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in 08-01-31
The Center for Islamic Pluralism

The Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP), an international network of Muslim moderates with operating groups and correspondents in the U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, France, Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Albania, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and other countries PROTESTS a decision by Federation of Malaysia authorities to ban The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role in Terrorism, authored by CIP Executive Director Stephen Schwartz.

The Two Faces of Islam was published by Doubleday, New York, 2002, and has been translated and published in Bosnian, Croatian, Albanian, and Bahasa Indonesia – the latter readable by Malaysians, under the title Dua Wajah Islam. Translations into other major languages read by Muslims are in preparation.

Executive Director Schwartz commented on the news, “It’s contemptible and, frankly, reveals the backward-looking attitudes of authorities in Malaysia , a country which prides itself on its alleged modernization as an economic tiger. In reality, books cannot be banned today. They are smuggled, pirated – especially in Southeast Asia – downloaded, and, in the case of my book, can easily be imported from Indonesia and read by Malaysians who do not know English. I consider this ban a badge of pride. I do, however, call on moderate Muslims and those who sympathize with moderate Islam, as well as all supporters of freedom of expression, to protest to the Malaysian authorities against this absurd decision.”

Schwartz suggested that Saudi-Wahhabi agents in Malaysia had become alarmed by the publication of the book in Bahasa Indonesia. In addition, fundamentalist advocates trained in Malaysia have recently stirred up trouble in the Balkans, using their past solidarity with embattled Bosnia-Hercegovina as a pretext for extremist agitation.

“The Two Faces of Islam will continue to be published in Muslim countries and read by ordinary Muslims,” Schwartz said. “The counter-jihad has hardly begun, and the arbitrary abuses committed by Malaysian and other radicals will do nothing more than call attention to our work. I do not believe this ridiculous decision reflects on the people of Malaysia or their Islam; rather, it reveals that a serious confrontation is underway in that country between moderates and extremists. The notable fact that my book, which is supported by numerous Muslim scholars, was banned in a ‘grab-bag’ list including Islamic and non-Islamic works, demonstrates the immoral use of the ‘technique of the amalgam,’ which was made famous by Communist regimes in suppressing their critics. It is unworthy of any Muslim to support such desperate intrigues as undertaken in Malaysia. No books on any religion should be banned in Malaysia . The involvement of the Ministry of Internal Security in this disreputable action is ludicrous; my book is in no way a threat to the internal security of Malaysia .”

Schwartz concluded his comments on the incident with the Quranic citation, “ ‘Say: “I seek refuge in the Lord of men, the King of men, the God of men, from the mischief of the slinking prompter who whispers in the hearts of men.”’” (Surah 114).

* * *

The Center for Islamic Pluralism requests that protestors against this ban address communications to:

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
800 N. Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 790
Washington , D.C. 20002 USA

U.S. Embassy to Malaysia
Amb. James Keith
376 Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur

Federation of Malaysia
Ministry of Internal Security
Blok D1 & D2, Parcel D,
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan
62546 Putrajaya

Embassy of Malaysia
3516 International Court NW
Washington , DC 20008-3002 USA

Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations
313 East 43rd Street
New York , NY 10017 USA

Malaysian High Commission in Canada
60 Boteler Street
Ottawa , Ontario
K1N 8Y7 Canada

Malaysian High Commission in UK
45-46 Belgrave Square

Embassy of Malaysia in Germany
Klingelhoeferstr. 6
10785 Berlin
Federal Republic of Germany

Embassy of Malaysia in France
2bis rue Bénouville
75116 Paris

Embassy of Malaysia in Croatia
Slavujevac 4A
10000 Zagreb

Embassy of Malaysia in Bosnia-Herzegovina
Radnicka 4A
71000 Sarajevo

Liaison Office of Malaysia in Kosovo
No. 12, Partizani Street
Prishtina, Kosovo

Embassy of Malaysia for Macedonia
c/o Embassy of Malaysia in Hungary
Pasaréti út. 29
1026 Budapest

Embassy of Malaysia for Albania
c/o Embassy of Malaysia in Italy
Via Nomentana 297
00162 Roma

Embassy of Malaysia in Turkey
No. 58, Mahatma Gandhi Caddesi
06700 Gaziosmanpasa

Embassy of Malaysia in Saudi Arabia
Diplomatic Quarters
P.O. Box 94335
11693 Riyadh
Saudi Arabia

Embassy of Malaysia in Kazakhstan

Malaysian High Commission in Pakistan
No. 78 Margalla Road , F-6/2
P.O. 1034

Embassy of Malaysia in India
50-M, Satya Marg
110021 Chanakyapuri
New Delhi

Malaysian High Commission in Singapore
301, Jervois Road
249 077

Malaysian Embassy to Indonesia
Jalan H.R. Rasuna Said Kav, X/6, No. 1-3 Kuningan
Jakarta Selatan

Note: To avoid spam filters, please write in the subject line of e-mails:

Copies of protest e-mails should be blind-copied to:

The ban was publicized as follows:

Ministry Bans 11 Books About Islam

KUALA LUMPUR , Jan 29 (Bernama) – The Internal Security Ministry has banned 11 books – eight in English and three in Bahasa Malaysia – about Islam whose contents have been found to be deviating from the teaching of the religion.

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 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 [sic] 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).


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