ICC Note: There seems to be an unfortunate trend away from religious freedom and tolerance toward the rigid enforcement of a particular dogma. That a secular government in Malaysia allowed part of its territory to be ruled by Sharia law appears to have been a fatal first step toward religious intolerance in that region, but hopefully not the entire country.
By Eugene Volokh
10/19/2015 Malaysia (Washington Post)
The Federal Court [in Putrajaya, Malaysia] … ruled that a provision in the Selangor state Syariah law criminalising Muslims for publishing and disseminating religious books against the Islamic Law, is valid….
Following this decision, Mohd Ezra, who is the son of former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, have to face his charges at the Syariah Court for allegedly publishing a book titled “Allah, Love and Liberty” written by a Canadian author Irshad Manji which was deemed against hukum syarak [which I believe means Sharia law -EV]….
“This is because the (Federal) Constitution allows the legislature of a state to legislate and enact offences against the precepts of Islam. Taking the Federal Constitution as a whole, it is clear that it was the intention of the framers of our Constitution to allow Muslims in the country to be also governed by Islamic personal law,” [Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif] said….
“[The state law is] a measure to prohibit the dissemination of any wrongful belief and teaching among Muslims, through publication of any book or document or any form of record containing anything which is contrary to Islamic Law,” he said….
Under Section 16 of the enactment, any person who prints, publishes, produces, records, disseminates or possesses any book or document for sale which are contrary to the Islamic law is said to have committed an offence punishable by a fine not exceeding RM3,000 or a maximum two years’ jail or both, upon conviction.