Friday, 1 February 2008

The Opposite Efffect of Book-Banning by the UMNO-led Govenment

From "Teh-O-Ki" Blog


Zaharan Razak

Excerpts: Read HERE and HERE for more article by Zaharan Razak
"... There's a news item about the banning of 11 books on the grounds that they are contrary to or contain inaccurate information about mainstream Islam.

Primed now to have a look at any of the 11 books banned today? Google the title "Secrets of the Koran by Don Richardson " at Amazon and there are more than 50 reviews to whet your appetite.

Go ahead and ban it to be seen doing your job but the implications are not worth it.

Of course the authorities have their codes of morality, faith and political correctness to uphold, but some question the effectiveness of the move especially when, as often happen, there is a "changing of the guard" and the ban is lifted. This happened to Dr Mahathir's book "The Malay Dilemma," to cite one instance.

Another criticism is that the very act of banning the books brings attention and provides free publicity to them and many people who otherwise might not have known would be moved to read them to see what the fuss is all about.

I suppose the real service of the ban is that the authorities are seen doing their duty for which they are given fat salaries from taxpayers money, their image is polished "menjelang pilihan raya" and as a sop to the collective hypocrisy aka as emperor's new clothes.

For one it implies that the Malaysian public are not intelligent enough, or worse, free to make their own judgments.
  1. How are we going to grow up wise and worldly if we are prevented from knowing what the "other side" is saying?

  2. How are we going to grow up big and strong and take our place on the world stage if we don't know our weaknesses?

  3. How are you going to defeat the "enemy" if you don't know its strengths and weaknesses?

  4. How are we going to know their t's and s's if we don't know their language and books, while they know ours?
In fact we may even be in a situation where they even teach us our language!
  • Who wrote the first Malay dictionary? Winstedt.

  • Who founded the first Malay language college? Winstedt.

  • Who is the greatest Malay scholar? Zaaba. His teacher? Winstedt.
  • The policy of banning books by the authorities is self-serving at the expense of the rakyat who is simply regarded as fodder or collateral to prop up their status, position and authority.

    This may well be a grand plot, at least in effect if not by design, to subjugate and repress the masses to keep them stupid and subservient so that they will never present a threat to the RULING class...."

    Related Articles

    here for more
    "... Adding to the furor over whether non-Muslims have the right to use the word “Allah” in their publications and religious practice, on January 11 online news agency Malaysiakini reported that officials confiscated English-language Christian children’s books because they contained images of prophets.

    The government reportedly said Internal Security Ministry officials confiscated the books because their illustrations of prophets offended the sensitivities of Muslims. Islam, which shares some prophets in common with Christianity, prohibits the portrayal of prophets.

    Enforcement officials of the Publications and Al-Quran Texts Control Department under the Internal Security Ministry, headed by Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, reportedly confiscated the books from three MPH bookstores in Johor Bahru, Senawang and Ipoh in mid-December.

    The books have been sent to the department’s headquarters in Putrajaya for investigation. Managers of the MPH bookstores reportedly said they will wait for the Internal Security Ministry’s decision on the books.

    In a statement released yesterday (January 17) , the Rev. Dr. Hermen Shastri, general-secretary of the Council of Churches Malaysia questioned how the books could be offensive to Muslims when they were not meant for them.

    In the strongly worded statement about the seizures, Shastri said government officials have no right and have overstepped their bounds by confiscating Christian literature.”

    He urged the prime minister and his Cabinet to take immediate action to put a stop to such seizures and to “
    amend administrative rules and regulations especially in the Internal Security Ministry that give a free hand to enforcement officials to act at their whim and fancies.”

    At the same time, the debate over whether non-Muslims can use the word “Allah” in publications and religious practice was stoked when the Internal Security Ministry told the Sun on Wednesday (January 16) that it had confiscated a total of 163 publications comprising 18 titles from bookshops nationwide.

    A ministry official told the daily that the seizures were made because the word “Allah” was used in the books...."

    According to the ministry's Quran Publication Control and Text Division Secretary Che Din Yusoh, the ban order was gazetted on Jan 17 under Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.

    The 11 books banned are:

    * Secrets Of The Koran: Revealing Insights Into Islam's Holy Book by Don Richardson (Regal Books From Gospel Light, Ventura, Calfornia, USA);

    * Qur'an and Women Rereading the Secrets Text From Woman's Perspective by Amina Wadud (Oxford University Press, New York);

    * The Two Faces Of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and It's Role in Terrorism by Stephen Schwartz (Anchor Books, New York);

    * Woman In Islam by Margaret Speaker Yuan (Greenhaven Press Farmington Hills);

    * Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About The World's Fastest-Growing Faith by Robert Spencer (Encounter Books Califonia);

    * What Makes Me A Muslim by Catherine M. Petrini (KidHaven Press Farmington Hills);

    * The Importance Of Muhammad by Marilyn Tower Oliver (Lucent Books, Farmington Hills);

    * Faiths Islam Worship, Festival and Ceremonies From Around The World by Trevor Barnes (Kingfisher, Massachusets);

    * Amalan Kemurahan Rezeki by Lifa Karimah (Jasmin Enterprise);

    * Rahsia Jalan Yang Lurus (Al-Mustaqim, Johor Bahru); and

    * Islam & Pluralisme by Al-Mustaqeem Mahmood Radhi (Middle Eastern Gruaduate Centre, Damansara Kuala Lumpur).

    April 26 2007: The Internal Security Ministry has banned 37 book titles and publications on Islam containing twisted facts that can undermine the faith of Muslims.Secretary of the Publications and Quranic Texts Control Division Che Din Yusoh said today 21 of the publications were in the English language and published in the United States, United Kingdom and Jordan while 16 were in Bahasa Malaysia and published in Malaysia and Indonesia.
    + Unveiled At Last: Bob Sjogren (YWAM Publishing, United States);

    + The Last of the Giants: George Otis Jr (Fleming H.Revell, US;

    + Inside the Community: Understanding Muslims Through Their Traditions: Phil Parshall (Baker Books, US);

    + Now You Can Know What Muslims Believe: (Ministries to Muslims, US);

    + Blind Following of Madhhabs: Shaykh Muhammad Sultaan (Al-Hidaayah Publishing, United Kingdom);

    + My Journey from The Christianity of Ahlul Sunnah Wal Jamaah To The Islam Of The Prophet: Saim Bakar;

    + Answering Islam The Crescent in Light of the Cross: Norman L Geisler, Abdul Saleeb (Baker Books, US);

    + Islam in Context Past, Present and Future: Peter G. Riddell, Peter Cotterell (Baker Academic, US);

    + Feminism and Islamic Fundamentalism, The Limit of Post-modern Analysis: Haideh Moghissi (Zed Books Ltd, UK);

    + Islam At The Crossroads, Understanding Its Beliefs, History and Conflicts: Paul Marshall, Roberta Green, Lela Gilbert (Baker Books, US);

    + Glad News! God Loves You My Muslim Friends: Samy Tanagho (Authentic Media, US);+ The Fifth Pillar A Spiritual Pilgrimage: David Zeidan (Piquant, Great Britain);

    + Heart of the Koran by Lex Hixton (The Theosophical Publishing House, US);

    + The Life and Times of Muhammad: Sir John Glubb (Madison Books, US);

    + Inside Islam The Faith, The People and The Conflicts of the World's Fastest Growing Religion (Marlowe & Company, US);

    + Jesus and Muhammad Profound Differences and Suprising Similarities: Mark A. Gabriel (Charisma House,US);

    + Nine Parts of Desire The Hidden World of Islamic Women: Geraldine Brooks (Anchor Books, US);

    + Introducing Islam: The Basics: Kim Whiteheads (Mason Crest Publishers, Jordan);

    + Introducing Islam: Islam, Christianity and Judaism: Dorothy Kavanaugh (Mason Crest, Jordan);

    + Murder in the Name of Allah: Hazrat Mirza, Tahir Ahmad (Lutterworth Press, Great Britain); and,

    + The New Paths in Muslim Evangelism, Evangelical, Approaches to Contextualization (Baker Book House, US).
    The banned book titles published LOCALLY are:
    + Ringkasan Mafatih Al-Jinan Kunci Pembuka Syurga: Syeikh At-Tuisy (Jasmin Enterprise, Kuala Lumpur);

    + Bahaya Tarikat Sufi/Tasawuf Terhadap Masyarakat: Ustaz Rasul Bin Dahri (Perniagaan Jaha Bersaudara, Johor); and

    + Apa itu Ahmadiyah?: Mirza Bashiruddin, Mahmud Ahmad (Jemaat Islam Ahmadiah, Batu Caves).
    The banned book titles published in INDONESIA are:
    + Petunjuk Membuat Azimat dan Benda Bertuah: Abd. Hamid Zahwan (CV.Aneka, Solo),

    + Islam Tanpa Syariat Menggali Universalitas Tradisi: Ziauddin Sardar (Penerbit Grafindo);

    + Ombak Hidup Mengalami Damai Di Mata Taufan - (Yayasan Isahi Nusantara, Jakarta),

    + The Passion of Christ Kesengsaraan Al-Masihi; Mujarobat Ilmu Kekebalan: Ahmad Toha, Abdul Ghoni (CV Bintang);

    + Menyoal Relevensi Sunnah Dalam Islam Modern: Daniel W. Brown, Jaziar Radianti (Penerbitan Mizan, Bandung);

    + Rahsia Manusia Menyingkap Ruh Ilahi: Syekh Nur ad-Din ar-Raniri (Pustaka Sufi, Yogyakarta);

    + Ikhtisar Tajul Muluk (Mahkota Raja): Abd.Hamid Zahwan (CV Aneka, Solo);

    + Pilihan Do'a Jaljalut Mengantisipasi Gejolak Zaman Modern: Muh. Rofi'.SI (CV Aneka, Solo);

    + Pengantar Psikologi Al-Quran Dimensi Keilmuan di balik Mushaf Utsmani: Dr Lukman Saksonro (PT Grafikatama Jaya);

    + One True God Risiko Sejarah Bertuhan Satu: Rodney Stark, Sadat Ismail (Penerbit Qalam,Yogyakarta);

    + Tasawuf Dalam Qur'an: Dr Mir Valiudin (Pustaka Firdaus, Jakarta); and

    + Wahdat Al-Adyan Dialog Pluralisme Agama: Fathimah Usman (LK iS Yogyakarta).

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