Kassim Ahmad promises to fight on after setback in civil court


(Malay Mail Online) – Ageing Muslim intellectual Kassim Ahmad said today that he is a “fighter” and will appeal against the civil court’s decision to throw out his legal challenge against a religious department’s allegedly illegal and unconstitutional arrest and prosecution of him.

Speaking clearly and firmly, Kassim said he was not disappointed by what he viewed as a setback to success.

“I have never been disappointed. I am a fighter. We fight based on truth.

“If we don’t succeed the first time, we do it the second time, third time until we succeed. Because our fight is based on the truth,” he told reporters.

Earlier today, Kassim lost a crucial legal challenge against the Federal Territories Islamic Department (JAWI) when the High Court ruled that 82-year-old should sue to protect his constitutional rights instead of using the judicial review method.

The four respondents in Kassim’s judicial review bid are the minister in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Jawi, then Federal Territory chief Syarie Prosecutor Ibrahim Deris and the government.

In March last year, Kassim was charged at the Shariah High Court in Putrajaya, His was said to have  insulted Islam and defied religious authorities at a seminar in February that was officiated by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Kassim’s wife, son and daughter-in-law were present today in the courtroom, which was packed with observers from the public including Sisters in Islam (SIS), social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir and politician Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.