And He has subjected to you as from Him all that is in the heavens and on earth: behold in that are Signs indeed for those who reflect.
Surah Al-Jathiyah [45:13] – Al-Qur’an al-Kareem (Yusuf Ali)
My concern with the developments around the Hudud debate is not so much with the bill itself but with the idea of locus standi to speak on the matter. It is a matter of deep concern to me that some of my fellows hold that a non-muslim Malaysian has no place to comment and to suggest because the bill does not affect them directly. To the non-muslims who speak up I want to say, temper your utterences as this does not indeed concern us directly and the very sacred heart of another community is at stake. I for one, do understand the indignance and the offence taken by muslims, given that some of the insensitive, misguided and even misleading expressions against Hudud. My own approach to commentary on this matter is reticent, oblique and I pray, respectful. Still, I feel that I am obliged to say to my Muslim fellows that it is not in keeping with my understanding of the traditional Islamic approach to knowledge to stifle inquiry and reflection. Regardless of whence the signs emerge and whither their orientation, they must surely be seen as sources of knowledge, as ‘Signs for those who reflect’.