'Muslims must follow political practices outlined by Islam'
KUALA LUMPUR - Muslim politicians and party supporters must practise political concepts, morals and etiquette that fall in line with Syariah requirements, and not manipulate the religion to serve their own interest, academician Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Osman Bakar said.
The philosopher and holder of the Al-Ghazali Chair at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (ISTAC), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) said that democracy, in principle, does not conflict with Islamic teachings.
Politicians, he said, must have a good understanding of political methods organised by religion.
He said in Islam, the practice of politics is based on syariah values that emphasise the struggle for truth, justice and community welfare, in addition to having respect for one another.
"Islam is a complete religion and perfect in its teachings, covering all areas of life including politics.
"We proclaim that we follow the sunnah (traditions and practices), but when it comes to politics, we are reluctant to do so... and that is not right,” he said when appearing on Bernama TV’s ‘Malaysia Petang Ini’ programme today.
In the context of the upcoming state elections, Osman said voters, meanwhile, must take guidance and deepen their understanding of Islam as well as political systems in order not to be misled by those who resort to using religious sentiments to gain votes.
"The Prophet Muhammad taught his followers that politics is always subject to the will of religion. Not the other way around as that already contradicts the syariah.
"They (voters) must know how to recognise those who only want to use religion. If we can’t distinguish between religion and politics, then we will be easily misled,” he said.
Prof Osman also suggested that some form of political education be introduced at all levels of the education system to cultivate political awareness, which he said will have positive effects in the long term. - BERNAMA