KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — The Home Ministry recently banned books by two local Muslim scholars that are seen as progressive, as well as another book by a famous novelist.
In a series of eight federal gazettes just published last Thursday, the Home Ministry announced that it had, on September 6, banned Malay-language publication “Ulama Yang Bukan Pewaris Nabi” by independent preacher Wan Ji Wan Hussin.
Wan Ji, a popular preacher who hails from Kelantan, was just appointed last Thursday as an information officer for the Penang Chief Minister’s Office.
The Home Ministry also announced its September 6 ban of two Malay-language books published by Muslim think tank Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) and authored by the latter’s founder Ahmad Farouk Musa: “Wacana Pemikiran Reformis (Jilid 1)” and “Wacana Pemikiran Reformis (Jilid 2)”.
Ahmad Farouk was yesterday summoned by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (JAWI) to appear at the Kuala Lumpur Shariah Court on December 4 for allegedly abetting Turkish writer Mustafa Akyol.
Akyol, who was last week detained by JAWI after giving a talk at a IRF-organised forum here before his release without being charged, also saw two of his books banned.
In one of the gazetted orders, the Home Ministry banned Akyol’s 2011 English-language book “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty”, and its Malay-language translation “Islam Tanpa Keekstreman: Berhujah untuk Kebebasan” that was published by IRF and which Ahmad Farouk had co-edited. The Malay version was launched last January.
A Malay-language book titled “AKU___, MAKA AKU ADA!” by local novelist Faisal Tehrani was similarly banned. Faisal, whose actual name is Mohd Faizal Musa, had won awards for his works but some of his publications have been banned in Malaysia.
The ministry also banned 10 translated versions of the Quran in Bahasa Malaysia, English, Mandarin and Korean by several local publishers, as well as an English-language book called “Tantra: The Search for Ecstasy” by Indra Sinha.
It also banned three Indonesian-language books, including one titled “Islam Kemodernan dan Keindonesiaan”, and a book in the Malay language.
The eight orders for the book bans that were all dated September 6 were signed off by Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi in exercise of his powers under Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act.
According to all eight gazetted orders, the printing, importing, distribution, selling and ownership of the undesirable publications listed were “absolutely prohibited” in Malaysia as they were allegedly “likely to be prejudicial to public order”, as well as “likely to alarm public opinion” and be “prejudicial to public interest”.