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Ahmad Farouk MusaKUALA LUMPUR, Aug 26 — The Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) questioned today if Malaysia was trying to emulate pagans by dismissing new ideas on Islam, after the religious authorities accused it of deviance at a recent seminar.

The Muslim group pointed out that when Prophet Muhammad preached to the Meccans about monotheism, they had accused him of heresy.

“What is wrong in listening to different narratives? Does Jakim think that Muslims in this country are so stupid that they cannot think on their own?” IRF founder Ahmad Farouk Musa told Malay Mail Online.

“IRF believes in intellectual discourse and critical thinking. That is why our tagline is ‘Li qaumin yatafakkarun’ — for people who think. The whole idea is about thinking and rethinking. Any ideas should be discussed intellectually, not emotionally,” he added.

Jakim director-general Tan Sri Othman Mustapha accused IRF and G25, a pro-moderation group of retired civil servants, of trying to bring in liberal and deviant ideas into the country, highlighting Muslim scholar Mun’im Sirry’s purported remarks on the origins of the Quran at a seminar they organised last Saturday on moderation in the Quran.

The assistant professor in theology from the University of Notre Dame, a US university located in Indiana, reportedly highlighted a suggestion that the Muslim holy book may not have originated from Mecca.

Muslims believe that God delivered the Quran over a period of time through the Angel Gabriel orally to the Prophet Muhammad in his birth place in Mecca, and later in Medina after he migrated.