KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 ― Turkish author Mustafa Akyol’s book was banned by the Home Ministry as it was against so-called societal norms here, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.

The Home minister explained that after reviewing the book titled Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty, it was prohibited as the facts in it were allegedly not suitable for Malaysians.

“The book we have banned from an international author as there were many facts in the book which were not suitable to the societal norms here,” Ahmad Zahid told reporters in a press conference after an event here.

The Umno MP also stressed that allowing the book to be sold here may lead to security concerns. He did not elaborate how and why.


“It also relates to safety if the book is spread wide, that is why the home ministry took action,” he added.

A federal government gazette dated September 26 had announced that Akyol’s book, Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case For Liberty, has been prohibited.

The gazette was signed by Ahmad Zahid 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.

The ban came prior to Akyol’s arrest by Malaysian Islamic authorities last month for a talk he was going to give on the commonalities between the Abrahamic religions.

Akyol, a visiting fellow at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, said he was only released partly because former Turkish president Abdullah Gul had pulled some strings with a Malaysian royalty.