Utusan comic strip insulted Islam, say Muslim scholars

By Syed Mu’az Syed Putra and Debra Chong
June 15, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (PUM) has accused Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia of insulting Islam with a comic strip published today, which the society said was based on an incorrect reading of the religion’s laws.

The 4,000-strong Muslim scholars’ society demanded the authorities charge the cartoonist and the publisher for insulting Islam, saying the publication of the misleading cartoon had portrayed in a negative light the religion of the majority in multicultural Malaysia at a time when Muslims were seen to lack religious knowledge.

PUM was referring to a two-panel comic strip on page 15 of the Malay daily today titled “Kekeliruan kes rogol” [“Confusion in rape cases”] depicting a tudung-clad woman seeking advice after being raped.

“I only managed to record the incident with a handphone,” the sobbing woman is depicted as saying to her serban-clad village head in the first panel.

“You were raped? Were there four witnesses?” he replies, adding, “The recording device cannot be a witness because it has no ears and eyes. It’s only steel … enough, it’s better for you to drop the case.”

The woman’s same complaint in the second panel to a figure resembling a police officer draws a different response.

“Superb … the tool can be used as evidence!” the moustachioed man informs her while appearing to type out a report.

PUM secretary-general Mohd Roslan Mohd Nor explained to The Malaysian Insider when contacted that under Islamic laws on adultery, four witnesses are required to prove the offence happened; video recordings are not accepted as evidence.

But in cases of rape, there is no requirement for four witnesses to testify and video recordings can be used as proof, he explained.

“Which means Utusan Malaysia is wrong and has insulted Islam,” said Mohd Roslan.

PUM urged the National Fatwa Council to make a stand on the issue.

It also called on the government to hold more national conventions to resolve issues within the Muslim community at a time when Muslim society is seen to lack solid religious knowledge.

PUM challenged the muftis to condemn the Malay daily for the cartoon, which it said “appears to weaken the views of the scholars and gives a negative impression of Islam.”

“A newspaper should be a tool for unity and the creation of awareness, not add friction and split the community,” the society reminded Utusan in a media statement.

“Such a thing should not happen; they should get the views of the experts on religious matters before releasing such material,” it added.

  1. #1 by ddivean on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 10:08 am

    Its not an insult.. Utusan is saying that civil law supercedes Shariah. By the way, where the hell is Perkasa on this – no jihad??

  2. #2 by Bigjoe on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 10:37 am

    Perkasa, you want to create chaos for Free and Fair election But you don’t oppose this? Again more proof Perkasa fights for UMNOputras

  3. #3 by sheriff singh on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 11:37 am

    Its only a comic strip…….but in bad taste.

    But nothing will happen to Utusan Malaysia.

  4. #4 by k1980 on Thursday, 16 June 2011 - 12:30 pm

    If there are 4 witnesses to a rape, they should be shot for standing by and oogling instead of helping the victim to fend off the rapist.

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