Tuesday, 19 June 2012

What the Sam Hill?!

Morality policing in Malaysia has certainly gone lopsidedly loony.

Who would have imagined a mere staff of Borders charged before the Syariah High Court for “distributing by way of selling the book entitled, Allah, Liberty and Love (The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom”).


Technically, the charge could well be valid since Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz was the Mid Valley outlet’s store manager, but logically, neither the books by Irshad Manji nor the outlet, Borders, are hers to start with.

Nik Raina faces a RM3,000 fine or a maximum of two years' jail or both under Section 13(1) of the Syariah Criminal Offences Act (Federal Territories) 1997, if convicted.

Am really not sure how the charge is worded but going by the Star’s phrasing of “distributing by way of selling”; it seems to be one of strict liability. Legal eagles would definitely be able to explain this to all us layman.

A store manager, huh?

Didn’t have the balls to go after the real owner, is it? Borders, according to the Star, belong to Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd.

Look at the penalty for God’s sake and tell me if it’s just?

A bookstore staff…

Did she have like total control over the outlet? Over the procurement of all books?

How many books do Borders have in stock?

The one at the Curve in Damansara seems to have like a billion books from the most innocent My First ABC to the horrendously explicit Brian Azzarello’s 100 Bullets series (to cite an example).

But of course, the latter isn’t something that is "deemed to be against the Islamic Law (Hukum Syarak)" even if it does feature gratuitous sex and violence every other issue.

Is Nik Raina’s charging to set an example? Couldn’t she be just slapped with a mere warning to take the books out within a certain period - her convictions on the book’s contents and the banning act notwithstanding?

How in heaven’s name are Muslims supposed to show that Islam is the perfect Addin when you have something so logically, chronically unjust?

What others see is the authorities picking on the easiest of targets to make an example of.

Someone like Nik Raina. 

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