Malaysia – Aged Scholar Hauled to Bigot Court

An 81-year-old man has been dragged into court for reflecting on the dogmas of his religion. He’s a well-known Muslim scholar in Malaysia.

But that’s no guarantee of civil rights in a country where benighted bigotry rules the roost.

A former political and social activist was charged in a Syariah High Court here with two counts of insulting Islamic religion and disobeying Federal Territories Fatwa in relation to Anti-Hadith Group.

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The man’s name is Kassim Ahmed, and his crime was to say what he thinks, at the launching of a book he wrote, called ‘Re-Evaluating Hadiths.’

I neither know nor care what he has written or said – it shouldn’t matter.

If a religion can’t handle criticism or challenge without resorting to gestapo tactics, it’s not the critic who needs examined.

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  • Who in their right mind would object to a review of texts a thousand years old or more?


Who except savages would try to place an octogenarian behind bars for so doing?

I hardly need to add to the eruption of indignation by Malaysians, including all decent Malaysian Muslims,

Below is a link to their thoughts on the issues.

I only quote one, but the rest are just as good!

It was Mahathir’s government which set up parallel religious courts, the Syariah Court, which even superseded the power of the civil court as enshrined in the Federal Constitution…
We are going into the dark age of the past whereby we banned everything; Muslims will be so controlled that they are not allowed to think for themselves.

Uniformity of thought and behaviour of Muslims in conformity of the conservatives is the agenda. Anything different from their dogmatic beliefs is considered deviant teaching and branded as pluralism; as though pluralism is a dirty word whatever its objective.


The only thing I’d find fault with there is the wayward use of the word ‘conservative.’

In fact Malaysia, like Indonesia, was much more easy-going in the past, so ‘conservative’ should be used to describe the good guys willing to fight for a return to the good old days of tolerance – those who don’t want this lurch into darkness.


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Those who want to clap mental straight-jackets on their fellow-citizens could better be dismissed as radicals, out to uproot the higher standards of tolerance which prevailed within living memory.