Section 298A of the same Code states:
Wednesday, July 31, 2013
Maznah: Dogs: Islam
Muslim dog trainer arrested for sedition, says KL CID chief
http://my.news.yahoo.com/muslim-dog-trainer-arrested-sedition-says-kl-cid-104500846.html (1 August 2013)
KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Muslim dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof is under investigation for sedition after an old video showing her bathing her dogs resurfaced online recently and was deemed an insult to Islam, city police said today.
Maznah, popularly known as Chetz Yusof, had come under fire from other Muslims who have reportedly denounced her actions during the fasting month of Ramadan as an insult to their religion.
"Investigate under S.298KK and Akta Hasutan," Kuala Lumpur CID chief SAC Datuk Ku Chin Wah told The Malay Mail Online via a text message, referring to Section 298 of the Penal Code and the Sedition Act.
An offence under Section 298 of the Penal Code is about "uttering words, etc, with deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person."
Ku stressed, however, that the arrest was not made by the KL police as a report against Maznah was first lodged in Segamat, Johor, yesterday.
Maznah was reported by several news portals to have denied earlier today that the video she made three years ago was intended as an insult to Islam.
Ku added that another similar police report was lodged against the 38-year-old Muslim woman at Dang Wangi here today.
Maznah's lawyer Latheefa Koya said that her client was being held at the Commercial Crimes division of Bukit Aman.
In the 105-second video reposted on YouTube yesterday, Maznah is seen walking and bathing her three dogs as the “Takbir Raya”, or Muslim call to prayer traditionally reserved for the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri, plays in the background.
The juxtaposition appeared to be a reference to the wudhu, or ablution performed by Muslims before prayer; dogs are also considered unclean by adherents of the predominant faith in Malaysia.
Maznah, however, was reported by news site Mynewshub.com yesterday as saying that she made the video in 2010 to show that dogs are not “haram” (forbidden) as widely-believed, and that Muslims could keep canines as pets.
“Dogs are not ‘haram’; if they are wet, just ‘samak’,” she was quoted as saying.
“Samak” is the ritual cleansing performed by Muslims when they come into contact with items considered ritually unclean, of which wet dogs are considered to be by some followers of the faith.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) said yesterday that it is investigating Maznah's video.
Maznah told news site Free Malaysia Today in a 2011 interview that she follows the Shafie school of thought in Islam that does not deem dogs as "haram", but merely requires believers to cleanse themselves after touching a wet dog.
Maznah's arrest comes after sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee were charged recently under the Penal Code and Sedition Act, for posting a mock "Selamat Berbuka Puasa" (breaking of fast) greeting on their Facebook page that showed them eating "bak kut teh", a soupy pork dish. Muslims are prohibited from eating pork.
I did not insult Islam, says dog trainer
Malaysiakini, as republished at
A video depicting a Muslim woman celebrating Hari Raya with her dogs has drawn a firestorm of protest.
However, Maznah Mohd Yusof, 38 denied that she had insulted Islam as claimed by her critics.
Speaking to Malaysiakini today, the dog trainer said it was her Muslim critics who were in actual fact disparaging their religion.
"I love my religion. I think these people should learn about their religion first, and not misinterpret my video, which was made three years ago.
"My religion has taught me about the importance of cleanliness...hence this why in the video, I am cleaning myself and my dogs," she said.
Maznah was also saddened that the mosque imam in her area had also expressed outrage over the matter.
"As a religious leader, doesn't he know about Islamic laws? As far as I am concerned, my religion does not forbid me from keeping dogs or caring for them," she added.
Maznah, better known as Chetz, lamented that even her Muslim neighbours, who had no qualms with her keeping dogs before this, were now upset as well.
"This video was made three years ago, why make an issue about it now?
"I believe this is related to the case of bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee... because initially, those who viewed the video mistook me for a Chinese," she said.
The bloggers landed in the soup following a Facebook posting that was deemed offensive to Muslims.
Text message threats
Maznah also revealed that she had been receiving threats via text messages from those who obtained her mobile phone number from her dog training website.
"One of the messages read ' Kau dah hidup lama ke? ' (Have you lived too long?)" she said, adding that she would file a police report.
Maznah revealed that her passion for dogs started when she rescued five strays in 2007 and has been a dog trainer since for the last four years.
Her video titled "1Hari di Hari Raya" - which is available on YouTube - had since made the news.
Utusan Malaysia reported that the video showed "a youth dressed in baju Melayu bathing her dogs on the morning of Hari Raya before 'taking wuduk' (ablution)."
Meanwhile, Bernama reported that the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had been asked to take action with regard to the video.
Ex-mufti: It’s okay to have dogs in Islam
| July 31, 2013
http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/07/31/ex-mufti-its-okay-to-have-dogs-in-islam/ (1 August 2013)
Former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri nevertheless questions the motive of a Muslim woman for making a video celebrating Hari Raya with her dogs
PETALING JAYA: Former Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said it was not wrong for Muslims to care for or even own a dog.
“In fact, it is rewardable in Islam to care for a dog. In a hadith, a prostitute was forgiven by Allah because she gave some water to a dog,” he said.
“There is also a story of a bunch of youths who revolted against the government and were forced to flee to a cave, where they lived for a long time. These youths were joined by a dog.
“Therefore, the dog is not always a bad connotation. They are not our enemies,” he added.
Mohd Asri was responding to a video showing a Muslim woman and her three dogs with ‘takbir raya’ playing in the background.
The video, made three years ago by Maznah Mohd Yusof, 38, also known as Chetz, surfaced recently on Facebook, and quickly provoked a firestorm of protests among Muslims groups.
The video, which lasts 1:44 seconds, portrays her in a black Baju Melayu performing ablutions before preparing kuih raya for her dogs.
It also broadcasts the words ‘Raikanlah Aidilfitri bersama-sama, tanpa mengira spesis, warna, asal usul’ (Celebrate Aidilfitri together regardless of species, colour, origin) while featuring the three dogs.
‘Dog a symbol of insult’
Mohd Asri, however, questioned the woman’s reason for making the video.
“There is also a verse in a hadith that disallowed Muslims from bringing dogs into the house. You can own one for protection, but you have to leave it in the compound,” he said.
“In our society the connotation is bad, why do you want to connect these things (the dogs with Hari Raya)? I just don’t understand why she did that. Dogs are considered as insulting animals,” he added.
Mohd Asri said dogs were also considered an insulting animal in Western culture, although they are often known as “man’s best friend”.
“If I call you a dog, that’s an insult. The dog is a symbol of insult,” he said.
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has since been directed to take action on the YouTube video which allegedly insults Islam.
Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Jailani Johari said the commission was instructed to immediately carry out investigations as the video could affect Muslim sensitivities.
“I’ve received many questions on this although the MCMC has yet to get any report on the matter. Therefore I’ve directed the commission to investigate the video,” he told Bernama yesterday.
Maznah was arrested today for causing disharmony following a public outcry over her video clip.
Dogs in Islam
Loyal companions, or unclean animals to be avoided?
Islam teaches its followers to be merciful to all creatures, and all form of animal cruelty is forbidden. Why then, do many Muslims seems to have such a problem with dogs?
Most Muslim scholars agree that the saliva of a dog is ritually impure, and that contact with a dog's saliva requires one to wash seven times. This ruling comes from the hadith:
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "If a dog licks the vessel of any one of you, let him throw away whatever was in it and wash it seven times." (Reported by Muslim)
It is to be noted, however, that one of the major Islamic schools of thought (Maliki) indicates that its not a matter of ritual cleanliness, but simply a common-sense method way to prevent the spread of disease.
There are several other hadith, however, which warn of consequences for dog-owners:
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Whoever keeps a dog, his good deeds will decrease every day by one qeeraat (a unit of measurement), unless it is a dog for farming or herding." In another report, it is said: "... unless it is a dog for herding sheep, farming or hunting." (Reported by al-Bukhaari)
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "Angels do not enter a house wherein there is a dog or an animate picture." (Reported by Bukhari)
Many Muslims base the prohibition against keeping a dog in one's home, except for the case of working or service dogs, on these traditions.
Other Muslims argue that dogs are loyal creatures that are deserving of our care and companionship. They cite the story in the Quran (Surah 18) about a group of believers who sought shelter in a cave and were protected by their canine companion who was "outstretched in their midst."
Also in the Quran, it is specifically mentioned that any prey caught by hunting dogs may be eaten -- without any need for further purification. Naturally, the prey of a hunting dog comes into contact with the saliva of the dog; however this does not render the meat "impure."
"They consult you concerning what is lawful for them; say, Lawful for you are all good things, including what trained dogs and falcons catch for you. You train them according God's teachings. You may eat what they catch for you, and mention God's name thereupon. You shall observe God. God is most efficient in reckoning." -Quran 5:4
There are also stories in Islamic tradition that tell of people who were forgiven their past sins through the mercy they showed towards a dog.
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "A prostitute was forgiven by Allah, because, passing by a panting dog near a well and seeing that the dog was about to die of thirst, she took off her shoe, and tying it with her head-cover she drew out some water for it. So, Allah forgave her because of that."
The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: "A man felt very thirsty while he was on the way, there he came across a well. He went down the well, quenched his thirst and came out. Meanwhile he saw a dog panting and licking mud because of excessive thirst. He said to himself, "This dog is suffering from thirst as I did." So, he went down the well again and filled his shoe with water and watered it. Allah thanked him for that deed and forgave him. (Reported by Bukhari)
In another point of Islamic history, the Muslim army came across a female dog and her puppies while on a march. The Prophet, peace be upon him, posted a soldier nearby her with the orders that the mother and puppies must not be disturbed.
Based on these teachings, many people find that it is a matter of faith to be kind towards dogs, and that dogs can even be beneficial in the lives of human beings. Service animals, such as guide dogs or epilepsy dogs, are important companions to Muslims with disabilities. Working animals, such as guard dogs, hunting or herding dogs are useful and hard-working animals who have earned their place at their owner's side.
Middle Road of Mercy
It is a fundamental tenet of Islam that everything is permissible, except those things that have been explicitly banned. Based on this, most Muslims would agree that it is permissible to have a dog for the purpose of security, hunting, farming, or service to the disabled.
Many Muslims strike a middle ground about dogs -- allowing them for the purposes listed, but ensuring that the animals have their own space which does not overlap with human living spaces. Many would ensure that the dog is kept outdoors as much as possible, and at the very least is not allowed in areas where Muslims in the home pray. For hygienic reasons, when an individual comes into contact with dog saliva, one needs to wash.
Owning a pet is a huge responsibility, that Muslims will need to answer for on the Day of Judgment. Those who choose to have a dog must recognize the duty they undertake to provide food, shelter, training, exercise, and medical care for the animal. That said, most Muslims recognize that pets are not our "children," nor are they humans. One should keep things in perspective.
We must not let our misunderstandings about dogs lead us to neglect, mistreat, or harm them. The Quran describes pious people who had a dog living among them, and dogs are loyal and intelligent creatures that make excellent work and service animals. One must only be careful not to come into contact with the dog's saliva, and to keep its living area clean and away from any areas used for prayer.
Lack of Familiarity
In many countries, dogs are not commonly kept as pets. For some people, their only exposure to dogs may be packs of dogs that wander the streets or rural areas in packs. People who do not grow up around friendly dogs may develop a natural fear of them. They are not familiar with a dog's cues and behaviors, so a rambunctious animal that runs towards them is seen as aggressive, not playful.
Many Muslims who seem to "hate" dogs are really, therefore, simply afraid of them. They may make excuses ("I'm allergic") or emphasize the religious "uncleanliness" of dogs simply in order to avoid interacting with them.
Is this is a case for the defence? For example: I just keep the dogs as my pets!
Maznah actions: Posted online and reposted on YouTube, that Maznah is seen walking and bathing her three dogs as the “Takbir Raya” plays in the background, and portrays her in a black Baju Melayu performing ablutions before preparing kuih raya for her dogs, was deemed an insult to Islam?
Section 298 of Penal Code (FMS 45) states:
Whoever, with deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person, or makes any gesture in the sight of that person, or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
Section 298A of the same Code states:
Section 298A of the same Code states:
(1) Whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representations, or by any act, activity or conduct, or by organizing, promoting or arranging, or assisting in organizing, promoting or arranging, any activity, or otherwise in any other manner-
(a) causes, or attempts to cause, or is likely to cause disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will; or
(b) prejudices, or attempts to prejudice, or is likely to prejudice, the maintenance of harmony or unity,
on grounds of religion, between persons or groups of persons professing the same or different religions, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of not less than two years and not more than five years.
(2) Sections 173A and 294 of the Criminal Procedure Code shall not apply in respect of an offence under subsection (1).
(3) Where any person alleges or imputes in any manner specified in subsection (1)-
(a) that any other person, or any class, group or description of persons, professing any particular religion-
(i) has ceased to profess that religion;
(ii) should not be accepted, or cannot be accepted, as professing that religion; or
(iii) does not believe, follow, profess, or belong to, that religion; or
(b) that anything lawfully done by any religious official appointed, or by any religious authority established, constituted or appointed, by or under any written law, in the exercise of any power, or in the discharge of any duty, or in the performance of any function, of a religious character, by virtue of being so appointed, established or constituted, is not acceptable to such person, or should not be accepted by any other person or persons, or does not accord with or fulfil the requirements of that religion, or is otherwise wrong or improper,
he shall be presumed to have contravened the provisions of subsection (1) by having acted in a manner likely to cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or likely to prejudice the maintenance of harmony or unity, between persons or groups of persons professing the religion referred to in the allegation or imputation.
(4) (a) Where, on any ground of a religious character, any person professing any particular religion uses for burial or cremation of any human corpse a place other than one which is lawfully used for such purpose by persons professing that religion, he shall be presumed to have contravened the provisions of subsection (1) by having acted in a manner likely to cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or likely to prejudice the maintenance of harmony or unity, between persons or groups of persons professing that religion.
(b) Where any person, on any ground of a religious character, counsels, advises, instigates, urges, pleads with, or appeals or propagates to, or in any manner or by any means call upon, whether directly or indirectly, any other person or persons professing any particular religion-
(i) to use for burial or cremation of any human corpse a place other than one which is lawfully used for such purpose by persons professing that religion;
(ii) not to use for burial or cremation of any human corpse any place which is lawfully used for such purpose by persons professing that religion; or
(iii) not to use for worship any place which is lawfully used for such purpose by persons professing that religion,
he shall be presumed to have contravened the provisions of subsection (1) by having acted in a manner likely to cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or likely to prejudice the maintenance of harmony or unity, between persons or groups of persons professing that religion or different religions.
(5) Where any person who is not a religious official appointed, or a religious authority established, constituted or appointed, by or under any written law purports to exercise any power, or to discharge any duty, or to perform any function, of a religious character, being a power, duty or function which can be lawfully exercised, discharged or performed only by a religious official appointed, or a religious authority established, constituted or appointed, by or under any written law, he shall be presumed to have contravened the provisions of subsection (1) by having acted in a manner likely to cause disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will, or likely to prejudice the maintenance of harmony or unity, between persons or groups of persons professing the same or different religions.
(6) The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply to-
(a) anything done by any religious authority established, constituted or appointed by or under any written law and conferred by written law with power to give or issue any ruling or decision on any matter pertaining to the religion in respect of which the authority is established, constituted or appointed; or
(b) anything done by any person which is in pursuance of, or which accords with, any ruling or decision given or issued by such religious authority, whether or not such ruling or decision is in writing, and if in writing, whether or not it is published in the Gazette.
(7) It shall not be a defence to any charge under this section to assert that what the offender is charged with doing was done in any honest belief in, or in any honest interpretation of, any precept, tenet or teaching of any religion.
(8) If in any proceedings under this section any question arises with regard to the interpretation of any aspect of, or any matter in relation to, any religion, the Court shall accept the interpretation given by any religious authority referred to in subsection (6), being a religious authority in respect of that religion.
Section 4 of Sedition Act 1948 states:
(1) Any person who-
(a) does or attempts to do, or makes any preparation to do, or conspires with any person to do, any act which has or which would, if done, have a seditious tendency;
(b) utters any seditious words;
(c) prints, publishes, sells, offers for sale, distributes or reproduces any seditious publication; or
(d) imports any seditious publication,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable for a first offence to a fine not exceeding five thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or to both, and, for a subsequent offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; and any seditious publication found in the possession of the person or used in evidence at his trial shall be forfeited and may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the court directs.
(2) Any person who without lawful excuse has in his possession any seditious publication shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable for a first offence to a fine not exceeding two thousand ringgit or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding eighteen months or to both, and, for a subsequent offence, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, and the publication shall be forfeited and may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of as the court directs.
For our intent and purposes, according to section 3(1) of the said Act, a "seditious tendency" is a tendency, inter alia, (e) to promote feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the population of Malaysia; or (f) to question any matter, right, status, position, privilege, sovereignty or prerogative established or protected by the provisions of Part III of the Federal Constitution or Article 152, 153 or 181 of the Federal Constitution.
To clarify further, according to section 2 of the said Act, "publication" includes all written or printed matter and everything whether of a nature similar to written or printed matter or not containing any visible representation or by its form, shape or in any other manner capable of suggesting words or ideas, and every copy and reproduction or substantial reproduction of any publication; "seditious" when applied to or used in respect of any act, speech, words, publication or other thing qualifies the act, speech, words, publication or other thing as one having a seditious tendency; and "words" includes any phrase, sentence or other consecutive number or combination of words, oral or writt.