Malaysiakini NEWS

Academics lambast religious authorities for policing public forums

Annabelle Lee  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Following the arrest of Turkish journalist Mustafa Akyol, a number of academics took aim at religious authorities for seemingly expanding their jurisdiction to the public sphere.

Although preachers in mosques and suraus are required to obtain tauliah (accreditation) from state religious authorities, speakers at public forums have never been expected to, explained Isham Pawan Ahmad of the International Islamic University Malaysia.

“But now the scope seems to have been expanded (to forums), without any justifications from the authorities,” he told a press conference at the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF) secretariat in Kuala Lumpur today.

Mustafa was detained at the airport after the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) alleged he had conducted “religious teaching without tauliah” under Section 11 of the Syariah Criminal Offences Act 1997...

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