IGP: Turkish writer held for religious offence, not security reasons

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said today that his agency was unfairly blamed for the detention of Akyol, who has since left the country. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said today that his agency was unfairly blamed for the detention of Akyol, who has since left the country. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 — Police were merely aiding religious authorities by detaining Turkish author Mustafa Akyol, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun explained today.

According to the Malaysiakini news portal, Fuzi said his agency was unfairly blamed for the detention of Akyol, who has since left the country.

“We facilitated the arrest. That is all. We are not the party interested in (Akyol),” he was quoted as saying by the portal.

When pressed to say if police ever considered Akyol a security risk, Fuzi said he did not think the writer was “much of a threat”.

Akyol, author of Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty, a 2011 book that argues for Islamic liberalism, was detained by the police last Monday after Immigration authorities prevented him from boarding his flight.

He spoke at a roundtable discussion at the Royal Selangor Golf Club about apostasy and gave a public lecture at the Renaissance Hotel here about the relevance of democracy the night before.

The writer was released after Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) questioned him for allegedly preaching without its credentials.

Akyol was later released and allowed to leave the country.