Anwar backs banning books that insult, ridicule Islam

Danial Dzulkifly

Anwar said it is not right to insult or ridicule Islam and Prophet Muhammad. — Picture by Hari Anggara

PETALING JAYA, Aug 17 — PKR incoming president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today he detests the banning of books, but he would make an exception for publications that insult Islam and Prophet Muhammad.

He gave the example of The Satanic Verses, the seminal but controversial 1988 novel by British Indian author Salman Rushdie — who was forced to seek protection and asylum in the UK due to the death threats and fatwa issued by Muslims worldwide after its publication.

“This is only my personal view. I am not inclined to the issue on banning [books] unless it is the Satanic Verses book. That is different.

“Insulting and ridiculing Islam and the Prophet, that is not right,” he told the press.

Anwar was responding to a question on whether authors are now free to publish their books under the new government

He assured that creative freedom and space would be granted to writers to publish differing views.

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