In the past few weeks, a new list of banned books was announced, among those were publications by the Islamic Renaissance Front’s Malay translation of Mustafa Akyol’s Islam Without Extremes, and the series of Wacana Pemikiran Reformis I and II that call for a reform in Islamic thought and implore to revitalize Muslim intellectual discourse in the Muslim societies. The book-banning spree happened in succession to the harassment and investigations to a guest speaker, the internationally renowned Turkish intellectual-journalist, Mustafa Akyol, who openly promotes liberty, religious inclusivity and democracy among the Muslim ummah. One thing in common about these persecutions, as occasionally happened before, towards books of critical ideas and intellectual speakers, is the aim in curtailing the voice of reason in Islam. Such persecutions have once again exposed and amplified the insecurities of the majority Muslims, brings us to question the centuries-old myth; of whether reason, is really a threat to faith and society?
About 100 concerned citizens attended “Is Reason a Threat to Faith and Society?” Public forum yesterday at University of Nottingham Teaching Centre, Chulan Tower, Kuala Lumpur. This is part of our campaign activities on crackdowns on intellectuals, people are against thought policing and academic meddling.