Some religious scholars are cherry-picking from the Holy Quran and Hadith for their own benefit, says International Islamic University (IIUM)’s assistant professor Abu Hafiz Salleh Hudin.
Hafiz said this when speaking at a book launch titled “Corruption and Hypocrisy in Malay Muslim Politics: The Urgency of Moral-Ethical Transformation”. The book, written by Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Kamal Hassan, was launched by the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah.
Elaborating further, Hafiz said that some well-known religious scholars are defending perpetrators of 1MDB by taking certain parts of the religion as justification.
For example, he said they sympathise with those faced with hardships but they forget that the same people have committed bigger crimes.
“The scholars now only speak of things when it benefits them,” he said.
Hafiz then said not many preachers have the guts to speak openly against corruption and urge people to understand corruption.
“Even though we have to respect these scholars but that doesn’t mean we have to be silent against the mistakes done by these scholars,” he said.
He also mentioned that recent studies by public university students found that if scholars could gain from corruption, it is likely that they will take it.
Hafiz then called on youngsters to go through elections and break the cycle of corruption by becoming policy-makers.
Meanwhile, Hafiz said Tan Sri Prof Dr Mohd Kamal Hassan’s book, ‘Corruption and Hypocrisy in Malay Muslim Politics – The Urgency of Moral-Ethical Transformation’ is considered bold, and the word hypocrite or ‘Munafik’ used in the book has weight.
On the other hand, Professor of Islamic Architecture of UCSI University Prof Tajudin Rasdi said corruption is not a problem but a symptom as the issue was over the understanding of what democracy and nation-building mean.
“We are treating symptoms; we are not treating the problem. The real problem is that you don’t understand nation-building, which means we are a family, different in terms of culture and race,” he said.
To him, democracy means the prime minister and the chief secretary of state are here to serve the rakyat. Thus, he said the people need to know that they are responsible for nation-building and the money is their money and not the government’s.