Wait a minute. Isn’t Malaysia supposed to be “moderate”? And isn’t Irshad Manji a leading “moderate” Muslim writer?
Irshad Manji has not been much heard from in recent years, but about ten or twelve years ago she was the Moderate Muslim Du Jour (a position since occupied by luminaries including Zuhdi Jasser and Maajid Nawaz), a hip young spiky-haired smiling lesbian Muslim who opposed the terrorists who hijacked her peaceful religion, showed that Islam wasn’t all bin Laden and Mohamed Atta and the scowling Khomeini, attacked “Islamophobes” like Spencer to prove her Islamic bona fides, and gave the world the message that it was cool to be Muslim, and that Islam properly understood was the coolest thing of all.
And so she wrote a book that has landed its Malaysian publisher in hot water. Why? “Among the content suspected of being dubious is regarding the word ‘Allah’ that the writer claims refers to an Arabic word for God where the writer meant that God is love and liberty to be shared by everyone.”
Allah is a God who is love and liberty to be shared by everyone? Can’t have that! Blasphemy! Jail this man!
Why don’t we see more genuine Islamic reform? This story illustrates one reason why.
PETALING JAYA, Feb 22 — Selangor religious enforcers had raided Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid’s publishing company ZI Publications Sdn Bhd for publishing a book with “confusing” content that allegedly went against Islamic teachings, the Shariah court was told today.
Sulastri Ishak, who worked as a Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) officer from 2009 to late 2012, said she had received in May 2012 a book censorship report from an Islamic Development Department Malaysia (Jakim) officer who commented on the book’s background and its “confusing” content.
“The report is related to the content of the book written by Irshad Manji that has elements contrary to Islamic faith and laws,” she told the Shariah court here, having also described the book as having dubious elements.
Sulastri, who was then assistant director of the implementation and policy unit in Jais’ research and development division, said she had then lodged a complaint with the Jais enforcement division after reading the censorship report and determining ZI Publications to be the publisher.
When asked by Selangor Sharie prosecutor Sofian Ahmad if she had referred to any other materials before making the complaint, Sulastri replied: “I did not base it on anything, I just read from the book censorship report….
Ezra is facing a charge under Section 16(1)(a) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995 as the director and main shareholder of ZI Publications for allegedly publishing a book written by Irshad Manji and titled Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta with contents purportedly contrary to Islamic law in terms of faith.
The offence which Ezra is charged with is punishable by a maximum RM3,000 fine or two-year jail or both.
Sulastri said she was an observer in Jais’ May 29, 2012 raid of ZI Publications and seizure of 180 copies of the book, where she testified to have read a copy of the book’s content that was “suspected of being dubious”.
“Among the content suspected of being dubious is regarding the word ‘Allah’ that the writer claims refers to an Arabic word for God where the writer meant that God is love and liberty to be shared by everyone,” she said, adding that the book’s contents matched the Jakim report….