KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — Turkish writer Mustafa Akyol’s book was banned by the Home Ministry before he was detained last week by Malaysian Islamic authorities for a talk on the commonalities between the Abrahamic religions.
A federal government gazette dated September 26 announced that Akyol’s book, Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case For Liberty, has been prohibited.
The gazette was signed by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on September 6, under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984
The Malay translation of the book, Islam Tanpa Keekstreman: Berhujah Untuk Kebebasan, was similarly banned.
And now... Malaysian authorities ban my book, "Islam without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty," which was published in Malay a year ago. pic.twitter.com/a704FbIXe7— Mustafa Akyol (@AkyolinEnglish) October 3, 2017
The reason given was reportedly because the book may “alarm the public” and was “prejudicial to public interest”.
On September 24, Akyol 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 journalist was later detained by the police on an order by the Federal Territories Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi), but was later released after former Turkish president Abdullah Gul pulled some strings with a Malaysian royalty.
Ahmad Farouk Musa, the founder of Islamic Renaissance Front that organised the event, was summoned to appear at the Shariah court yesterday for allegedly “abetting” Akyol who was accused of giving a religious talk without accreditation.
Two of Farouk’s books — Wacana Pemikiran Reformis Jilid 1 and Wacana Pemikiran Reformis Jilid 2 — have also been banned via a federal gazette issued on September 28.