Interfaith forum nixed after Islamic authorities call up speakers

Sheridan Mahavera

A sign at the entrance of the Nottingham University Malaysia's teaching centre in Kuala Lumpur announcing the postponement of the forum. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, September 25, 2017.

A FORUM on Christianity and Islam by a progressive Muslim think tank was postponed at the last minute today after reports emerged that it’s organisers have been summoned by the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi).

The Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) earlier told The Malaysian Insight that it was going ahead with the forum “The Islamic Jesus: The Commonalities Between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam” despite its featured speaker, Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol, being summoned by Jawi for allegedly delivering lectures without official sanction.

Jawi had also called up IRF director Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa, who hosted Akyol’s visit to Malaysia, for questioning.

It was reported that Akyol will be questioned under Section 11 of the Shariah Criminal Offences (Federal Territories) Act.

The section states that is an offence to teach without credentials from the religious authorities. Farouk is being questioned for allegedly abetting Akyol, an offence under Section 43 of the same law.

Participants who arrived at Nottingham University Malaysia’s teaching centre at Jalan Conlay in Kuala Lumpur today were greeted by a sign on its doors saying that the forum had been postponed.

A receptionist at the centre informed The Malaysian Insight that the postponement was a last-minute decision by the organisers.

It was reported that Akyol, a US-based journalist, had been featured in several events organised by IRF since last week, including on his latest book, “The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims”.

The Malaysian Insight is contacting IRF to comment on the matter. – September 25, 2017.


The forum 'The Islamic Jesus: The Commonalities Between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam' was supposed to have featured Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol. – pic from, September 25, 2017.

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