Malaysia’s High Court Nixes Borders Bookstore Prosecution

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Back in August, CFR reported on a struggle rising in Malaysia, challenging efforts by Muslim authorities to ban books they feel are opposed to Islam.

Tucson-Banned-Books-e1326748570716A trial in a Shariah court was scheduled in Kuala Lumpur for Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz, a 36-year-old Malay woman. A Muslim, she simply worked for a Borders bookshop. But she was charged with distributing a book offensive to Islam, even though she didn’t choose the books or stack the shelves. She faced a possible 3,000 ringgit fine ($1,000), a two-year jail term, and a criminal record.

Last week, she got a reprieve from the country’s legal elite. Malaysia’s High Court ruled the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI) acted illegally last year when it raided the Borders bookstore at the Gardens Mall and seized Irshad Manji’s book “Allah, Liberty and Love.”

You can see The Malaysia Insider story on the High Court’s ruling here.

Our CFR August story on the struggle is here.