Press Statement by Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir in response to ISMA’s allegation

I regret that ISMA is maintaining its stand in slandering me in their flyers by calling me a ‘mastermind’ behind COMANGO. Further it is maintaining its bully tactics by twisting my words in my last statement.

I am indeed a proud member of Sisters in Islam which for twenty years has fought for justice and equality for Muslim women in Malaysia. When we first established ourselves, we were among the first women’s groups that insisted on referring to the Quran and the Sunnah for the ethical principles underlying our fight for justice for women. Today our work has inspired many other women’s groups working in Muslim countries because we all believe that the message of the Quran is about justice and equality.

This is the basis of my beliefs, that all human beings are created by the One God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Beneficient and Most Merciful. I believe that unlike human beings, God makes no mistakes and therefore he creates each human being as He wants them to be. It is therefore our role to respect God’s decisions and His creations and the imperative  is for us to treat each and everyone of God’s creations with respect, dignity and humaneness, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation and disability.

As God said in Surah Al-Hujurat, Verse 13:
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.

I reiterate that ISMA is spreading a falsehood by saying that I am a mastermind behind COMANGO. I was indeed well aware that SIS is a part of Comango and was certainly well aware of the report Comango was preparing for the UPR process. But I never attended any meetings nor was personally involved in the production of the report, which is only one of 28 NGO reports on human rights in Malaysia. As anyone should know,  NGO reports are part and parcel of the UN review process and there is nothing unusual about the Comango report. I know the report, I support it not least because it is nothing that ISMA says it is, as anyone who would care to read it on the Office of the Commission on Human Rights website would know.

It is therefore disengenuous of ISMA to claim that Comango is deliberately going overseas to destroy the image of Malaysia and of Islam. The world actually already knows what goes on in Malaysia via the Internet. As Comngo has already pointed out, Malaysia regularly attends UN meetings to report on its progress in meeting its obligations under various UN treaties and conventions. In many instances, it takes the UN recommendations and implements them. One very recent example is the 30% allocation for women on company Boards, recommended under the UN Convention for the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

ISMA is refusing to acknowledge that they have printed and distributed 70,000 flyers which contain a falsehood about me. This is my complaint. It is disingenuous of ISMA to try and distract from this issue.

Surah Al-Hujurat Verse 12 states:
O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

This is the Islam of my faith. I would hope it is also ISMA’s.

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