Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Malaysia's Federal Court Upholds State Ban On Producing Book Contrary To Islamic Law

As reported by Bernama and Malaysian Insider, Malaysia's Federal Court yesterday upheld against freedom of expression and other challenges Section 16 of the Selangor Syariah Law which criminalizes producing, disseminating or possessing for sale any book or document that is contrary to Islamic law.  ZI Publications and its director Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid were charged by Selangore state authorities with violating Section 16 by publishing a book titled "Allah, Love and Liberty" written by a Canadian author and Muslim reformer Irshad Manji. ZI and Zaid challenged the validity of the state law in the Federal Court.  But Justice Raus, writing for a 5-judge panel, said that the constitutional protections for freedom of expression must be read together with provisions declaring Islam as the country's religion and giving states the power to control or restrict propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.