Government officials in Malaysia have confiscated copies of the latest book by Muslim author Irshad Manji, who urges society to accept LGBT people because they were created by Allah.
Enforcement officers from the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department, or JAWI, seized copies of the book, “Allah Liberty & Love – Courage To Reconcile Faith & Freedom” by Manji on May 23 because “the content is deemed to be contrary to Islamic teachings,” the Malaysian national news agency Bernama reported.
A JAWI official said the raid was conducted by eight officers at a bookstore in a suburb of Kuala Lumpur. They seized seven copies of the book, and the official said JAWI is seeking the remaining copies.
“We received information that 500 copes of the translated edition of the book have been printed and available in the market nationwide, and we are still tracking them,” he said.
Manji, who describes herself as a faithful Muslim, announced May 16 on her website that the Malay translation of the book had been released. It was originally published in English last June. Her earlier book, “The Trouble with Islam Today,” was translated into more than 30 languages.
The case will be investigated as an apparent violation of the Federal Territory Syariah Offences Act against publication of books that conflict with Islamic teachings, Bernama reported.
Manji, a Uganda-born author with Canadian citizenship, is “unapologetic for her defence of the gay and lesbian lifestyle” says the website Malaysiakini.com. She “has challenged critics to explain how Allah, in all His glory, could have made ‘misfits or abominations.’ “
In an interview, she said that in the Quran, “everybody is a deliberate act of creation on God’s part. So even gays and lesbians have been created by God.”
Under Malaysian law, homosexual activities are punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Earlier this month, scheduled talks by Manji were canceled by two universities in Indonesia after hundreds of opponents assembled at the lecture sites, demanding that she be prevented from speaking, the Jakarta Globe reported.
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- ‘Allah, Liberty & Love’ launched amidst obstacles (hornbillunleashed.wordpress.com)
- Gay Muslim activist launches book in Malaysia (news.yahoo.com)
- Irshad Manji says “The Biggest Problem with Islam Are the Muslims” (intelligentunion.wordpress.com)
- Irshad Manji book tour in Indonesia runs into trouble with Islamic ‘thugs’ (news.nationalpost.com)
- Lady Gaga concert under threat from Islamic hardliners after attack on author (smh.com.au)
- Commentary: a book on Islam (ipotpourri.wordpress.com)