Hadi to defy ban on political talks

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Saying there is nothing wrong with Muslim politicians delivering sermons in mosques or surau, Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang says he will continue doing so despite the ban in Terengganu.

The PAS president said it was important to speak up on various matters, including politics.

“I will keep giving my sermons as usual in surau and mosques. We have to understand…when we talk about Islam, we cannot separate politics from religion,” the Marang MP told a press conference in Rusila, a video of which was posted on his Facebook page on Saturday.

He was asked about the ban and if he would direct PAS leaders and members to stop giving sermons.

“We are talking about Islam. In Islam, there is politics. There is nothing wrong,” he replied.


Abdul Hadi said there were similar rulings issued in the 1960s to prevent houses of worship from being abused for partisan politics.

Last Friday, the Terengganu Islamic and Malay Customs Council (Maidam) issued an order prohibiting religious lectures, talks and political activities by politicians in all mosques and surau statewide.

Its president Datuk Shaikh Harun Shaikh Ismail said the ban covered all assemblymen, MPs and members of the Dewan Negara.

He said to uphold the sanctity of mosques and surau, which were also a symbol of the unification of Muslims, they could not be misused for political purposes that could cause tension in the community.

“Terengganu Ruler Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin expressed sadness at the involvement of a few politicians who delivered lectures, talks and religious teachings, as well as acting as preachers and imams for Friday prayers, without Maidam’s permission.

“His Royal Highness wants the mosques and surau to function well, benefit the local community and not be contaminated by political elements,” Shaikh Harun said in a statement.

In addition to the ban, he said all elected representatives and politicians were also not allowed to serve as imams and khatibs in mosques and surau in the state.

In fact, he said all mosque and surau committee chairmen and members needed to ensure that invited speakers, lecturers, teaching staff and Friday prayers preachers had credentials or approvals issued by Maidam.

“All political party leaders and activists are also not allowed to deliver any talks, lectures or religious teachings in Terengganu, except for those who are certified or with the permission of Maidam.

“Any religious programme organised by government agencies, statutory bodies, subsidiaries of state companies and non-governmental organisations, held in agency buildings or public places, must ensure that speakers, lecturers or panellists invited obtain approval from Maidam,” Shaikh Harun added.