Responding to the recent controversy at a local comedy club, Penang Mufti Datuk Seri Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor has called for guidelines to ensure comedy club owners and patrons do not cross moral and religious boundaries.
According to Bernama, he also called on Islamic religious authorities such as the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) to advise Muslims to preserve the purity of the religion and not make a joke out of it.
“There are times where we need to be serious and there are times where we need to relax,” he said.
His statement comes after a woman who claimed that she allegedly made mockery of the religion while performing at Crackhouse Comedy in Kuala Lumpur recently.
The woman named Siti Amira Natasha Abdullah has since been charged with religious disharmony under Section 298A of the Penal Code at the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court.
Following her arrest, her partner, who allegedly made the video recording at the comedy club was also arrested. 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.
In addition, the co-founder of the Crackhouse Comedy Club Rizal van Geyzel was also arrested on 14 July to facilitate a probe into 3 old videos of his own stand-up comedy routines at the club.
In a follow-up statement, the Penang Mufti expressed support for the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)’s decision to suspend the operations of Crackhouse Comedy.
“My earlier statement seemed soft against the comedy club, as I thought it was something unintentional.”
“But after knowing a similar incident had happened repeatedly in the past, it is understandable that it is purposely planned to insult Islam.
“I support DBKL’s stern action against the comedy club due to the seriousness of the offence, which can affect the country’s stability,” he was quoted as saying by NST.
Wan Salim added that the comedy club should be shut down at all costs as a lesson to those who are making jokes that insult the sanctity of Islam.
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