Penang Mufti: Comedy Club Guidelines Needed To Ensure Moral & Religious Lines Not Crossed
Amidst arrests over a recent controversy at a local comedy club, Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor has called for guidelines to ensure moral and religious boundaries are not crossed
The Penang Mufti claimed that certain guidelines are needed for comedy club owners and patrons.
According to him, the Islamic religious authorities such as the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) should advise Muslims to preserve the purity of the religion and not make a joke out of it.
His statement comes after a woman recently claimed that she has memorised 15 verses of the Quran and then began to undress during an open mic session on stage at the Crackhouse Comedy Club in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) in an alleged attempt to insult Islam. She has since been charged with causing religious disharmony under Section 298A of the Penal Code at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
Two more men have been arrested over the controversy that saw the Federal Territories Islamic religious department (JAWI) getting involved to conduct an investigation to safeguard Islamic sentiments.
One of the two men arrested is the woman's partner, who allegedly made the video recording of the woman's act at the comedy club. He was charged under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 on two counts of improper use of network facilities or network service.
The second man is the 39-year-old co-founder of the Crackhouse Comedy Club. He was arrested last night, 14 July, for questioning over videos of his own stand-up comedy routines at the club.
"Islam does not prohibit entertainment including humour"
The Penang Mufti argued that there are times when we need to be serious and there are times when we need to relax. Calling Islam the religion of human nature, he stated jokes should not go overboard.
Several police reports have been lodged against the Crackhouse Comedy Club co-founder for allegedly insulting Islam, with his comedy routines said to have touched on racial and religious sensitivities.
While the police applied for a four day remand order against the Crackhouse Comedy Club co-founder, Rizal Van Geyzel, the magistrate denied the request. He is expected to be released from police custody.
Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) secretary Datuk Noorsiah Mohd Saaduddin said investigations are being conducted under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act for the utterance of seditious remarks and under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act, reported Malaysiakini.
The controversy began when a video of the woman's act went viral
The video caused anger from people. Following which, the Crackhouse Comedy Club issued a statement, saying that they "strongly condemn" the content of the woman's act and have lodged a police report.
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) then suspended the club's licence, with Federal Territories Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias saying that the DBKL action was a clear message that the government will not tolerate offensive activities that touch on religious sensitivities, race, and the country's sovereignty.