KUALA LUMPUR, May 13 ― Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz’s three-year ordeal has finally ended after the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI) dropped its prosecution against the Borders bookstore manager over a banned book.
Nik Raina’s lawyer Rosli Dahlan confirmed that JAWI withdrew its appeal at the Federal Territory Shariah Court of Appeal Monday against his client’s discharge not amounting to acquittal of selling a book deemed to be contrary to Islamic laws.
“I’m happy for Nik Raina and I commend her employers for standing by her through these difficult times,” Rosli told Malay Mail Online today, citing Yau Su Peng, the chief operating officer of Borders’ operator Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd, and Berjaya Group CEO Datuk Seri Robin Tan.
“Not many employers will spend substantial cost and expense to do that, especially when they are defending the rights of Muslim/ Malay staff. I am disappointed that the Malay/ Muslim rights groups did not come to Nik’s defence or assistance,” he added.
JAWI had arrested Nik Raina in 2012 well before Irshad Manji’s “Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta” book was banned, later charging her over the selling of the Malay translation that the Islamic authority considered to be against Islamic laws.
Nik Raina’s lawyers threatened last Tuesday to cite JAWI for contempt of court if the Islamic authority pursues the case against the 39-year-old.
The notice to withdraw the appeal of Nik Raina’s discharge was issued on May 11 by Federal Territory Chief Sharie Prosecutor Mohammad Adib Husain.
The civil High Court and the Court of Appeal had earlier ruled in Nik Raina’s favour, while the Shariah High Court discharged her in February from the charge that could have landed her in jail for up to two years or resulted in a RM3,000 fine.
But JAWI filed for appeal in the Shariah Court of Appeal on March 9.
On June 19 2012, Nik Raina was charged under Section 13 (1) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territory) Act with allegedly selling and distributing a book that is contrary to Islamic laws.