Ban book if it's against Islam, say muftis

Mufti Perak Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria (left) and Selangor mufti Datuk Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid (right). Read more: Ban book if it's against Islam, say muftis - General - New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR - Two state muftis have called on the government to ban the Malay translation of Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta, a book by Ugandan-born Canadian author Irshad Manji, if it is found to deviate from Islam.

The call was made by Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria and Selangor mufti Datuk Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid.

On Saturday, a scheduled launch of the Malay translation of her book at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and several of her speaking engagements had to be cancelled due to security concerns.

According to her website, the seven-chapter book "shows all of us how to reconcile faith and freedom in a world seething with repressive dogmas. This book is the ultimate guide to becoming a gutsy global citizen".

Irshad had also openly admitted to being a lesbian and also has supported Lesbian, Gay, Bisexsual and Transexual (LGBT) lifestyles.

Harussani said her beliefs as outlined in the book were clearly against Malaysia's position as an Islamic country and the norms of Malaysian society.

"All state religious departments had been informed not to allow her deviant agenda to spread in this country."

Harussani added that he had not read the book but felt the government should ban it if it was found insulting to Islam.

"If the book is found misleading and deviated from the Islamic law and teachings, then the government should ban the book."

Tamyes said the book would only raise confusion among the Muslims in Malaysia.

"We cannot support something that goes against normal human values and religious teachings."

"The authorities must forbid any event that involves her as it clearly promotes an ideology that can pollute the mind, morals and lifestyle of the public," he said.

Irshad's first book, The Trouble with Islam Today: A Muslims Call for Reform in Her Faith had been banned in Malaysia.

According to an online news portal, the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) will review the book before any proposal can be made to the Home Ministry to ban her literary work.

Its director-general, Datuk Othman Mustapha, was quoted saying that although there were complaints that Irshad's book had insulted Islam, the department needed to go through the book first.

"We will be getting copies of the book soon. Once we have gone through and find reasons why it should be banned, we will propose this to the ministry."

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