Friday March 15, 2013
Government’s bid to challenge ruling on SIS book dismissed
PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court here has dismissed the Government’s application to challenge the lifting of a ban on a book published by Sisters in Islam (SIS) that it deemed controversial.
The book Muslim Women and the Challenges of Islamic Extremism was banned by the Home Ministry on July 31, 2008, on the grounds that it would threaten public order.
The panel, lead by Justice Hashim Yusoff, unanimously upheld the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s 2010 decision to lift the ban.
The five-man panel which also included Justices Suriyadi Halim Omar, Ahmad Maarop, Zaleha Zahari and Zainun Ali dismissed the appeal with no order on costs.
SIS’ lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar submitted to the court that the appeal was academic as the Home Ministry’s grounds in banning the book was proven wrong by the fact it had caused no public disorder in the three years it had been in distribution since the ban was lifted.
SIS lauded the decision, saying it signalled 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.
The book is a compilation of essays based on research carried out by scholars and women activists.