Monday, March 16, 2015

Umno Youth: Jawi should not abuse its power to intimidate

Umno Youth social media bureau chairman Ibdilillah Ishak says that the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) should not abuse its power for the purpose of intimidation.

"I am against the decision of Jawi to prosecute the Borders Midvalley manager Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Raina in the case of the sale of Irshad Manji’s controversial book Allah, Liberty and Love," said Ibdilillah in a statement Monday.

"Prosecution should be fair, and not used to scare the other party or to show their strength," he said.

Ibdilillah claimed that the manager has become the victim due to the mistake committed by Borders board of directors.

Hence, the Syariah High Court acquitted her because they felt that the manager is not the one who decides what books are sold at the bookstore chain.

"It is common knowledge that Jawi's authority only falls on Muslims, and that is why the Jawi decided to prosecute the manager rather than Borders as a company," said Ibdilillah.

He further questioned why Jawi did not charge a Muslim in the board of directors of Borders instead.

"Was this done because it is easier for Jawi to prosecute the manager rather than a member on the board of directors," asked Ibdilillah.

Although Jawi declared the sale of the book as illegal before the date of arrest, Ibdilillah questioned if the notice to all the bookstores given in sufficient time.

"This raises many questions about the motives of Jawi," he said.

"Do they want to establish the religion of Islam or create public hatred against Islam?"

Ibdilillah said that the March 2012 raid and arrest of Borders Midvalley store manager was "contrary to Islamic law".

On Sunday, news of Jawi filing for an appeal against the Syariah High Court’s Feb 26 decision last month to discharge Borders bookstore manager broke.

Nik Raina was charged under Section 13 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act 1997 in June 2012 for the offence of "disseminating and distributing" by way of selling the books deemed contrary to Islamic law.

On Dec 30 last year, the Court of Appeal in Putrajaya ruled that Jawi’s seizure of the books was unlawful.

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