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One would expect a religious person to be sensitive, calm and understanding. I am talking about normal circumstances where the society is not in turmoil and people go about doing their business in peace. I am talking about civil servants being professional in the discharge of their duties. Alas, it is not so in this country. This is the problem when religion is becoming an integral part of the psyche of authorities to the extent that any criticism or situation appearing to clash with anything religious would be pursued to the utmost limit by the power that be.

I am referring to the relentless “persecution” of a Muslim lady who is a manager of a bookstore which put on sale a book whose contents had riled the religious authorities. They charged her in shariah court without taking into account that the book was not yet banned in this country at that point of time (Yes, in this gradually “suffocating” country, they ban many books which do not agree with them!). The matter was brought to the civil court to determine the legality of the charge and the civil court has ruled  that Jawi (the religious department) acted illegally and unconstitutionally in raiding Borders and seizing the books six days before the book was banned by the Home Ministry.

The point is the lady is only an employee of the bookstore. She has no authority on which books the non-Muslim owner wants to put up for sale. But because she is a Muslim, the religious department chose to charge her in a shariah court which has no jurisdiction over non-Muslims. Anyway to cut the story short, following the ruling of the civil court, the shariah court later discharged the case not amounting to an acquittal. Everyone, except we know who, sighed with relief. At last some sense had prevailed over these religious authorities, putting to rest a long winded case. Hold on…… not too fast! Look at this report, the religious department is still pursuing the matter by appealing against both the civil and the shariah court’s decisions and what more the blinking department’s prosecutor had the gall to issue the notice of appeal directly to the lady manager (Nik Raina), intimidating her, showing his power, reflecting his ego, vindictiveness  and arrogance…..to a woman!

Nik Raina and photo of the banned book (source:  FMT)

Nik Raina and photo of the banned book
(source: FMT)

I am worried about these religious departments and religious courts because the people who work in these government agencies are likely to be those who are set in their mind and will come out with “verses” from the holy book to justify their words and actions irrespective of the facts that some of those verses were suitable for people living in deserts some 2000 years ago.

For their conviction, they take everything incongruent to their faiths personally as you might have already seen in areas relating to this kind of religion. They will not rest till they get their quarry. They would rather see this woman depressed and broken. Surely the Almighty would frown upon this sick behaviour. What kind of government servants are these?

And “Apa lagi kau  Jawi, the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department, mau ?” (What else do you want ?); a broken woman, mother, wife , daughter and sister? As only then would your dark hearts be satisfied?

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