SHAH ALAM, Nov 29 — The local chapter of hardline Islamist group Hizbut Tahrir Malaysia applied today for a judicial review to challenge Selangor’s fatwa that declared the group as “deviant”.
The pro-Caliphate movement’s spokesman Abdul Hakim Othman said the judicial review, which was filed at the Shah Alam Shariah High Court, is seeking seven demands, among others is for the fatwa to be retracted.
“The fatwa is full of slander, lies, deceit and confusion about Hizbut Tahrir,” Abdul Hakim told reporters after filing the judicial review.
Abdul Hakim also named Selangor Mufti Datuk Seri Mohd Tamyes Abd Wahid, Selangor Fatwa Committee, Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais), and the state’s Islamic Religious Department (Jais) as respondents.
He said the case has been set for mention on December 21.
The group said it is seeking for the first two respondents, the Selangor Mufti and Selangor Fatwa Committee, to publish a public apology to the group in the country's main newspapers and other publications that had published the edict, which was gazetted on September 17, 2015.
Abdul Hakim said the group had sought meetings with Jais and the Mufti’s department, but was not allowed to argue its case.
“With this judicial review, I believe the court will give us the space to produce our arguments and the truth will prevail,” he said.
He added that among the reasons the application was filed at a Shariah High Court was to expedite the whole process.
Judicial reviews against Islamic agencies’ decisions and fatwas are usually filed in civil courts.
The Selangor Fatwa Committee last year said followers of the group who continue to spread their ideologies and teachings in the state would face legal action.
It also listed several reasons for declaring the group deviant, including its labelling of MPs, rulers and Islamic scholars here as infidels for accepting and following a government system that it claims to be against God’s will.
The edict said that all Muslims, whether as individuals or as a group, are prohibited from partaking in and accepting the teachings of Hizbut Tahrir, including celebrating festivities that are linked to the movement, practising and spreading Hizbut Tahrir ideologies in Selangor, as well joining groups that aim to invigorate the movement.
It also said that Muslims are prohibited from spreading the group’s teachings and the like in printed materials as well as on social media platforms like blogs, Facebook, Twitter and others.