PUTRAJAYA: A former political and social activist was charged in a Syariah High Court here with two counts of insulting Islamic religion and disobeying Federal Territories Fatwa in relation to Anti-Hadith Group.
As soon as the court commenced, Kassim @ Osman Ahmad (pic) said that the charges against him were not composed accurately.
Syarie judge Umamuddin Yunus interjected that the charges would be read to him first and if Ahmad wished to object, he could do so after it was read to him.
The interpreter then read the charges to Kassim.
Kassim, 80, later claimed trial to presenting a speech script entitled, "National Political Conference to Determine Malaysia's Direction in the Next 30 Years," at a Seminar on the Thoughts of Kassim Ahmad, which contained quotations on why there was a need to praise Prophet Muhammad.
Another quotation was on the new changes in womens' aurat derived from an Arabic word, which meant nudity and womens' hair was not an aurat.
He was charged under Section 7(b) of the Syariah Criminal Offences Act (Federal Territories) 1997 which carries a fine not more than RM3,000 or not more than two years' jail or both, if convicted.
Kassim also pleaded not guilty to second charge of presenting the same speech containing quotations from two books, "Hadis Satu Penilaian Semula" and "Hadis: Jawapan Kepada Pengkritik", which were banned by the Federal Territories Fatwa gazetted on Feb 8, 1996 pertaining to Anti-Hadith Group.
To this charge, he was accused under Section 9 of the same act, which provides the same penalty as under Section 7(b).
The offences were allegedly committed at Pemier Leadership Foundation at Jalan PBH, Presint 8 here between 9am and 5pm on Feb 16.
Later, Federal Territory Syarie Prosecution chief Ibrahim Deris applied for a RM3,000 bail in one surety for each of the charges.
Kassim who was unrepresented, said that he was 80-years-old and had no sources of income as well as no pension.
He said he only depended on his three children.
Judge Umamuddin then granted prosecution's application and fixed Apr 7 for mention.
Kassim paid the bail.