Malaysia: Books seized, publisher in court-Free Malaysia Today

June 10, 2012

Jais seizes Manji’s book, publisher taken to court

Free Malaysia Today: May 29, 2012

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Free translations of the author’s The Trouble With Islam Today in censored languages Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Bahasa Melayu, Bahasa Indonesia here:

Jais officers raided the publishing office this morning and seized 180 copies of Allah, “Liberty & Love” which were translated in Malay.

The state religious authorities raided a publishing office and confiscated copies of a book penned by liberal Canadian Muslim author Irshad Manji.

ZI Publications director Ezra Zaid confirmed that the officers seized 180 copies of Manji’s “Allah, Liberty & Love”, which was translated into Malay.

Some 20 officers from the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) were involved in this morning’s raid.

In a message on micro-blogging website Twitter, Erza said:”Selangor getting in on the act. Jais have just dropped by office. In a group of 20 (fashionable that way). Taking books, and maybe me too,” he said in his tweet.

Speaking to FMT later, Ezra said: “I can’t say much at this moment. Let’s follow rule of law, everything will take it’s due course. It is disappointing but we will take action as and when necessary. We will consider legal action as well. I’m on the way to Shah Alam right now.”

In another twitter message, he said: “Will be brought to Shah Alam; most likely to be charged. This is under Enakmen Tatacara Jenayah Syariah (Sgor) 2003 subseksyen 47 (1)… specifically, its Kesalahan Penerbitan Agama yg bertentangan dgn Hukum Syara’ — Seksyen 16 1(a) or (b).”

Public alarm

Earlier this month, the Federal Territory Religious Department (Jawi) raided bookshops in the city to confiscate Manji’s book, which has been banned under the syariah law.

The book is deemed to have violated Section 13 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territory) 1997. The section prohibits publishing, broadcasting, recording, distributing, spreading and keeping any publications contrary to Islamic law.

Later, on May 24, Home Ministry reportedly banned the book, including its Malay translation “Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta.”

Deputy Minister Abu Seman Yusop was quoted as saying that the ban was taken as the content of the book could “create public alarm and be prejudicial to public security and order”, under Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.


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