Ezra Zaid to stand Shariah trial after failing to nullify Selangor law on un-Islamic books charge

Source: The Malay Mail Online

ZI Publications Sdn Bhd director Ezra Zaid, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and lawyer Pavendeep Singh are seen at the Federal Court, Putrajaya, September 28, 2015. — Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 28 — Publisher Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid will have to face trial in the Shariah Court after failing to persuade the country’s highest court to nullify a Selangor law that makes it an offence for Muslims to publish books the state religious authority deems un-Islamic.

Earlier today, the Federal Court dismissed Ezra and his publishing firm ZI Publications Sdn Bhd’s bid to have Section 16 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995 declared invalid, with the country’s supreme court ruling that the Selangor state assembly had acted within its powers under the Federal Constitution when making the law.

In the unanimous decision, a five-judge panel in the Federal Court noted that the Federal Constitution allows states to make laws on offences against the precepts of Islam and showed the intention of the Constitution’s framers to allow Muslims here to also be governed by Islamic personal law.

“In conclusion, we would like to highlight that a Muslim in Malaysia is not only subject to laws enacted by Parliament, but also state laws of religious nature enacted by legislature of a state,” the Federal Court panel chaired by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said in a 16-page judgement. Read more