PETALING JAYA: The home ministry has announced the banning of five books with Islamic content, by Turkish author Mustafa Akyol, and two Malaysians – Ahmad Farouk Musa and Faisal Tehrani.
In an official government gazette dated Sept 28, 2017, the home ministry said the books were banned as they were likely to be prejudicial to public order as well as to alarm public opinion.
The gazette was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, acting as home minister.
The sole English book banned was “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty”, written by Akyol, and which has been an international best-seller since it was first published in the United States in 2011.
The Bahasa Malaysia version of the book, “Islam Tanpa Keekstreman: Berhujah Untuk Kebebasan” was also banned. Aside from Akyol, Farouk, Nur Asyhraff Mohd Nor and Shuhaib Ar Rumy Ismail are also credited as authors for the translated work.
Two of Farouk’s own books – Wacana Pemikiran Reformis (Jilid 1) and (Jilid 2) – were also banned.
The publisher for the three books in BM is Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF), an Islamic NGO of which Farouk is chairman.
Also banned was a book by Faisal entitled “Aku ___ maka aku ada”. This is the latest book by Faisal that has fallen foul of the authorities. In May 2015, the home ministry announced it had banned four of his books – “Sebongkah Batu di Kuala Berang”, “Karbala”, “Tiga Kali Seminggu” and “Ingin Jadi Nasrallah”.
Based on the date of the order, the banning of the books by Akyol and Farouk is believed to be related to the recent controversy involving the Turkish author and journalist who was detained by Malaysian religious authorities over a talk he gave in the country on Sept 24.
Akyol had been in Malaysia to give a series of talks at the invitation of IRF.
Both Farouk and Akyol were summoned by the Federal Territory Islamic religious department (Jawi) to give a statement on Sept 25, but the latter had chosen to leave the country that night instead.
Akyol was detained by immigration officers before being able to board his Turkish Airlines flight to Rome. He was released the next day.