Mustafa Akyol: Jawi didn’t like my talk on commonalities between Islam, Christianity

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. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 — Turkish writer Mustafa Akyol revealed today that he was detained by Malaysian Islamic authorities this week for a talk he was going to give on the commonalities between the Abrahamic religions.

In a New York Times opinion piece, the United States-based Akyol said he was only released partly because former Turkish president Abdullah Gul had pulled some strings with a Malaysian royalty.

“When they were done with their questioning, they handed me a piece of paper with Malay writing on it and told me that I shouldn’t speak again without proper authorisation,” wrote Akyol, relating his experience questioned by religious officers after a talk on apostasy.

Muslim group Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) had earlier this week said Akyol did not understand the summons since it was in Malay, and authorities did not explain the consequences of not turning up for questioning when they talked to him in both English and Malay. Read more

On the detention of Mustafa Akyol — G25 Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online

SEPT 28 — We, the members of G25, join our friends and colleagues in SUHAKAM and the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF), as well as the lawyers and academicians, who have spoken out criticising the detention of Mustafa Akyol at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on 25 September, as he was leaving the country after completing his speaking engagements in K.L. He was accused by Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (JAWI) of violating Section 11 of the 1997 Federal Territories Syariah Offences Act which requires that a person teaching Islam must get the prior approval of JAWI.

We consider the action by JAWI as heavy handed, extreme, and arbitrary. Mustafa Akyol was here for the fifth time and has developed a special liking for Malaysia. Although he was aware that Islam is highly politicised in this country, he felt it to be a model Muslim country which has done well in providing for the economic and social development of its people. He was here, like in the previous four occasions, to conduct an academic discourse on Islam, and not, as accused by JAWI, to “teach “or “preach” Islam for which he would require a “tauliah“. Read more