Women's Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation

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Malaysia: No to Jakim attempt to silence writers

Sisters in Islam is shocked by a newspaper report (The Star, 19 April 2002) that JAKIM is planning to ban Muslims with no "in-depth knowledge on Islam" from expressing themselves in public on Islamic issues.
Such a move seems to be an attempt by the religious authorities to monopolise the discourse on Islam in Malaysia to only those who subscribe to one particular point of view in Islam. When Islam in Malaysia is used as a source of law and public policy with widespread impact on the lives of the citizens of a democratic country, any attempt to limit writing about Islam to only those who supposedly have "in-depth knowledge of Islam" tantamount to rule of a theocratic dictatorship.