After Akyol’s arrest, American Muslim scholar rejects invite to Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 8 ― An American Muslim scholar has declined to visit Malaysia for a speaking engagement after learning about US-based Turkish scholar Mustafa Akyol’s brief detention here.

According to a report in Free Malaysia Today, Indiana University academic Asma Afsaruddin did not accept an invitation by local Muslim group, Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF), after learning about Akyol’s episode.

Islamic authorities here detained Akyol, who came to Malaysia to participate in a few seminars and lectures organised by IRF back in September, for allegedly teaching without religious credentials.

“Given the current atmosphere, however, I regretfully will not be able to respond positively to your very kind invitation,” Afsaruddin reportedly wrote in her email to IRF declining the invitation. Read more

Ex-judge criticises Jawi over action against Turkish writer, IRF founder

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Former Court of Appeal Judge, Datuk Seri Mohd Hishamudin Yunus. Pic from the Star Online.

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 9 — The Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) was hurting free speech by pursuing two scholars for preaching without credentials, said former Court of Appeal judge Datuk Seri Mohd Hishamudin Yunus.

He said he and the G25 group were saddened by the treatment of Turkish journalist and writer Mustafa Akyol and Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) founder Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa.

“With the greatest respect to Jawi, I am at a loss to understand as to how a public discourse on Islam could be taken to be ‘teaching’ within section 11 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act.

“Such action by Jawi undermines our freedom of speech as guaranteed by Article 10 of the Federal Constitution and the Rule of Law as decreed by our Rukun Negara,” he said in a statement. Read more

Suhakam: Turkish writer Akyol’s detention blemishes Malaysia’s ‘moderate’ reputation

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Mustafa Akyol was detained by the police on Monday night after immigration authorities prevented him from boarding his flight at the airport. He was released after Jawi questioned him yesterday morning. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — The detention of Turkish author and columnist Mustafa Akyol has tarnished Malaysia’s international reputation as a moderate nation, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said today.

Suhakam also said it believed the actions by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi), which had applied for an arrest warrant in order to question Akyol after he spoke at a roundtable discussion on apostasy last Sunday, were not government policy, but that the religious department had been allowed to take “arbitrary” measures.

“Such extreme action in our multireligious, multiracial and moderate Malaysia in our view is repressive, undemocratic and intended to be intimidating.

“There is no question that this must be stopped by the government and such actions that reflect hostility, narrow-mindedness and intolerance of civil, intellectual and religious discourse should not be committed again,” Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said in a statement. Read more

Jawi drops Shariah charges against Kassim Ahmad

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Kassim Ahmad (pic) has won in the civil courts in his legal challenge against Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Jawi and the government of Malaysia over his arrest and prosecution in the Shariah courts. Pic by The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 ― Shariah prosecutors today finally withdrew two 2014 Shariah charges against Muslim intellectual Kassim Ahmad after the octogenarian’s long court battles, his lawyer confirmed.

Kassim’s lawyer Rosli Dahlan said the 83-year-old will no longer face the two Shariah charges that are both punishable with a maximum RM3,000 fine or maximum two-year jail, or both.

“The charges are all dropped, Kassim is totally free, all three of the bailors are released and bail money is to be returned,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted after Kassim’s case was mentioned at the Putrajaya Shariah High Court. Read more

Siti Kasim takes Jawi to court

Source: FMT News

The human rights advocate wants details of its officers who raided a transgender beauty contest which was a closed door event. Pic from FMT News.

The human rights advocate wants details of its officers who raided a transgender beauty contest which was a closed door event. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Siti Kasim has taken the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) to court to compel the department to name the religious officers involved in a raid at a transgender event.

Siti was subsequently arrested on April 3 at the Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

In the originating summons filed by Mark Law Chambers on Oct 20, Siti urged the court to order Jawi to provide her with details of the said officers.

She wants their names, identification numbers and positions held.

Siti also wants copies of any police reports lodged against her, copy of arrest report and any warrant which gave the religious department the authority to carry out the raid and arrest her.

The activist disclosed in the affidavit that her lawyers wrote to Jawi on September 14 requesting those details as she wanted to proceed with legal action against them. Read more

Women’s groups demand Shariah law review after JAWI raid on transgenders

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 ― Women’s rights groups called today for a review of the Shariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 after religious authorities raided a charity dinner by the transgender community.

The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG), which now includes transgender rights group Justice for Sisters (JFS), also questioned the ethical standards of the Federal Territories Islamic Department (JAWI) that is purportedly planning to charge a trans woman under the Shariah law with encouraging vice and with defying religious authorities.

“JAWI’s actions are clearly un-Islamic as it was aimed to intimidate and humiliate the transgender community in Malaysia,” said JAG in a statement.

Supporters of transgender rights group Justice for Sisters are pictured at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya, October 8, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

Supporters of transgender rights group Justice for Sisters are pictured at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya, October 8, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

“JAG once again, calls on the state to review the SCOA as the catch-all provisions in the Act have allowed for wide interpretation and abuse by enforcement officers.

“JAWI or other state religious authorities cannot be allowed to continuously undermine the Federal Constitution because of the misguided perception that they are guardians of Islam and morality in Malaysia,” the group added. Read more

Citing justice, Shariah court says will wait for Federal Court’s decision on Kassim Ahmad

Source: The Malay Mail Online

In March 2014, Kassim was charged at the Shariah High Court in Putrajaya with insulting Islam and defying religious authorities at a seminar in February that was officiated by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. — File pic

In March 2014, Kassim was charged at the Shariah High Court in Putrajaya with insulting Islam and defying religious authorities at a seminar in February that was officiated by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. — File pic

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 22 — The Putrajaya Shariah court said today it will defer its ruling on whether to drop Muslim intellectual Kassim Ahmad’s charges of insulting Islam and defying religious authorities until a final decision by the Federal Court is reached.

Putrajaya Syariah High Court judge Azzeman Omar noted that both the civil High Court and Court of Appeal have given their respective decisions in Kassim’s case, with the former favouring Islamic prosecutors and the latter favouring Kassim, but the Federal Court has yet to dispose of the matter.

“Therefore, the court finds that all decisions made before this — whether in the High Court or Court of Appeal, there is no final decision yet.

“Therefore, for the sake of justice, the court postpones the decision until the case at the Federal Court is decided,” he said. Read more

Mahkamah putuskan penahanan, pendakwaan Kassim Ahmad tidak sah

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Tangkapan dan penahanan intelektual dan aktivis Islam Dr Kassim Ahmad yang dilakukan Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan pada 2013 adalah tidak sah, putus Mahkamah Rayuan hari ini. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 21 Disember, 2015.

Tangkapan dan penahanan intelektual dan aktivis Islam Dr Kassim Ahmad yang dilakukan Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan  (Jawi) pada 2013 adalah tidak sah, putus Mahkamah Rayuan hari ini.

Panel 3 orang hakim diketuai Vernon Ong Lam Kiat berkata, Jawi tidak mempunyai bidang kuasa terhadap Kassim yang menetap di Kedah.

“Kami mengarahkan penangkapan, penahanan dan pendakwaan terbatal dan kes dibuang,” katanya dalam membenarkan rayuan Kassim menentang keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi.

Panel hakim juga membenarkan hujah Mahkamah Tinggi Sivil mempunyai bidang kuasa yang lebih tinggi berbanding tribunal yang lebih rendah, termasuk Mahkamah Syariah dalam soal perundangan. Read more