Nik Aziz likens Utusan to Denmark for ‘insulting’ cartoon
By Clara Chooi
June 16, 2011
The cartoon published yesterday by Utusan Malaysia.
KUALA LUMPUR, June 16 — PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat today described Malay daily Utusan Malaysia as “Denmark Malaysia” for publishing a comic strip that he said was an affront to Islam.
“Entered [my] office today to complete several outstanding matters. Read last night’s copy of the Umno circular called Utusan Malaysia that featured a controversial cartoon insulting Islamic law.
“I describe Utusan Malaysia as having become ‘Denmark Malaysia’ for publishing that cartoon drawing,” the Kelantan mentri besar wrote on his Facebook page this morning.
Nik Aziz was comparing Utusan Malaysia’s cartoon, which depicted the public’s confusion over Islamic laws regarding rape, to a controversial caricature of Prophet Muhammad published in a Danish newspaper in 2005.
The caricature, which depicted Muhammad wearing a bomb in his turban, provoked Muslim outrage across the globe and cartoonist Kurt Westergaard even had his home broken into by a Somali man who was angered by the drawing.
Titled “Kekeliruan kes rogol” (Confusion in rape cases), the two-panel comic strip published on page 15 of the Malay daily yesterday showed a tudung-clad woman seeking advice after being raped.
“I only managed to record the incident with a handphone,” the sobbing woman is depicted as saying to her serban-clad village head in the first panel.
“You were raped? Were there four witnesses?” he replies, adding, “The recording device cannot be a witness because it has no ears and eyes. It’s only steel ... enough, it’s better for you to drop the case.”
The woman’s same complaint in the second panel to a figure resembling a police officer draws a different response.
“Superb … the tool can be used as evidence!” the moustachioed man informs her while appearing to type out a report.
Responding to the cartoon yesterday, Persatuan Ulama Malaysia (PUM) took the same stand as Nik Aziz and accused the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia of insulting Islam.
The 4,000-strong Muslim scholars’ society also demanded the authorities charge the cartoonist and the publisher for insulting Islam, saying the publication of the misleading cartoon had portrayed in a negative light the religion of the majority in multicultural Malaysia at a time when Muslims were seen to lack religious knowledge.
When contacted, PUM secretary-general Mohd Roslan Mohd Nor explained to The Malaysian Insider that under Islamic laws on adultery, four witnesses are required to prove the offence happened; video recordings are not accepted as evidence.
But in cases of rape, there is no requirement for four witnesses to testify and video recordings can be used as proof, he explained.