A bookstore manager will no longer be pursued in court by Malaysia’s Federal religious authorities for stocking a book that later became a banned item.
Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz was arrested in June 2012 following the seizure of the book on 23 May 2012. But the book was only banned six days later.
She’s waited three years for this decision.
She had been acquitted by the High Court in March 2014 over the sale of ‘Allah, Liberty and Love’ by Canadian writer Irshad Manji. But the Federal Territories Islamic Council appealed the decision. She’d have faced up to two years in jail (or a c. US $800 fine) if found guilty of selling the book, deemed ‘contrary to Islamic law’ – Manji advocates a “reformist” interpretation of Islam.
Aziz still has one more hurdle to pass in the civil courts (on 25 August) as the Federal Islamic authorities have appealed a separate Court of Appeal decision saying that their prosecution of the manager is ‘unreasonable, irrational’ and against the ‘principles of fairness and justice’.
In a case earlier this week Jill Ireland, a Malaysian Christian, was given back CDs that contained the word ‘Allah’ after they were seized by customs officials in 2008.
The Federal Islamic Council applied to have its say in her seven years’ long case too, but this application too was rejected.