Mustafa Akyol checks out and leaves Hotel California

Published:     Modified:

COMMENT | Why should we be surprised that world-renowned Turkish author and journalist, Mustafa Akyol, was detained by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi)?

This incident was expected. His experiences are shared by Malaysians daily, in one form or another. Are we outraged because Mustafa is a respected academician and a foreigner? Is expressing shock and horror the extent of our effort to demand a return to the true Islamic path?

Others who were detained in the name of religion, have ended up being rehabilitated, or their lives and those of their families, turned upside down. Ask Kartika Dewi Sukarno.

Ask the authorities why Ruth Hilmy, an Indonesian, is still missing. Ask the families of Pastor Raymond Koh, Joshua Hilmy and Amri Cik Mat. Their disappearances are suspected to be linked to religious extremism.

The French lawyer, William Bourdon, and Imran Khan, the British lawyer, were deported after entering Malaysia for talks on Scorpene and the Hindraf suit, respectively.

Indonesian human rights activist Mugiyanto Sipin was deported in January last year. In 2014, Indonesian Muslim scholar, Ulil Abshar Abdalla, was denied entry into Malaysia.

Anyone who can liberate the Malay Muslim mind is a dangerous threat. That is why the authorities had to censure Mustafa Akyol. They detained him, interrogated him and made his immediate future uncertain.

Who knows what thoughts entered his mind when he was detained. He had probably heard what happened to various people who had been interrogated on the 14th floors of office complexes.

The authorities wanted to frighten Mustafa, but more importantly, to warn others, that religious topics are not for public discussion.

They were keen to prevent Mustafa from spreading his message. He had already done much harm by putting the seed of critical analysis, into Malay Muslim minds, with his first talk, about "the suppression of rational theology by dogmatists in early Islam". The thrust of his talk was that Muslims were still haunted by “intellectual suicide”...

news and views that matter