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Press Statement: Sisters in Islam Calls for a Halt to the Intimidation of Dr Abdul Aziz Bari (21 October 2011)

Sisters in Islam (SIS) is appalled at the current targeting of Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari by many sectors, including the police force and the International Islamic University of Malaysia (UIA). As an academic whose interest lies in Constitutional matters and Islamic policies, Aziz acted within his professional bounds when he commented on the fallout from the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS)’s raid on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church on 3 August. While some may take issue with Aziz’s analysis, they should engage and challenge his views via civil, public discussions instead of intimidating him. To accuse him of treason (derhaka) when he was critiquing the monarchy’s exercise of its Constitutional powers is unjust and in breach of Islamic adab.

After all, SIS is no stranger to intimidation by state authorities, political parties and non-governmental organisations when we comment on issues of public interest. Therefore, we are concerned at the way Aziz is now being treated, such as being investigated under the Sedition Act and suspended by the UIA.

SIS is thus worried at the systematic demonising and shutting down of diverse voices wanting to discuss matters of public interest related to Islamic policies and laws in Malaysia. We hope that various parties will show mercy and compassion towards Aziz and call for the harassment on him to stop.

Sisters in Islam
21 October 2011