Zahid, please explain your ministry’s actions

Raja Sara Petra

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi should explain why the book, “Breaking the Silence: Voices of Moderation – Islam in a Constitutional Democracy”, was banned. Jeswan Kaur says the book was banned because G25, who published the book, “rejected extremism and radicalism” (READ HERE: http://www.malaysia-today.net/punished-for-rejecting-extremism-and-radicalism/). This means, according to Jeswan, the government supports extremism and radicalism.

Ramon Navaratnam is also outraged by the ban and asks, “Is the government becoming more intolerant of moderate views?” Ramon also agrees with Jeswan that the government rejects moderation and supports extremism and radicalism (READ HERE: http://www.malaysia-today.net/no-basis-for-ban-on-g25-book/). Ramon also asks, “Are our fundamental freedoms of free speech, freedom of expression and indeed, other basic freedoms, now under greater threat?”

The impression these people are creating is that the government banned the book because the government rejects moderate Islam and supports extreme and radical Islam. These may be views of two non-Muslims but the fact that many (not just these two) non-Muslims hold such views is because they do not understand Islam and consider Islam, as what the west would say, ‘the new Communism’. In other words, in the past Communism was the enemy of the west and today that has been replaced by Islam as the new enemy of the west.

So the government cannot just ban publications and say that it is to preserve public order. The reason for the ban needs to be explained — such as what that book says that may trigger riots and bloodshed on the streets. If we ban books and do not explain the reason for the ban then the anti-government activists and opposition supporters can use that ban as ‘evidence’ that the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak government is no different from the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad government of the old days.


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