pg Hj Abdul Rahman.
In the final part of his interview with state broadcaster Radio Televisyen Brunei, the minister said if voices were unanimous and united in trusting Allah SWT, the country would be resilient.
He added that challenges and questions arise due to the lack of understanding of Syariah law by certain groups.
On October 22 last year, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam announced that Brunei would enforce the Syariah Penal Code in April.
The minister said there was a strong and close relationship between Islam, as the official religion of the country, and the Syariah Penal Code.
The minister said Brunei’s Syariah law was part of the plan to strengthen spread of Islam as the country’s official religion, based on the teachings of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah under mazhab Shafie (school of thought), as stated in the 1959 Brunei Constitution.
“The Brunei Constitution has existed since 1959, there should not be any issue now as we are merely realising what was contained in the constitution,” he said.
Pg Dato Dr Hj Mohammad said: “The enactment of the Penal Code is based on Al-Quran and Sunnah as its main source, however the basis of its details is based on the understanding of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah.
“Priority is given to the views and opinions of the mazhab Al-Shafiee.
However, opinions of other mazhab within the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah -such as mazhab Hanafi, Maliki, and Hanbali — are also taken into consideration and referred to when appropriate.
The minister acknowledged that comprehensive and clear dissemination of information was needed to address the negative perceptions related to Syariah law and to remove doubts and misunderstandings.
In light of this, the Knowledge Convention in October gathered local and international religious experts , including State Mufti Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia (Dr) Hj Abdul Aziz Juned.
Smaller knowledge conventions and roadshows were also held at educational institutions, which he said had received good response from every level of the community.
Such programmes will continue with hopes that it would eliminate the negative perceptions on Syariah law, he added.
The minister said a committee had been set up to promote public awareness and understanding, co-chaired by the Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister's Office and Minister of Religious Affairs.
The committee members had been formed under the Prime Minister's Office to coordinate and organise the activities.
The Brunei Times