Muslim scholar to answer charges of abetting Mustafa Akyol

Sheridan Mahavera

Ahmad Farouk Musa, who heads the Islamic Renaissance Front, is accused of abetting a Turkish author at a talk a fortnight ago. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Seth Akmal, October 2, 2017.

MUSLIM scholar Ahmad Farouk Musa has been ordered to answer charges that he abetted Turkish author, Mustafa Akyol, in giving a religious talk without proper accreditations in Kuala Lumpur two weeks ago.

Ahmad Farouk, who heads the Islamic Renaissance Front, has been summoned to answer the charges at the Kuala Lumpur shariah court on December 4.

Ahmad Farouk said this after spending 2½ hours giving his statement to the Federal Territories Religious Department (Jawi) at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

The charge under Section 43 of the Shariah Offences Act 1997 (Federal Territories) carries a fine of not more than RM5,000 or a jail term of not more than three years, or both.

The order to appear in court on December 4 was made known in a bond order from Jawi to Ahmad Farouk.

On September 25, Turkish author and journalist Mustafa Akyol was detained on orders from Jawi as he prepared to board a flight at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

Mustafa was taken to Jawi to have his statement recorded on allegations that he gave a religious talk without proper accreditation – an offence under Section 11 of the same Act.

A day earlier, Mustafa had given a talk on “Does Freedom of Conscience Open the Floodgates to Apostasy?”, at a IRF-organised forum in Kuala Lumpur.

On the same day Mustafa was being questioned, Jawi released a statement saying that it was investigating Ahmad Farouk for abetting Mustafa.

Mustafa was released without being charged and has since returned to the United States where he is currently based.

Speaking to reporters after he was questioned by Jawi today, Ahmad Farouk said he will appear in court on December 4 to answer those charges.

However, he claimed that Jawi’s officers made no mention on the issue of ‘tauliah’ when he was questioned today.

For much of the session, Jawi had focused on IRF’s work and its reasons for conducting such forums, said Ahmad Farouk.

“They were concerned about my stand on freedom of religion so I said my stand is based on a verse in the Quran that states there is no compulsion in religion,” said Ahmad Farouk.

“Meaning it is an individual’s decision and there should not be any coercion by any external factors including the state”.

The religious officers had also asked him what he thought about the death sentence for apostasy, which has been instituted by authorities in some Muslim countries.

Ahmad Farouk said he quoted two scholars, one from the United States, Taha Jabir Al-Awani, and Malaysian Mohamad Hashim Kamali, to support his stand that the Quran does not prescribe a death sentence for apostates.

He also told Jawi officers that besides Mustafa, the forum on apostasy also featured Mohd Farid Mohd Shahran of the Islamic Development Institute (IKIM) and Che Asmah Ibrahim of the Muslim NGO, Ikram.

“I explained that our forums are not to teach people about religion or to change their creed but to have intellectual discussions about issues in Islam,” said Ahmad Farouk. – October 2, 2017.

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  • It is not just the religious authorities or the government agencies like the immigration that assist them. They are all under THE GOVERNMENT, or are they not? It is therefore GOVERNMENT AGENDA that the religious and enforcement agencies are carrying out. If not, why doesn't the government put a stop to it? So why is the government going on the path to Talibanisation? And the non-Muslim parties in the government are happy to give their "consensus" agreement to the wishes of their big brother. So it is the government that must be held accountable for the active Talibanisation in progress.

    Posted 6 years ago by Ravinder Singh · Reply