Activists fume as AG decides not to prosecute controversial preacher

Ravin Palanisamy

Syakir Nasoha is deemed by many Malaysians to have insulted non-Muslims in his sermons. – Video grab, July 14, 2022.

CONTROVERSIAL Islamic preacher Syakir Nasoha will not be charged over his disparaging video comments against the non-Muslims in the country, the Attorney General’s Chamber (AGC) has decided.

This was revealed by the Bukit Aman CID Prosecution and Legal Division (D5) in a letter to a civil society movement which had started a police report campaign against Syakir.

In the letter dated June 17, 2022, the police said the AGC has ordered them not to pursue the matter any further, claiming that the issue had been taken out of context and that the video clip did not touch on religious sensitivity in the country.

“The police investigation into the complaint has been completed.”

“The relevant investigation papers were referred to the AGC on December 13, 2021 and was ordered to NFA (No Further Action) the case as the content of the video was edited from the original sermon of 1 hour 29 minutes and 34 seconds, made by said person in 2017 at Abu Bakar Mosque, Bakar Arang, Sg. Petani, Kedah.

“Judging from the overall context, the video content of the original speech did not contain any statement that touched on religious sensitivity in Malaysia,” read the letter signed by Bukit Aman CID principal assistant director Mohamad Zainal Abdullah.

The letter was addressed to Global Human Rights Federation president S. Shashi Kumar.

The letter also stated that a total of 178 police reports were received related to the same issue.

Syakir was investigated under Section 505(c) of the Penal Code for making statements conducive to public mischief with intent to incite the community to cause them to commit an office against other communities, and Section 233 of the Communication and Multimedia Act 1998 for abuse of network services.

On October 3, some 3,000 reports were lodged nationwide against the preacher after a video showing him making comments against other religions and the Dayak community went viral.

In the one-minute clip, the preacher can be heard saying that “at the end of time, disciples of non-Muslim religions will be scrambling together to kill Muslims in the world”.

He also claimed that Hindus and Buddhists were carrying out the killings of Muslims in India and Thailand.

He made similar statements against the Dayak community, alleging its members have butchered and raped Muslims in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Syakir has since said his speech was misunderstood.

However, another wave of reports was filed against the preacher after more videos of him making incendiary comments surfaced online.

Police  say the Attorney General's Chamber has ordered them not to further pursue the matter of islamic preacher Syakir Nasoha's disparaging video comments, claiming that the issue had been taken out of context and that it did not touch on religious sensitivities. – Facebook pic, July 14, 2022.

Activists disappointed

The AGC decision not to charge Syakir was disappointing and showed a case of double standards, especially against the non-Muslims in the country.

Shashi compared Syakir’s case to a recent incident where an open mic participant during her performance removed her baju kurung and hijab to reveal a mini skirt worn underneath.

In that case, the police confirmed that they were instructed by the AGC to charge Siti Nuramira Abdullah under section 298A of the Penal Code for causing disharmony, disunity or enmity, hatred or ill will on the grounds of religion.

“Why are the authorities practicing double standards?”

“A women recently was said to have insulted Islam when she removed her hijab and baju kurung during a comedy show. She was detained immediately and just a few days later, the AGC recommended charges against her.”

“But this wasn’t the case for Syakir despite him making many sensitive comments against non-Muslims,” Shashi told The Malaysian Insight.

Shashi claimed that he only received the update on the Syakir case after writing to the authorities.

The activist said that he was stunned when the investigation against Syakir found that he did not touch on religious sensitivity in the country.

“The authorities claimed that they watched the full video which is nearly 1 hour 30 minutes and said they did not find any wrongdoing and classified the case as NFA.”

“He said Hindus practiced heresy. Not sensitive? He said the killing of Muslims in India and Thailand was being carried out by Hindus and Buddhists. Not sensitive?”

“He also said that the Dayak community members butchered and raped Muslims in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea. Not sensitive?”

“Long or short, he has mentioned all these words, which are indeed sensitive but the authorities reached a decision that deemed it not sensitive,” he said.

Shashi said it was disappointing that controversial preachers like Syakir and others in the country are allowed to do as they wish.

“The laws are protecting people like Syakir”

“There will be more people like Syakir and the decision by the AGC not to proceed with the case shows that the law will not touch them but instead protect them.

“Others (preachers) will also deem they are untouchables and they will think that they can keep repeating this and they will not be charged for sensitive comments aimed against minorities,” he said.

Shashi said the other cases that the AGC had decided not to pursue included those against Perlis-based preacher Zamri Vinod and Multiracial Reverted Muslims founder and president Firdaus Wong, both of whom had also insulted non-Muslims. – July 14, 2022.

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  • Everything concerning this is a one way trip

    Posted 2 years ago by The Rover · Reply

  • The AGC appears to be a monument to gross incompetence and selective persecution.

    Posted 2 years ago by Arul Inthirarajah · Reply