'No khalwat raid' headline didn't come from my mouth - Mujahid
Published:  Oct 7, 2018 4:22 AM
Updated: 4:51 AM

De facto Islamic Affairs Minister Mujahid Yusof Rawa has denied telling a newspaper that vice raids by religious authorities investigating khalwat (close proximity) would be stopped. 

Mujahid insisted that the words used in the headline of a report in The Star yesterday – "No more night khalwat raids or intrusion into Muslims' private lives says Mujahid" – did not come from his mouth.

"I have never talked about the issue of knocking on doors at night being stopped... those were added by the editor who took their own assumption from my statements.

"Please refer to the interview inside the newspaper which shows more accurately what I meant to say," he told the Al-Hijrah television station.

"In my interview with The Star, what was mentioned in the headline did not come out from my mouth.

"I only spoke about the issue of offence, or what is said to be the public sphere and private sphere.

"I highlighted the abuse of power and intrusion into the private sphere, which does not reflect methods in Islamic teachings," he said.

The article drew mixed reactions, with some praising his stance and others accusing him of propagating maksiat (sinful activities).

More 'compassionate'

Religious NGO Nadwah Ulama Nahdhah Jadidah (Nunji) came to Mujahid's defence, saying that several phrases attributed to the minister in the report were the "mere interpretation and assumption" of the writer.

"The minister did not say that anti-vice operations must be stopped, but instead he stressed the difference between individual and public spheres from the perspective of the government's actions.

"The minister had also clarified on the reporter's question whether anti-vice officers would continue to break down doors and arrest those who commit maksiat.

"To this, the minister said he would advise state authoritative agencies under his purview to be more rahmah (compassionate) and berhikmah (wise) by not invading personal spheres," the statement read.

Nunji also said that all quarters are advised to be careful when reading news reports, and to check on its validity before spreading it to others.

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