Published: Thursday March 14, 2013 MYT 3:03:00 PM
Updated: Thursday March 14, 2013 MYT 4:01:16 PM
Federal Court allows book by Sisters-In-Islam
By QISHIN TARIQ
PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has dismissed the Government's leave to appeal in challenging the lifting of a ban on the book “Muslim Women and the Challenges of Islamic Extremism” published by Sisters-in-Islam (SIS).
The book was banned by the Home Ministry on July 31, 2008 on the grounds that it would threaten public order.
The ban was, however, lifted by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur in 2010.
On Thursday, the Federal Court panel, led by Justice Hashim Yusoff, unanimously maintained the High Court's decision.
SIS's counsel, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, submitted that the appeal was academic as the Home Ministry's grounds that the book was prejudicial to public safety had not been proven by the fact it caused no disorder in the three years it was in distribution.
In a statement issued Thursday, SIS lauded the decision, saying it signaled the judiciary's firm commitment to upholding fundamental liberties as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
SIS had filed for judicial review of the ban on Dec 15, 2008, which led to the KL High Court overturning the ban on Jan 25, 2010.
Then Home Minister Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar attempted to appeal the decision in the Court of Appeal, but was denied.
Justice Abdul Wahab Patai, who chaired the panel, said the former Home Minister's satisfaction that the book was prejudicial to public interest without any clear evidence of any prejudicial events occurring was in "outrageous defiance of logic," and and fell within the realm of irrationality.
The book, published in October 2005, is a compilation of essays based on research carried out by international scholars and 18 women activists.