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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

New Naratif slams investigation into Maryam Lee event

The investigation into author Maryam Lee has drawn flack from regional alliance New Naratif who has called the decision "troubling".
"We are troubled to hear that Maryam Lee, the author of Unveiling Choice, is being investigated under Section 10 (a) of the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995," it said in a statement today.
Last week, Maryam (above) said she received a formal letter that contained an order for her to give a statement to the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) to assist an investigation in accordance with Section 58 (1) of the Syariah Criminal Procedure Enactment (Selangor) 2003.
“My presence is required for an investigation under Section 10 (a) of the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995, which criminalises ‘any person who by words which are capable of being heard or read or by drawings, marks or other forms of representation which are visible or capable of being visible or in any other manner: (a) insults or brings into contempt the religion of Islam […]’
It is believed that she is being investigated in relation to a discussion held in April at the launch of her book Unveiling Choice, which is about the removal of the headscarf amongst Muslim women.
"The choice of whether or not to don a hijab is a very personal one and it is important that people have the opportunity to tell their stories, share their experiences, and engage in good-faith conversations, regardless of their ultimate decisions," said New Naratif.
New Naratif is a platform for Southeast Asian journalism, research, art and community-building. It identifies as a movement for democracy and for freedom of expression and information for a better Southeast Asia.
Maryam had launched the book at a forum entitled “Malay Women and De-Hijabbing” held at the Gerakbudaya bookstore in Petaling Jaya.
Besides Maryam, the other two speakers at the forum were lawyer Dian Sofia and journalist-editor Mohani Niza.
Posters of the event described the book as Maryam’s personal account of "de-hijabbing," which she hoped would "inspire empathy and compassion towards women like her who went through an intellectual and spiritual journey that meant making decisions that sometimes go against cultural norms."
Following the event, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Religious Affairs Mujahid Yusof Rawa said that he was “seriously concerned” about it and had contacted Jais over his concerns. - Mkini

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