PETALING JAYA: The Home Ministry has banned a book on Islam written by the Turkish journalist who was briefly detained in Malaysia last month over a lecture on religion.
A Federal Government gazette published on Sept 26 announced that the book written by Mustafa Akyol, Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case For Liberty, was prohibited.
The order also listed the Bahasa Malaysia translation of the book, Islam Tanpa Keekstreman: Berhujah Untuk Kebebasan.
It said the book was likely to “alarm the public” and was “prejudicial to public interest”.
The order, issued in accordance with the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, was signed by the Home Minister on Sept 6.
The publisher of the English language version of the book was listed as W.W. Norton & Company Inc, based in New York, while the publisher of the Bahasa Malaysia version was Islamic Renaissance Front Bhd, based in Kuala Lumpur.
The US-based Akyol came to Malaysia last month after being invited to attend several events and to give a talk on religions.
On Sept 24, the Federal Territories Islamic Affairs Department (Jawi) summoned Akyol for questioning over a breach of Section 11 of the Syariah Criminal Offences Act for conducting religious teachings without tauliah (credentials).
He was detained at KLIA the next night by Immigration Department officers after a warrant of arrest was issued when he did not answer Jawi’s summons.
Akyol was released the following day and left Malaysia that evening.
It was reported that Jawi had completed its investigation and was satisfied that the organiser had not informed the journalist about the need to obtain the credentials.
Akyol has written on Islamic issues and politics for Turkish newspapers and the New York Times, among others.
The Inspector-General of Police said that Akyol was not seen as a threat by police.
“We helped facilitate the arrest following a request by Jawi,” Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun told a press conference after attending the 2017 Warriors’ Day celebration in Putrajaya.