Condemning the detention of Maznah, the dog trainer
The video by dog trainer Maznah Mohd Yusof has generated controversies and has been considered as offensive to Muslims.
In any work of creative satire, one cannot avoid offending certain parties, but one must be prepared to receive feedbacks and criticisms.
As such, everyone is free to criticize Maznah, and I believe she was ready to accept criticisms and had responded with explanations – which is in line with promoting a healthy culture of debate based on reasoning and common sense.
The Prophet Mohammad himself was constantly confronted with provocations and had always taken the wiser and prudent ways to respond without the need to use forceful apparatus.
Hence herein lies the clarification – that being offensive is not a crime but a social provocation. Therefore, I condemn Maznah’s detention under Section 298A of the Penal Code.
This detention classifies Maznah as a criminal, thus denying her human rights and her right of freedom of expression. Is this really the rule of a government that professes Islam? Islam puts human rights as the topmost priority.
I suspect that the crackdowns by the government of late have not been due to threats to Islam, but merely as a consequence to the erosion of control by the Umno on the minds of the Muslims in this country.
Recipient of Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award from the Cartoonist Rights Network International (CRNI), Washington.
1st August 2013
ZULKIFLEE ANWAR HAQUE, better known as ZUNAR to Malaysians, is a cartoonist who has been drawing editorial cartoons for the past 20 years in Malaysia.