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ASRI'S ARREST: JAIS AND STATE MUFTI TO BRIEF SELANGOR EXCO

Maria J.Dass

SHAH ALAM (Nov 3, 2009) : The Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS) and the state mufti are to brief the state executive council on the arrest of former Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainal Abidin tomorrow.

Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim issued the invite to the two parties today.

In a statement on Monday, Abdul Khalid said the state was aware of the public sentiment on the arrest by JAIS, which has powers that are independent of the state government to implement the Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment.

He hoped JAIS would give a reasonable explanations to the public about the incident, as there have been uncertainties and questions arising as to the nature of arrest and that they would conduct investigations in a fair manner.

The Islamic scholar’s arrest unleashed a torrent of accusations and finger pointing over who ordered it.

On Monday Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak denied that the arrest had anything to do with the federal government and shifted the blame to the Selangor state government.

Abdul Khalid and other Selangor leaders, on their part, denied any involvement, and labelled the arrest as a "ruthless act".

JAIS yesterday said that Asri’s arrest was not politically motivated and that the charge against Asri was for breaking the law by not obtaining the necessary permit for preaching on religion.

This was an offence the department had written to notify Asri about several times before, said Jais director Datuk Mohammed Khusrin Munawi.

Asri, who was arrested by JAIS enforcement officers and police on Sunday night while preaching at a private residence in Hulu Klang, has been released on bond and is yet to be charged.

--THE SUN DAILY--



JAIS DENIES ASRI'S CLAIMS

Submitted by pekwan on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 08:05:00


JABATAN Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) says that though former Perlis mufti Dr Asri Zainal Abidin was aware that he had to get Jais approval before he could give talks or preach in the State, he never made any application.

Its director, Datuk Mohammad Khusrin Munawi, who said this, denied claims that they had rejected Dr Asri’s applications. Mohd Khusrin claimed that even when Asri was Perlis mufti, he was aware of the procedures.

However, it was Asri who had never submitted any application, he said.

“We had sent the letters to every mufti to inform them of this procedure, even when he held the post of mufti in 2006. It’s impossible he was not informed of this,” Mohd Khusrin said yesterday.

On the possibility of legal action by Asri against Jais, Mohd Khusrin said that the decision was entirely up to him (Asri).

“We cannot stop people from doing what they want. If he wants to sue us no one can stop him,” he said.

He reiterated the statement he made at the press conference on Monday, that the arrest was based on the grounds that Asri was “not qualified” to give talks in Selangor.

Asri said he did not submit any application because he claimed when he was a mufti, Jais had allowed other muftis to give talks in Selangor but not him.

“They (Jais) had already stopped me, so how could I proceed with any application?” he asked.

He also questioned the way the arrest was made on Sunday night.

“Why did they have to bring so many officers, as though I was the most wanted criminal for an offence like this?” he asked.

“I wonder what was Jais’ agenda behind all this,” he said, adding that Jais’ actions just showed the limits of freedom of speech in the State.

Asri was arrested on Sunday night while giving a talk in Taman Seri Ukay, Hulu Kelang. He will most likely be charged next Monday under Section 119 of the Selangor Islamic Administration Enactment for preaching without the State’s permission.

If found guilty, he can be fined not more than RM3,000 or two years imprisonment or both.

--MALAY MAIL--

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