The Al-Islahiah Mosque in Kuang, Rawang is firmly standing behind its former imam who waterboarded a 19-year-old boy for stealing money
The mosque committee has reportedly said that they will not issue an open apology following a public outcry over Ustaz Dahlan's controversial method of punishment meted out to 19-year-old Daniel Iskandar.
One of the committee members claims that they have met with Daniel's father and that he has no problem with them. However, this claim is disputed by Daniel's grandfather, Rosli Sidek, who said that the father has demanded an apology from the mosque for humiliating his son and also wants to take legal action.
"He wants to sue. He has engaged a lawyer," Rosli was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.
While the imam has resigned after he was directed by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS), the mosque committee has refused to acknowledge that the punishment was unjustified
They, in fact, do not consider the punishment — which saw a group of adults physically restraining Daniel to a mortuary bed and the Iman dousing him with running pipe water — to be a form of abuse.
According to one of the committee members, they wanted to teach the boy a lesson.
"Our intention was to help the boy, but the one who made it an issue was the person who shared the video and caused it to go viral," Free Malaysia Today quoted him as saying.
The committee member also expressed hope that the imam will be allowed to return.
"We just want to resolve this, as it will embarrass the entire village. Even when we are telling the truth, outsiders have a negative impression of us."
Meanwhile, it's not just the mosque committee standing behind the Iman, Daniel's mother has also reportedly expressed her support, saying she is grateful towards Ustaz Dahlan for "cleansing" her son
According to the mother, JAIS should not have asked Dahlan to resign without investigating the matter thoroughly, and they should have also reached out to the family before penalising the imam.
"Our Ustaz didn't do anything wrong. In fact, we are grateful. And we agreed for Daniel to be cleansed," she said, arguing that Dahlan was trying to make her son repent.
Daniel, on the other hand, will now be seeking a judicial review of his 10 days in jail sentence and the RM4,000 fine after pleading guilty
The Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association (PPMM) has released a statement today, 15 January, saying that the review proceedings will take place at the Shah Alam High Court on Monday, 17 January.
During the judicial review, the 19-year-old will be represented by Hariz Syakinah & Co.
"The association refers to various versions of facts and narratives related to Daniel's background and the said incident. In our view, it is not very healthy in terms of justice and in Daniel's interest, nor for any linked parties to put it up on social media. This is especially in respect of the proceedings that will take place at the Shah Alam High Court next Monday," PPMM said, adding that everyone is refrained from issuing statements that could be misleading until the proceedings are completed.