Book Censorship in Malaysia

 Malaysia bans islamic books



31st January
2008
  

Two Faces of Malaysia...


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Malaysian book censors ban 11 books about islam

The Two Faces of Islam book Malaysia has banned 11 books for allegedly giving a false portrayal of Islam, such as by linking the religion to terrorism and the mistreatment of women.

The government ordered the books, most of them released by U.S. publishers, to be blacklisted earlier this month because they are not in line with what we call the Malaysian version of Islam, said Che Din Yusoh, an official with the Internal Security Ministry's publications control unit.

Some of them ridicule Islam as a religion, or the facts are wrong about Islam, like associating Islam with terrorism ... or saying Islam mistreats women, he said. Once you mention something which is not correct, it's not proper.

The banned books include eight English-language ones, such as The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and its Role in Terrorism, Secrets of the Quran: Revealing Insights Into Islam's Holy Book and Women in Islam. There are also three books written in the local Malay language.

Government authorities regularly review the contents of books and publications that could have sensitive material, mostly regarding religion and sex, Che Din said.

 

18th August
2008
  

Update: Book Banners...


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Malaysian book censors ban 2 more books about islam

Women's Studies Interational Forum Malaysia's state censors have banned two books on Islam saying they gave a misleading view of the religion.

The Home Ministry banned the English-language Muslim Women and the Challenge of Islamic Extremism and the Malay-language Strange but True in Prayers.

An official with the ministry's publishing unit confirmed that the books had been banned but did not elaborate.

The activist group Sisters in Islam, which published the book on Muslim women, criticized the ban. Norhayati Kaprawi, an official with the group, said the book was an academic work in which female activists and scholars studied the impact of extremism on Muslim women's lives: For me, it's very ironic that the book itself is a victim of extremism. Does that mean women cannot even discuss extremism? What do they want us to do? Lie down and shut up?

 

30th October
2009
  

Update: Religious Censors Trump State Censors...


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Malaysian court case arguing whether state censors can ban books about religion

Muslim challenge Islamic fundamentalism extremism The ban on a book published by Sisters in Islam (SIS) is illegal, irrational, and inconsistent with the Federal Constitution, the Malaysian High Court heard.

SIS also contended that then Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, who ordered the ban, had no authority to do so.

In their submissions, counsel for SIS Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and K. Shanmuga told Justice Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof that under the constitutional framework, Islam was a state matter and as such, fell exclusively within the purview of the state governments.

The minister does not have the requisite legal competence and/or authority to arrive at conclusions on matters pertaining to Islam. It would be necessary for the state religious authorities to have firstly concluded on the matter (where it pertains to Islam) before the minister could exercise his discretion, Malik Imtiaz said at the first day of hearing yesterday, adding that these pre-conditions were not met.

On Dec 15 last year, SIS Forum (Malaysia) had applied for leave for a judicial review of an order banning the 215-page book entitled Muslim Women and the Challenges of Islamic Extremism. It is a compilation of essays based on research by renowned international scholars and activists, and the book was edited by sociologist Prof Noraini Othman of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Institute of Malaysia and International Studies.

The ministry had banned the book under Section 7 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 on grounds that it was 'prejudicial to public order' .

Hearing continues on Nov 18.

 

31st January
2010
  

Updated: Court Trumps Religious Censors...

Malaysian court unbans book bout challenges facing muslim women

Muslim challenge Islamic fundamentalism extremism Free speech advocates have been rejoicing after a Malaysian court quashed a government ban on a book about the challenges facing Muslim women.

We were hoping, we were praying that this would mark a good day for all Malaysians, said Professor Norani Othman, the editor of the banned book, Muslim Women and the Challenges of Islamic Extremism , a collection of essays by international scholars. It's a good day for academic freedom.

In July 2008, the Ministry of Home Affairs banned the book, published in 2005 by Sisters in Islam, a Malaysian nongovernmental organization, on the grounds that it was prejudicial to public order and that it could confuse Muslims, particularly Muslim women.

Sisters in Islam filed a judicial review in the Kuala Lumpur High Court in December 2008 on the basis that the ban was unconstitutional because it infringed upon freedom of speech and religion and gender equality.

Justice Mohamad Ariff Yusof said that he had failed to find that the facts of the case supported the decision to ban the book on the grounds that it could disrupt public order: There are just seven pages of text which are objected to out of 215 pages in the book, he said. The book itself was in circulation for over two years in Malaysia before the minister decided to ban it.

He ordered the government to pay court costs incurred by Sisters in Islam.

Noor Hisham Ismail, the senior federal counsel who represented the ministry, said he could not yet say whether the government would appeal the decision.

Professor Norani, the book's editor and a sociologist at the National University of Malaysia, said she was overjoyed by the decision and hoped that it would encourage others to produce books that questioned the politicization of Islam.

Update: 'Obvious Errors'

31st January 2010. Based on article from malaysiakini.com

Muslims have been advised to stay away from book, Muslim Women and The Challenge of Islamic Extremism . It can create doubt and disharmony among the people in the country, according to the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM).

Its director general, Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz Wan Mohamad said the contents of the book contravened the Islamic Publication Materials Censorship Guidelines issued by Jakim in 1996.

Several obvious errors were found (in the book), he said in a statement today. He said among others, the book stated that Islamic family laws and Syariah criminal laws were promoting prejudice and discrimination against women.

The book also questioned the fatwa institution and the ban on non-Islamic scholars from discussing Islamic issues. It also promoted the re-interpretation of the verses in the Quran, especially those on gender bias, he said.

 

7th October
2010
  

Update: Marching Orders...

Malaysia bans political book

march to putrajayaMalaysia's Home Ministry has banned author Kim Quek's book The March To Putrajaya- Malaysia's New Era Is At Hand under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 as it may incite public hatred and anger .

The Malaysian Insider reported that the Home Ministry Secretary General Mahmood Adam said that the book was banned because of its baseless accusations against national leaders, among others. He also went on to add that the printing, importing, publishing, reprint, sell, distribute or offer to sell or in possession of such books is an offence punishable under the law .

Kim Quek has subsequently released a press statement denying that the book is not suitable for the public.

Throughout my book, one consistent theme is my appeal to everyone to be faithful and to defend the Constitution. Even on the much politicized Article 153, which has been deliberately and dishonestly misinterpreted to carry out all sorts of racist agenda and therefore has attracted much misgivings, I have only words of praise for it.

I welcome any criticism and open dialogue over any part of my book, as it is through honest discourse that we will bring benefit to the nation.

As for the Ministry's ban over my book, I reserve my right to take the necessary legal recourse to protect my constitutional rights.

 

22nd February
2012
  

Update: Malaysia Corrupted by Sex Education Book...

Banned sex education book, Where Did I Come From, by Peter Mayle

Where Did Come Peter Mayle Malaysian officials have ordered book shops to stop selling a sex education book by British author Peter Mayle.

Where did I come from? is banned from sale pending a review, a Home Ministry statement seen by the BBC said. It will be banned completely if it is if it is proven to contain elements harmful to public morals and corrupt people's minds , said the statement from a senior official on Tuesday.

The book's cover states it is the facts of life without any nonsense . The illustrated book aims to help parents explain to children such topics as sex, conception and birth.

Deputy secretary for safety, Abdul Rahim Mohamad Radzi, said in the statement: The ministry has obtained the co-operation of book sellers around the country to immediately stop sales until the review is completed and the decision is made.

 

 Update: Malaysian police recommend Ross in Kangkong Land by Zunar...

Police seize book of cartoons lampooning the country's government


Link Here 23rd February 2015  full story: Book Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia bans islamic books
ross in kangkong landIn an escalating campaign of harassment, Malaysian authorities seized copies of a new volume of political cartoons by Zulkiflee Awar Ulhaque, also known as Zunar. In the past three weeks, police have confiscated three separate volumes of Zunar's cartoons and detained him for four days on accusations of sedition in connection with critical posts he wrote on social media.

Police seized approximately 200 copies of Zunar's new book, ROS in Kangkong Land , while they were in transit to a launch event scheduled to occur in Petaling Jaya city, according to news reports.

The book lampoons Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, and also touches on the trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim who stands accused of sodomy.

Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asia representative explained:

The ongoing harassment and legal threats against cartoonist Zunar make a mockery of Malaysia's democracy. Prime Minister Najib Razak should use his authority to stop the harassment of Zunar and the bogus sedition investigation against him and instead return his attention to reforming outdated laws like the Sedition Act that are too often abused to threaten and punish journalists.

 

 Update: Funny and Unbanned...

Books of political cartoons unbanned in Malaysia


Link Here 11th November 2015  full story: Book Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia bans islamic books
1 funny malaysia by zunarMalaysia's Home Ministry has been ordered to return books seized from political cartoonist Zunar by the country's Federal Court.

The court's five-man bench upheld the Court of Appeal's decision to overturn the ministry's ban on the books 1 Funny Malaysia and Perak Darul Kartun.

The ministry is to return 33 copies of the books to Zunar, whose full name is Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, the apex court ordered.

The books were seized in 2010 after the home ministry's ban on May 10 that year under Section 7 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act, for threatening public order.

The publishers had mounted a challenge to overturn the ban in July 2010 and lost at the High Court. The Court of Appeal later overturned the decision.

The satirist himself still faces multiple charges of sedition.

 

 Update: Sex, Pork, and Persecution...

Malaysia inevitably bans book about the country's shameful persecution of a blooger who made a bacon joke


Link Here 23rd April 2016  full story: Book Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia bans islamic books
sex pork persecutionFive publications have been banned by the Malaysian Government as it was claimed that the books contain elements which could confuse easily confused muslims and cause moral harm.

In fact the government was trying silence criticism over the persecution of young bloggers who made a minor joke about bacon.

The government book censors claimed that Alvin Tan's Sex, Pork, And Persecution: How's One Young Man's Fight Against Conformity Led to Imprisonment and Vilification was banned as it was likely to be prejudicial to morality as it contained pornographic elements.

The publication of Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey As Told By Christian) was also banned for being supposedly prejudicial to morality as it contained pornographic elements.

Three other books were also banned but these are not internationally known:

Orang Ngomong Anjing Gong Gong was banned for supposedly being detrimental to public order, security and morality as it contained elements against the Malaysian norms and moral ethics.

Ajaran Makrifat Syekh Siti Jenar and Israk Mikraj: Tinjauan Saintifik Di Sebalik Kontroversi were banned as they were found to be prejudicial to public order and contained elements which could confuse and harm the faith of Muslims.

It is an offence under  the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 for anyone to print, import, produce, reproduce, publish, sell, issue, circulate, offer for sale and distribution, as well as to possess such banned publications. Those convicted of the offence can be sentenced to a jail term of up to three years and a fine not exceeding RM20,000 or both.

 

 Offsite Article: Voices of Moderation banned...


Link Here 5th August 2017  full story: Book Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia bans islamic books
BREAKING THE SILENCE Malaysian book censors ban 8 books since March

See article from themalaysianinsight.com

 

 Update: Nerves of Steal...

Malaysian government bans the 11th political cartoon book by Zunar


Link Here 6th October 2017  full story: Book Censorship in Malaysia...Malaysia bans islamic books
zunar sapuman man of stealThe Malaysian political cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, better known as Zunar, will be filing a legal challenge against the government censorship of his latest book.

This comes after it was announced that his 2015 cartoon book Sapuman - Man of Steal had been banned under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

This is the 11th of his books banned by the government who clearly don't like the mockery.

Zunar is currently being prosecuted on 9 charges based on his criticism of the government.

 


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