Rape threats, death threats and a police investigation after video poking fun at an Islamic Party in Malaysia goes viral

Aisyah Tajuddin could face up to a year in jail if convicted of blasphemy

Victoria Richards
Wednesday 01 April 2015 16:15
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Journalist Aisyah Tajuddin could face up to a year in jail if convicted of blasphemy
Journalist Aisyah Tajuddin could face up to a year in jail if convicted of blasphemy

A journalist who made a light-hearted video poking fun at Malaysia's Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) has found herself on the receiving end of rape threats, death threats – and even a police investigation for blasphemy.

Aisyah Tajuddin's 1.55 minute segment went viral after she posted it to YouTube and it was copied to Facebook - where it has been viewed on one page more than 780,000 times.

She uploaded the clip in response to PAS' proposals of implementing 'hudud' laws on Muslims in Kelantan, a rural state in the northeast of Malaysia, the BBC reported.

The laws would prohibit adultery, apostasy, robbery and theft, which would become punishable by public beatings, stoning, amputation and public execution.

Ms Tajuddin, a journalist with BFM, an independent radio station, stars in the video, which is titled: "Hudud Isi Periuk Nasi? [Kupas]" - or: "Hudud: A Rice Bowl Issue".

It depicts her crossing an imaginary border into Kelantan, whereby a headscarf suddenly appears on her head. She then finds a rock instead of rice in a packet of food, which she throws away, accompanied by the comment: "Oh well, we have hudud, don't we?"

But her satirical response to the proposals has resulted in a police investigation - and theats.

One comment posted to Facebook began: "Those who insult the laws of Allah, their blood is halal for killing."

Another posted the video alongside the comment: “More insults against Kelantan and Islam throughout the world. What should we do with this sort of person?”

In response, users wrote: “Burn her alive,” “Wait till I rape you, woman”, and a YouTube user commented: “If I see you in front of me, I’ll shoot you in the head", the Malay Mail reported.

Other Facebook users urged the authorities to take action against Ms Tajuddin for “insulting” Islam, criticising her for not wearing a headscarf and calling for her to be "struck down with lightning". Others said she would "burn in hell".

Another user wrote: "How can you make fun of ur own religion? I'm very sad to see this. I support Hudud..."

Some said the video was wrong even as they condemned the threats. "It's still wrong to make a death threat or rape or all those barbaric acts, my point is she crossed the line and should share the blame as well. Think first."

BFM Radio removed the video from its YouTube page the day after it was posted, but not before it went viral.

Human rights groups have recently criticised the Malaysian police for cracking down on those critical of the government under the country's colonial-era Sedition Act.

29 people have been arrested or investigated under the law so far in 2015, compared to 23 in the whole of 2014, according to Amnesty International.

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