PAS has been urged to reconsider its position and to retract its call for the ban on Sisters in Islam (SIS), a coalition of non-governmental organisations said Saturday.
The joint statement, signed by 42 NGOs including SIS, said they were deeply disturbed by PAS calling for SIS to be banned and its members rehabilitated should its activities be determined to be contrary to the Islamic syariah.
The statement added that demanding for action against SIS was not easily reconciled with PAS’ public rhetoric in favour of a more democratic and inclusive Malaysia.
“On the contrary, the demand is wholly anti-democratic. Though members of PAS are entitled to their views, the call for the banning of SIS is wholly unacceptable.”
The statement said as a matter of principle, the question of banning any organisation purely for their views should not arise at all.
“Differences of views must be respected and, if at all, be resolved through constructive engagement.”
The statement added that just like how PAS had the freedom to associate and to express views, the members of SIS, or any other organisation are equally guaranteed the same freedom.
“The call to silence SIS and send its members for rehabilitation is an act of violence against those freedom and their constitutional underpinnings.”
Other NGOs who signed the statement include the Bar Council Human Rights Committee, Aliran, Suaram, Centre for Independent Journalism and DAP Socialist Youth.
The statement was signed by:
Amnesty International Malaysia
Asian-Pacific Resource and Research Centre for Women (ARROW)
All Women’s Action Society (AWAM) Bar Council Human Rights Committee
Bus Users Group, Penang
Cakap Rakyat Group
Centre for Independent Journalism
Civil Society Committee Of LLG Cultural
Development Centre (LLGCSC)
Civil Society Initiative For Parliamentary
DAP Socialist Youth
Five Arts Centre
Group Of Concerned Citizens And Monitoring
Sustainability Of Globalisation
Health Equity Initiatives
Instant Cafe Theatre
National Institute for Electoral Integrity
PBT (Persatuan Bahasa Tionghua) USM
Perak Women For Women Society (PWW)
Persatuan Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower)
Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor & Wilayah
Persatuan Sahabat Wanita Selangor
Sarawak Women For Women Society
Sekretariat Anak Muda Malaysia
Sisters In Islam (SIS)
SOS (Save Ourselves), Penang
SUARA RAKYAT MALAYSIA (SUARAM)
The Fahmina-institute Cirebon
The KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
The Micah Mandate
Women’s Centre For Change (WCC) Penang
Women’s Learning Partnership (WLP)
Worker Hub For Change (WH4C)
Writer Alliance For Media Independence (WAMI)