Last week, Shah Alam UMNO lodged a report against Malaysian Bar Council for releasing an article that insults Islam in their May/June 2004 edition of Infoline. This was reported by Bernama on 4th August 2004
The article entitled “Local Authorities Ought To Be Sensitive To Individual Rights” described the azan prayer as “noise pollution and an annoyance to neighbours.” The report was lodged by Mohd Azhar Othman, a member of the Shah Alam Umno Division committee and also head of the Section 7 Shah Alam Utara Umno Branch. He said Shah Alam Umno regretted that the Bar Council as a body set up under the Legal Professions Act 1976 had not taken into account the feelings of the Muslim community and Malaysia’s status as a multiracial country when publishing the article.
Bar president Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari defends the Infoline article and said that “”The Bar will be the last to exercise censorship over articles sent to us for publication. Anything that appears on Insaf (KL Bar Committee newsletter) or Infoline does not necessarily reflect the views of the Malaysian Bar,” He added that it did not appear
to be insulting Islam “if it is read within the proper context”. He said it was quite clear that the writer did not intend to cause any insult to any religious practice.” Indeed, the central theme of the article is not on religion but on a call for the adoption of a moderate and tolerant approach by the relevant authorities in regulating people’s activities. Those who read the article in full will understand the context within which the writer had argued his points,” he said.
Do you think what the Bar Council did is correct? Read the article and judge for yourself Human Writes Pull Out (Issue 10) (Page 4)