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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Aziz Bari may quit UIA in a week

He says his friends are being persecuted.

SEREMBAN: Constitutional law expert Aziz Bari is considering quitting his job as professor at the International Islamic University (UIA) to stop the alleged persecution of scholars close to him.

“I will decide in a week whether to remain as a professor in UIA or quit the job immediately,” he told FMT yesterday in an interview here at Akademi Merdeka, where he attended a forum on the Federal Constitution organised by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS).

He said he liked working at UIA and could deal with the pressure the university was placing on him for his outspokenness.

“But people surrounding me, especially my friends, are suffering because of me,” he added.

“For example, one of my friends wrote and launched a book. He mentioned my name in the appreciation section of the book. Just for that he was questioned by certain quarters.”

Aziz said many of his associates had been giving him advice about his future since his recent run-in with the UIA management and other authorities over his comments on the constitutionality of decisions made by the Sultan of Selangor.

“Some of them asked me to remain as an academician in UIA, but some of them suggest that I jump into politics.

“I need time and definitely I have to consult with my family and close friends before I decide. But if I quit my job at UIA, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I will join any political party. I’m not committing to that yet. Let me think first.”

Aziz courted controversy when he commented on the Sultan’s statement that there was evidence—though not enough for prosecution in a court of law—that a local church group was engaged in attempts to convert Muslims to Christianity.

That comment led to his suspension from UIA, which was eventually lifted.

He again found himself in hot water when he gave his opinion on allegations that the Sultan had ordered the Selangor legislative assembly to dispense with debate and pass amendments that gave the Selangor Islamic Religious Council unprecedented powers.

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