Borders Bookstore and Sharia Law


Borders bookstores might have withered away in bankruptcy stateside, but internationally the store continues to operate, and the chain is at the center of a censorship dispute. Melville House reports that a Borders in Kuala Lumpur was raided in 2012 and the manager, Nik Raina, arrested for selling Allah, Liberty, & Love by Irshad Manji. The raid was illegal, but even after the Sharia government reversed its ban on the book, the court continued to prosecute Raina. Borders didn’t stand up against censorship, but it has said that overly aggressive enforcement—like the illegal raid on their store—will discourage people from applying for jobs at bookstores.

Ian MacAllen's fiction has appeared in 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, Joyland Magazine, and elsewhere and nonfiction has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, The Negatives, Electric Literature, Fiction Advocate, and elsewhere. He is the Deputy Editor of The Rumpus, holds an MA in English from Rutgers University, tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →