The basic question Muslims in this country will have to ask themselves is, "Who own Islam? Government, Clerics or Muslims?
Former Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said he will continue preaching and campaign to abolish the law that requires preachers to get certification from the state.
He was charged under Section 119 of the Islamic Administration of Selangor which carries a fine of up to RM3,000 and imprisonment of up to two years.
The controversial scholar was arrested by the Selangor Islamic authority (Jais) some two weeks ago while giving a private lecture at a friend’s residence in Ukay Heights.
Several Selangor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers also attempted to condemn Asri's arrest at the state legislative assembly but the Selangor executive councillor in charge of Islamic affairs Hasan Ali defended the action taken by Jais.
The religious authority should engage Asri instead or prosecuting him using a flimsy reason. Islam, as a religion, has been established for hundreds of years. It is a religion which has a rich body of wisdom, lessons and knowledge.
Malaysia has prided itself as a moderate and progressive Muslim majority country and yet the authority is trying suppress any discourse and discussion about the religion.
Asri's unconventional interpretation of Islamic principles which often contradict government-endorsed doctrines may be unusual but he might not be wrong.
The prosecution of Dr Asri's Islamic views does more harm than good to Malaysia's Islamic credentials.
Similarly, Hassan Ali is doing more harm than good to the PR led government and PAS.