By Nomy Nozwir
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 29 — Art and political activist Faisal Mustaffa was arrested today by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) for possessing the banned book “Allah, Liberty and Love” by lesbian author, Irshad Manji.
According to Faisal, he was arrested at 10am today.
“I was arrested because I told them ‘I will answer in court’, that is why they want to prosecute me under Section 215 of the Syariah Criminal Procedure (Selangor) 2003 for not cooperating,” he said today.
His lawyer Afiq Noor said Faisal is currently in the bail process.
The Keadilan Youth Movement (AMK) today slammed Jais for arresting Faisal.
“Jais’ move, which is shallow and reckless, and paints a bad image of Islam, as if Islam is anti-knowledge and degrades people’s ability to think,” AMK deputy information chief Najwan Halimi said today.
“Jais’ ‘harsh’ move will also form a negative perception towards religious enforcement institutions which now are seen as autocratic towards scholarly activities among youths who practise critical thinking,” he added.
Prior to this, Jais had confiscated the controversial book from Faisal’s house in Petaling Jaya on July 14 and questioned him the same day.
The Home Ministry had on May 24 announced the ban of “Allah, Liberty and Love” on the grounds that it would confuse the public and violate Syariah law.
“As a body that carries the image and identity of Islam, Jais should be more progressive and active in promoting Islam as well as foster a culture of loving knowledge among Muslims, especially those in Selangor,” said Najwan.