Church raid: Jais found ‘proof of proselytisation’

Church raid: Jais found ‘proof of proselytisation’.

Selangor exco member in charge of Islamic affairs Hasan Ali justified the raid on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church last night, saying that there was evidence of proselytisation. 

hasan ali umno pas selangor talk quality hotel 300708 01In a statement late today, Hasan (left) said that 12 Muslims had participated in the dinner event on the church premises, and further investigations are under way against them. 

“Based on our preliminary investigations, we find that those involved in the event can be charged under Section 10 of the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 1995. 

“We also found evidence of proselytisation towards Muslims,” he said. 

Section 10 makes it an offence for anyone to insult or cause Islam to be maligned through words, drawings, symbols or any other manner. The maximum penalty is RM5,000 or three years jail or both. 

He, however, insists that there was “no raid nor arrests” made, and that the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) had only done a “search” of the premises. 

He added that the “search” was conducted following a tip-off that Muslims were attending a breaking fast dinner in the church compound. 

NONE“Jais enforcement officers, with police, had done a search on the premises despite being stopped by the organisers,” he said, adding that the main organiser is believed to be a Muslim. 

Hasan added that Jais reported that the event featured a speaker who used the words “Quran” and “pray (in English)” in his speech. 

He also said that organisers tried to “destroy evidence” when enforcement officers began the search after an hour-long negotiation with the said “main organiser”.

“Some participants had tried to escape through the back door but were stopped by enforcement officers,” he said. 

MB express regrets, orders full report from Jais


Meanwhile, in a statement sent moments before Hasan’s, Selangor MB Abdul Khalid Ibrahim broke his silence by expressing regret over the raid. 

In a statement late today, Abdul Khalid said that he had “personally called” DUMC senior pastor Daniel Ho on the matter. 

“I told him that the state has instructed Jas to provide a full report detailing the incident, including their justifications for their actions that night. I hope to meet the pastor again once the report is completed,” said the MB.

Reassuring the residents of Selangor, Abdul Khalid said that the state government “fully respects freedom of religion of the rights of religious groups to manage their affairs”. 

Abdul Khalid’s statement, however, falls short of an apology demanded by BN leaders in the wake of the event. 

Last night, Jais officers barged into a 1Malaysia dinner attended by guests from different ethnicities held on church premises. 

Church officials said that the officers had questioned the guests and seized programme booklets during the incident.

21 thoughts on “Church raid: Jais found ‘proof of proselytisation’

  1. Multi-racial dinner at church disrupted by Jais

    Aug 4, 11 10:40am

    Officers from the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) last night trespassed into a church compound in Petaling Jaya and disrupted a multiracial thanksgiving dinner.

    According to Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) senior pastor Daniel Ho, a group of between 20 to 30 Jais and police officers, uniformed and plainclothes, entered the premises without a warrant.

    “They entered the hall where the dinner was taking place, and started taking videos and photographs,” said Ho in a statement today.

    “When asked by the organisers why they were there, a Jais (official) replied that they received a complaint, but was unable to produce a copy (of the complaint) when asked,” he added.

    Ho claimed that Jais officers took down details of the Muslim guests before leaving the premises with the police.

    According to him, the dinner was held by non-profit organisation Harapan Komuniti at the Dream Centre, an activity complex within the DUMC compound.

    The occasion was to commemorate the NGO’s efforts on numerous community projects, including with women and children, and victims of HIV/AIDS and natural disasters.

    “Harapan Komuniti is a community-based NGO that brings love, hope and peace to the poor, needy and marginalised, regardless of race, language, religion or status.

    “The dinner was a multiracial celebratory gathering of volunteers, leaders, supporters and members of the community who have benefited from the NGO’s work,” Ho explained.

    DUMC and Community Excel Services, which had rented Dream Center, said they were highly disappointed with the actions of Jais and police officers who had entered and searched a private property without a warrant.

    “They have subjected all guests at the Thanksgiving Dinner to undue harassment,” said Ho, stressing the dinner’s aim of appreciating and commemorating Harapan Komuniti’s efforts to help Malaysians of all walks of life.”

    Ho called on all Malaysians not to condone this breach of freedom of assembly and association as provided by Article 10 of the federal constitution, “but to live in mutual trust and love, to promote peace, harmony and unity in the true spirit of 1Malaysia”.

    According to DUMC members who posted about the incident on micro-blogging website Twitter, Jais officers ransacked the garbage bins of the church.

    Last Friday, Dream Centre hosted an electoral reform forum organised by the Association for the Promotion of Human Rights (Proham), featuring Bersih 2.0 chief Ambiga Sreenevasan and Election Commission deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.


  2. MCA wants Pakatan’s apology on Jais church raid

    Aug 4, 11 5:10pm

    MCA leaders today took the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat government to task for not speaking up against the last night’s raid of a church in Damansara Utama.

    Singling out Pakatan component party PAS, MCA president Chua Soi Lek (right) said that the incident is a reminder to non-Muslims that “PAS is not as liberal as it claims to be”.

    “Certainly the department which comes under the charge of PAS exco member Hasan Ali has a lot of explanation to do.

    “He should apologise for the department’s encroachment into the church premises and poor handling of the situation,” he said.

    Chua, whose party often accuses PAS of extremism, said added that the Islamic party is “always ready to impose its religious will on others”.

    Echoing him, MCA vice president Gan Ping Sieu said that the raid only “brings to fore (Pakatan’s) narrow-mindedness and parochial inclinations”.

    “Allowing this to take place during the holy month of Ramadan makes it all the more shameful,” he added.

    Going beyond PAS, Gan (left) also took Selangor MB and PKR leader Khalid Ibrahim and Selangor DAP chairperson and state exco Teresa Kok to task for keeping mum on the issue until now.
    “Khalid’s deafening silence on this matter makes the hypocrisy of his administration more apparent.

    “Senior exco members like Kok, who is also a Christian, should also come forward to explain whether the rights of non-Muslims in the state are safeguarded,” he said.

    Extremism creeping into Selangor government

    Rehashing previous “controversies”, Gan pointed out that the Selangor government has “allowed extremism to creep into the administration”.

    Among them, he said, were the protest against the MTV World Stage concert headed by PAS Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad (left) and the ban on the sale of beer in Muslim-majority areas.

    “These, plus many other examples, such as the recent proposal to close all entertainment outlets in Kedah outlets during Ramadhan has raised pertinent questions (like) whether the rights of the minority in this country will be sacrificed if Pakatan comes into power,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) in a statement today said that the raid “sets a dangerous precedent” and caused “undue trauma” to the multiracial guests at the 1Malaysia dinner.

    “The CCM calls for an immediate investigation into the raid and for an explanation as to the powers under which the enforcement authorities based their action.
    “The CCM further seeks an assurance that such conduct will not be repeated by any enforcement authorities, whether Jais or the police, in a religious compound,” said its general secretary Reverend Herman Shastri.

    ‘Check legality of raid’

    The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) meanwhile questioned the legality of the raid and the “subsequent interrogation and harassment of the guests present at the dinner”, and whether the officers were acting within their legal jurisdiction.

    CFM chairperson Bishop Ng Moon Hing (left) said they are “deeply shocked and appalled” with the raid, describing it as an “affront to the values of mutual respect and harmony” that should extend to every person in Malaysia, regardless of religious, cultural or ethnic background.

    “It is ironic that such a celebratory gathering of volunteers, leaders, supporters and members of the community should be disrupted by the high-handed and repugnant actions of the state religious enforcement officers.”

    Ng pointed out that there has been an increasing number of cases where Christians are singled out and targetted with unjustified accusations from various groups, “as well as certain mainstream media who have made inflammatory statements against the spirit of 1Malaysia”.

    “We call upon the relevant authorities, including His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor, to conduct a thorough investigation over this unjustified raid.

    “We also call upon the government and all Malaysians to work together to build a truly cohesive and harmonious society based on mutual respect, dialogue and understanding,” he said.


  3. Jais raid ‘a dangerous precedent’, says CCM

    Aug 4, 11 8:15pm

    A Christian group today condemned a raid by Islamic officials on a church compound as a threat to the mostly Muslim country’s already delicate religious relations.

    The raid occurred Wednesday night during a dinner at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya, just west of the capital Kuala Lumpur.

    Around 30 Islamic religious and police officials entered the church compound in Selangor state without a warrant and began taking videos and photographs, Daniel Ho, senior pastor for the church, said in a statement.

    They subjected guests to “undue harassment” and took down the details of the Muslims present before leaving, he said.

    Officials said they had “received a complaint” about the church but otherwise gave no reason for the raid. AFP could not immediately reach authorities for comment.

    However, some Muslims were present at the church gathering, and Malaysian Islamic officials have previously expressed concern about Muslims being converted to other religions – especially Christianity.

    Converting from Islam is illegal in the country.

    The raid sets “a dangerous precedent and makes a mockery of the sanctity of religious places”, said Hermen Shastri, general secretary of the Council of Churches of Malaysia.

    It also caused “undue trauma to all guests of the different ethnic communities”, Shastri said in a statement.

    Ho said the dinner was held for people involved in the church’s welfare programmes, including single mothers and HIV/AIDS victims.

    Relations between authorities and Christians in Malaysia have been strained in recent years, with some minorities in the multi-ethnic nation warning of a rising tide of Islamicisation.

    Around 60 percent of Malaysians are Muslims, most of them members of the dominant ethnic Malay population.

    Just nine percent of the country’s citizens are Christian, including 850,000 Catholics, many of them ethnic Chinese.

    – AFP-


  4. Muslim group backs Jais over church raid
    M’siakini Aug 6, 11 7:44pm

    Jais’ investigation into the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) in Petaling Jaya for alleged attempts at converting Muslims to Christianity should not be politicised, said the Malaysian Muslim Solidarity (Isma).

    “Isma hopes the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) will continue to investigate without interference from outside parties, in accordance with its scope of duties and the laws,” said Isma president Ustaz Abdullah Zaik in a statement today.

    “This case concerns a sensitive issue covered by the constitution, and should not be politicised.”

    He also questioned certain news reports earlier that he said portrayed a “negative image” of the incident portraying Jais (Selangor Islamic Affars Department) to have “desecrated the sanctity” of the holy place and suggesting that the religious authority had contravened laws in the process.

    Abdullah urged Muslims to be more wary of “any form of violation of the dignity of their religion”.

    “I regret that some leaders seemed to lost sensitivity towards their own religion, to the point of seeming as if they are more interested in taking care of other religions on the pretext of human rights or preserving harmony amongst religions,” he said.
    ‘Tolerance worrying’

    He added that the attitude of “excessive tolerance”, whether out of political reasons or other factors, was “worrying”.

    “It will lead to a syndrome of cowardice amongst Muslims to the point they remain silent when the dignity of Islam is molested before their very eyes,” he said.

    While saying he supported racial and religious harmony, he reminded that it had to be done within the framework of the law and “in the defence of the dignity of the religion and race”.

    On Wednesday night, Jais and police officers barged into a 1Malaysia dinner attended by multiracial, multireligious guests held on the DUMC premises.

    Church officials said that the officers had questioned the guests and seized programme booklets during the incident.

    NGOs blasted the authority for acting without a warrant and for its “arbitrary” actions.

    While Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim had expressed regret over the incident, exco member Hasan Ali went on record that Jais had found evidence to support their actions.


  5. Bishop Paul decries vilification of Christians
    M’siakini Terence Netto Aug 6, 11 7:36pm

    Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing said today he was not surprised that “hard upon accusations by Jais of Christians proselytising Muslims comes unsubstantiated print media stories seemingly validating those claims.”

    “Need we be surprised?” asked the head of the Catholic Church in the Melaka-Johor diocese, who is concurrently president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia.

    “It’s depressing – this continuing trial of Malaysian Christians by innuendo and insinuation,” sighed the Jesuit-trained prelate in comments to Malaysiakini on the stories in today’s editions of the Berita Harian and Harian Metro that quote a couple of Muslims claiming that they have been targeted by Christian groups as potential converts.

    “I’m not surprised the stories in those papers do not have anything more than hearsay to back them,” said the bishop.

    “Those papers are owned by the powers-that-be who only recently elected to establish diplomatic ties with the Vatican.

    “I don’t know whether to laugh out in scorn or cry out in pain at their duplicity and the naivety of those who help them think that publicly expressed good intentions are a sufficient proof of sincerity.”

    Use the power of your vote

    The prelate advised Christians to press for proof by Jais (Selangor Islamic Affairs Department) that Christians are targeting Muslims for conversion, and that if such proof is not proffered soon, to act on what that implied at the next general election.

    “Only through the ballot box can we bring this continuing vilification of Christians in Malaysians to a shuddering halt.

    “Christians should press for proof and, if and when, it is unavailable, express clearly their disgust at the next general election,” said Bishop Paul Tan.

    “The days of Christians in Malaysia being supine objects of the machinations of duplicitous politicians are over,” he thundered.


  6. Christians reject ‘charity-for-conversion’ claim
    M’siakini Aidila Razak Aug 6, 11 4:39pm

    Council of Churches Malaysia president Reverend Thomas Philips today refuted claims that Christians groups are carrying out works of charity to win converts.
    Speaking to Malaysiakini, the reverend said that it is the duty of Christians to help the needy without placing any condition on the recipients, and that other religions also teach the same.

    He added that Christians are “fed up” and “puzzled” with the repeated allegations, when such acts of kindness should be “appreciated” rather than “met with suspicion”.

    “These allegations have been going on for some time. The unnecessary provocation is really puzzling.

    “The prime minister should step in to find out why such claims continue to resurface, as it a sensitive issue that drives people apart. It’s not good for the nation,” he said.

    Philips (left) was responding reports by Malay dailies Berita Harian and Harian Metro today, where guests at a dinner raided by the Selangor Islamic Department on Wednesday, were hard-up Muslims who had received aid from the Christian group.

    Harian Metro reported that these Muslims had secretly converted to Christianity as a result and were part of an “underground” movement to spread the religion nationwide.

    The daily also reported eyewitness accounts that Malay-language bibles were distributed at the dinner held at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church.

    Berita Harian quoted another a woman, known only as “Jasmine”, who said she had converted after receiving financial assistance from the group of Christian organisations.

    Another ‘convert’, known only as “Adazhan” reportedly told the newspaper that families received as much as RM1,000 a month, as long as they attend the Christian groups’ programmes.

    ‘Prove claims in court’

    Philips added that Muslims should not continue to be suspicious as there are already laws in place to prevent proselytisation.

    “We are law-abiding citizens and are committed to remain so. If (those who allege proselytisation occurs) can prove their claim then they should take the wrongdoers to court. The law is there,” he said.

    On Thursday, Selangor exco in charge of Islamic affairs Hasan Ali defended the Jais raid, saying that they had found preliminary evidence of proselytisation.

    The Malaysian Aids Council (MAC) yesterday issued a statement saying that the ‘1Malaysia Muhibbah Dinner’ was organised to raise funds for MAC partner organisation, Harapan Komuniti, which supports those living with HIV/AIDS.

    Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim has issued a gag order on the matter until Jais submits a full report on the incident, and has sought an audience with the Selangor sultan to seek his advice.


  7. If Muslims turn to others for help, who’s to blame?
    M’siakini Aug 7, 11 1:52pm

    Outspoken religious scholar Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has urged Muslims in positions of authority in religious bodies to cease their knee-jerk reactions to those of the community who – denied help by their own brethren – turn to other religious communities for help.

    Commenting on the controversial raid by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) on a multiracial dinner organised in a church compound in which poor Muslims were allegedly involved in proselytising efforts, Asri (right) said Islamic bodies have no one to fault but themselves if poor and vulnerable Muslims accept offers of assistance from non-Muslim based organisations.

    And if such people in need are in such a state as to compromise their religious faith in order to gain material assistance, it is only human nature that they come under the influence of those who accord them better treatment.

    “Every person is affected by those who treat them well. It is human nature. If a person is of weak faith, perhaps even his religion might be surrendered. Those who are influenced by the graciousness of church officials, that is not strange at all.

    “What is strange is how, in a Muslim country, there are those of us in the community who are willing to change our religion because dissatisfaction with the Muslim community. On the other hand, they are influenced by the good treatment they receive from those of other religions.

    “Are the slogans of our religion merely cosmetic and are not grounded in the realities of life?” asked Asri, a former mufti of Perlis, in a statement.

    The USM professor was referring to claims by Selangor exco Dr Mohd Hasan Ali that Jais officers had raided the multiracial thanksgiving-fund raising dinner held at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) due to evidence that proselytisation was taking place and in which a number of Muslims were targetted.

    This has been disputed by church leaders, but reports emerged yesterday in Malay dailies Berita Harian and Harian Metro where guests at the dinner were said to have been hard-up Muslims who had received aid from the Christian group.

    Harian Metro reported that these Muslims had secretly converted to Christianity as a result and were part of an “underground” movement to spread the religion nationwide.

    The daily also reported eyewitness accounts that Malay-language bibles were distributed at the dinner held at the DUMC.

    Berita Harian quoted one “Jasmine”, who said she had converted after receiving financial assistance from the group of Christian organisations.

    Another ‘convert’, known only as “Adazhan” reportedly told the newspaper that families received as much as RM1,000 a month, as long as they attend the Christian groups’ programmes.
    Zeroing in on the hardship of those Muslims said to have been present during the dinner, Asri asked: “Where have our zakat alms gone? Hundreds of millions (of ringgit) is collected every year, but how is it that no one has been able to help the poor out of their difficulties so that they need not beg from others?

    “Why is there such bureaucratic red-tape for a poor person when seeking zakat assistance? Anyone who has had to deal with this matter would have experienced it. Just to get RM100-200, there would be a lot of difficulties.

    “But the zakat offices look opulent, the salaries of the officers and their bosses are high, and the equipment look really sophisticated. Are the costs high because of the need to collect funds from contributors, while efforts to seek qualified beneficiaries are half-hearted?

    “Among the aims of zakat is to pull hearts towards Islam. That is why converts (to Islam) have a right to zakat. Has the management of zakat failed up to now to accomplish this to the point that Muslims are leaving Islam because of the failure to obtain help from Muslims, particularly from the zakat authorities?”

    Asri also noted that it is not against the law for Muslims to receive help from non-Muslims, what more when then former are in difficulty.

    Neither, he added, is it wrong for non-Muslims to extend assistance to those they seek to help.

    “Just because we fail to help, let’s not blame others for extending their hand,” said Asri.


  8. Umno Youth wants Selangor gov’t to clarify Jais raid

    Aug 8, 11 10:35pm

    Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin called on the Selangor government today to issue a clarification on the raid mounted by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Jais) on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church last Wednesday.

    He said the state government’s move to keep mum on the issue appeared irresponsible and would create uneasiness among the people.

    “We call on the state government not to hide behind JAIS… please issue a clarification so that we can understand what’s going on because this is a sensitive issue.

    “The Muslims are not happy because it allegedly involved proselytisation activities, while the non-Muslims, especially the Christians, are not happy because their church was being raid without proof,” he said after opening a Ramadan bazaar and Fly the Jalur Gemilang campaign at the Seri Alam People’s Housing Project.

    Khairy also refuted PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s allegation that the BN was trying to raise the issue to divert public attention on the demand for fair and clean elections.

    – Bernama


  9. Muslim NGOs target S’gor MB over church raid

    Aug 8, 11 3:34pm

    The Defenders of Islam Movement (Pembela) has slammed Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim for his “apologetic” stance over last week’s raid by the state Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC).

    Pembela president Yusri Mohamad condemned political interference in Islamic affairs and called for Jais to be given freedom in carrying out its duties.

    “The Selangor MB’s apologetic statement is regretful and should not have been made while the investigation (by Jais) is going on.

    “Also, statements by non-Muslim politicians that have hurt the feelings of Muslims are as if Islam has no position in the country,” he said.

    “The statements have added to the confusion and caused deep suspicion between Muslims and non-Muslims. It is best if Jais and other religious authorities in other states be given the freedom to carry out their duties so long as they do not violate any laws.”

    Yesterday, Abdul Khalid appealed to the media not to discuss the controversy over the raid until all the facts are in.

    He said they should wait for the full report from Jais which raided the dinner at the church compound on Wednesday.

    On Thursday, Abdul Khalid said that he had personally called DUMC senior pastor Daniel Ho on the matter.

    “I told him that the state has instructed Jais to provide a full report detailing the incident, including their justifications for their actions that night.

    “I hope to meet the pastor again once the report is completed,” said the MB.

    Khalid’s resignation

    Reassuring the residents of Selangor, Abdul Khalid said that the state government “fully respects freedom of religion of the rights of religious groups to manage their affairs”.

    In a statement today, Pembela also defended Jais, claiming that the department had entered the church premises in a civil manner.

    “(We) find it necessary to condemn defamatory statements about Jais which claimed that it had ‘stormed’, raided’, ‘barged’ (into the premises) or similar actions when, in fact, Jais had negotiated with the organisers for an hour before entering,” it said.

    The statement adds to the barrage of criticism directed against Khalid and his government after he expressed regret about the incident last Thursday.

    The Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia expressed similar sentiments in Malay daily Utusan Malaysia today, while Islamic welfare organisation Pekida president Jamaludin Yusof was quoted as asking for Khalid’s resignation if he is unable to defend the sanctity of Islam.

    The daily also quoted Malaysian NGO Coalition secretary Mohd Jurit Ramli as accusing Khalid (left) of trying to appease non-Muslims in the state government.

    A group of between 20 to 30 Jais and police personnel had on Aug 4 disrupted a dinner by entering the premises of DUMC without a warrant, claiming there was a complaint of proselytisation. They also took videos and photographs.

    The organisers of the event, Harapan Komuniti have clarified that the dinner, at which several Muslims were present, was a fund-raiser for HIV/AIDS support programmes.


  10. Irresponsible NST spin on Jais church raid

    Aug 8, 11 2:37pm

    A truly religious person from any religious persuasion is subservient to the Almighty and will not uphold falsehood, blatant lies, fabrication, political spins, half truths to mislead and distort, even if he is under pressure by any political or other forces who has a political agenda.

    And this is why Selangor executive councillor Hasan Ali who holds the Islamic religion portfolio must not attempt to sidetrack matters by offering to resign, giving the impression that he is a victim of a political conspiracy.

    This is far from the truth!

    The pertinent question that needs to be answered is, were Christians at that Methodist Church in Damansara trying to proselytize Muslims at a church function last week that was disrupted by Jais, and defended by Hasan Ali who claimed that Jais had evidence?

    Hasan then has to show the proof! If not Malaysian Christians who have being in the forefront of many a malicious attack in recent months deserve an unconditional apology.

    Hasan is now given the opportunity to reveal all since a very serious allegation has been made against a minority group that has been the target of a lot of unsubstantiated stories lately.

    If there is clear and unmistakable evidence then go ahead, file charges against those responsible and let us the trial of the century and get to the truth.

    If not, stop the innuendos, the lies, the fabrication, the stereotyping and profiling and stop flogging this dead horse. Stop the Christian bashing!

    I am now certain even if Hasan Ali somehow clears the air that there was a mistake, politely put a ‘communication error’, irreparable damage has been done. And it will cost valuable votes when GE 13 is called.

    This is because stories that mainstream media makes up as they go along has hurt the Christian community and others who care for justice and fair play.

    One such mischievous and baseless article by a columnist in New Straits Times with a new twist to the plot went as follows: “Apparently, some people have been monitoring visitors frequenting the church for a period of time and believed that proselytisation was going on. Hence, the raid by Jais.”

    This is a blatant lie and a new twist since my sources in law and enforcement agencies know nothing of these allegations and they are usually the well respected ‘front liners’ equipped to look into such allegations.

    Then the boneless animal continues: “Whether or not there is proselytisation, what is important now is for an immediate investigation into the matter. Any delay to get to the bottom of the matter will only invite unnecessary attention and potential trouble.”

    Then after the damage is done, he pretends to be a true professional in being fair by qualifying: “Meanwhile, it would be wise for everyone not to speculate but to allow the authorities to complete their probe fully and quickly.”

    And worst of all, Christians are now being accused of ‘buying converts’ by covert operations related to charity.

    We cannot run away from historical fact that charity and self sacrifice have been the hallmarks of Christianity throughout the ages unlike others groups within certain communities whose social concerns are confined to one’s own community or for ‘political posturing’ for a community thousands of miles away in West Asia.

    Christian missionaries were in this country for over 200 years carrying out social work through schools and hospitals, and there was no compulsion for people to convert. Otherwise, many of those who attended missions schools would have become Christians.

    Why not for starters check with those who have studied at St John’s Institution? Perhaps we can interview premier Najib Tun Razak as well as others who went through mission schools and today serve the nation with distinction!

    Perhaps, it is time we closed our missionary schools, kindergartens and informed foreign Christian aid missions and organisations to instead divert valuable professional and financial aid to other geographical areas throughout other parts of the world more in need and where Christians will not be stereotyped, profiled and criminalised.

    With this kind of biased reporting, racist politicking, the ‘ganging up’ against a minority group, the verbal twists and turns, and continued unsubstantiated claims, one cannot but wonder whether Malaysian Christians will ever get a fair unbiased hearing.

    Jacob George is president of Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam, Selangor (CASSA)


  11. NGO: Islam quiz found at DUMC justifies Jais raid

    Aug 9, 11 1:25pm

    An NGO representative claimed that copies of a quiz on Islam allegedly found during the church raid last week by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s (Jais).

    Berita Harian today reported Sahabat Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya (PPUM) chairperson Dr Dzulkhaini Hussain revealing the quiz, that he claims “church members” had quickly torn up and thrown into dustbins, while Jais’ officers were waiting to enter their premises.

    “Pieces of (the quiz) were successfully retrieved from the dustbins, and the question is what is there to be afraid of if there is no wrong-doing?” the paper quoted Dzulkhaini saying.

    The pro-government Malay daily reproduced a photograph of the said document they attributed to the “church members” titled in English, ‘Let’s test your knowledge’ that it said contained 12 questions in Bahasa Malaysia on matters of Islam.

    Among the questions were, ‘What is the meaning of the word Islam’, ‘What is the meaning of the word Muslim?’ and who the angel who made the revelation to Prophet Muhamad was.

    Dzulkhaini yesterday represented 45 NGOs in sending a memorandum to the Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, expressing their full support for the Jais raid on Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) in Petaling Jaya on Aug 3.


  12. A letter from PK Koya
    Aug 12 2011 11:51am

    I refer to the letter by Ahmad Farouk Musa of the Islamic Renaissance Front, ‘Raid by JAIS an uncivilised act’, on the recent ‘raid’ by Jais at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church and the proposed laws to criminalise conversion of Muslims to other religions.

    From a Quranic point of view, we have to agree 100 percent with Ahmad Farouk Musa about the freedom of religion. But in Malaysia we have to look at another side of this problem. For a Malay family to have an apostate in the family is like leper in the family, so painful, disgusting and shameful. It is all the more painful when they believe that someone is converting out of Islam not because of his conviction but only for ulterior worldly motives.

    Since Muslims are not having level playing ground as far the media is concerned, this can aggravate the shame a Muslim feels. Even if few people leave Islam, the media can make it a big scar on Islam.

    Family disruptions will lead to social disruption and other unforeseen consequences to both Muslims and Christians. I do not believe that Christians are interested in propagating Christianity among Malays. But there are such zealots among Christians too who believe they are giving eternal salvation at least one or two Muslims.

    Even in India, where Hindus are the most tolerant unlike Muslims and Christians, we have seen such resistance to Christian missionaries converting Hindus to Christianity or Islam, and had to legislate restrictions on conversion.

    So this is not a religious issue but a political expediency in the name of national security. So it is in the best interest of all parties to thread carefully on each other’s territory.


  13. Muslim NGOs renew call for anti-apostasy law
    Aidila Razak; M’siakini
    Aug 13, 2011 10:43pm

    Twenty-two Muslim NGOs, along with PAS Youth, today revived the call for an anti-apostasy law to address the issue of proselytisation to Muslims.

    The NGOs made the call at a closed-door roundtable meeting to discuss the controversial raid of Damansara Utama Methodist Church by the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) on April 4.

    “We unanimously resolve to safeguard the Islamic faith in this country from any form of transgression in accordance to Islam’s position as the religion of the federation and existing laws, as well as call for an anti-apostasy law,” they said.

    This was among nine resolutoins to deal with the issue of apostasy, which they said is causing “distress” among Muslims.

    Commenting on this after the meeting, PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan said that the party has always advocated the apostasy law and has attempted to raise it in Parliament since 1988.

    “In 1999, (PAS President) Abdul Hadi Awang tried to table a private bill against apostasy but this was not allowed. (PAS vice-president) Salahuddin Ayub did the same in 2006 and it was also rejected outright,” he said.

    He added that while he agrees with other scholars that Islam is a ‘religion of discourse’ (agama hujah), but “we still need a law because some people cannot be persuaded through arguments”.

    “To curb and control those who will no longer listen to arguments, we need laws,” he said.

    The NGOs, including the Perubatan Islam Darus Syifa’, Pro-Guam, Majlis Perunding Melayu and Umah Care, also called on Jais to charge those found proselytising to Muslims, if evidence is found.

    They also acknowledged that apostasy occurs because Muslim agencies and NGOs are not doing enough to assist those in need.

    The NGOs lamented the fact that hundreds of millions of ringgit collected through tithe have not been used to assist Muslim poor to the extent that they are forced to seek help from other religious bodies.

    “We cannot be angry at others preaching to Muslims – lawful or not, they are doing their job. We must do ours,” said discussion chairperson and president of Ikatan Ilmuan Malaysia Mohd Fuad Mohd Salleh.

    Eight other resolutions

    Among others, Mohd Fuad said Muslim NGOs should also look at going into the interiors to both help Muslims and preach to non-Muslims in competition with Christian groups who are actively doing so.

    The other eight resolutions passed by the NGOs are:
    To support the strengthening of the faith through education and welfare programmes. This includes reinstating federal financial support for state-funded religious schools (SAR).
    To demand that bodies managing funds held in trust for the Muslim community to act more effectively to ensure that Muslims in need are cared for.
    To urge the media not to twist or manipulate issues pertaining to the Islamic faith for the benefit of any political party as this will further divide the Muslim community.
    To urge all parties to act lawfully and to stress that all issues pertaining to Islamic faith are sensitive matters that can affect inter-religious harmony.
    To demand that all parties involved in weakening Islamic institutions, including Islamic education, mosque and surau, apologise to all Muslims as these acts have caused others to disrespect the religion.
    To urge that only qualified individuals are allowed to run institutions related to Islam in Malaysia.
    To suggest that forums such as the roundtable discussion be used as a platform to bring together people from various background and political parties for the sake of Islam.
    To come together as a collective group to defend Islam.


  14. Gov’t studying ‘standard procedures’ for apostasy
    Aug 12, 11 4:34pm

    The federal government is studying the possibility of implementing standard procedures to deal with cases of apostasy in the country.

    This is the position taken in an official report, issued in response to recommendations raised in the Malaysian Human Rights Commission’s (Suhakam) 2010 report.

    The report, from Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz, who is also de facto law minister, said this matter is currently being studied by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

    At present, only the Enakmen Pentadbiran Agama Islam 2003 of Negeri Sembilan outlines clear procedures for apostasy cases.

    “Nevertheless, even without clear procedures, judges in syariah courts can use their discretion based on hukum syarak and the present laws to rule on cases regarding apostasy,” the report says.

    Citing the apostasy case of Lina Joy, the government states in the report that handling religious conversion by a Muslim must be based on methods and procedures set out in Islam.

    “In this issue, the government is of the view that should there be a move to create clear procedures for religious conversion, it must refer to procedures available in syariah law and not based on human rights principles that are not based on hukum syarak.”
    Counselling before conversion

    The report also pointed out that the federal government preferred to hold to syariah enactment, which requires Muslims who intend to leave Islam to first go for counselling and repent.

    “The authorities have the power to order an individual who wants to convert to go through counselling for as long as thought to be necessary, based on the facts of the case.

    “If the individual refuses to repent, the authorities can impose whatever action based on present laws that are in force in the states.”

    The report stresses that any move to create laws to govern apostasy cases must be studied in depth and also consider currently enforced laws and the interests and rights of each individual from the country’s many races and religions.

    “This is because laws related to religious conversion involve very sensitive issues that must be handled wisely.”


  15. Syariah law applies to non-Muslim preachers
    11:03PM Oct 24, 2011
    Non-Muslims who propagate their religious teachings to Muslims can be charged in the civil court under the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions Enactment.

    Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom said provisions in the enactment included offences for persuading, coaxing and instigating Muslims to change their religious faith.

    Besides publishing publications on other religions other than Islam, it is also an offence to expose non-adult Muslims to other religions, he said when debating the Supply Bill 2012 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

    Many people were not aware of the law which had been enforced since 1980, he said, adding that among states which enforced the law were Terengganu, Kelantan, Selangor, Malacca, Kedah, Pahang, Johor, Negeri Sembilan and Perlis.

    He said the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) would continue to collaborate with all state Islamic religious councils in an effort to strengthen the religious faith of Muslims.

    He said efforts were also made by the government to standardise Islamic law in all states.

    “Although the issue on Islamic religious matters come under the purview of the respective states, there is a need for cooperation to safeguard the dignity and sanctity of Islam,” he added.

    On the Shiite sect, he said, the followers were free to practice the teachings, but there were prohibited from spreading the teachings to those who practised the teachings of the Sunnah Wal Jamaah.

    The activities of the Shiite are being monitored by Jakim, the Islamic religious council and the police, he added.

    – Bernama


  16. Christian ‘covert’ task force targeting Malays
    Hazlan Zakaria | 10:48AM Jan 6, 2012

    An elite highly covert task force which may be operating in and around Petaling Jaya and Kelana Jaya, has been set up by Christians with the aim of proselytising Selangor Malays, warned state executive council member in charge of Islamic religious affairs Hasan Ali.

    Issuing this warning, Selangor state executive councillor in charge of Islamic religious affairs Hasan Ali. added:

    “They (the Christians) found that Buddhists are easy to convert, Taoists are easy to convert and Confucians easy to convert.

    “But they found Muslims, specifically Malays, difficult to convert.

    “So they formed the special unit to convert the Selangor Malays to Christianity.”

    Hasan (left) announced this before the congregation in the Al-Hassanah Mosque in Bangi last night.

    Speaking on the panel of the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) organised anti-apostasy forum held there, he reasoned that the special unit was the result of the animosity and warfare between Muslims and the crusaders during the holy crusades of the Middle Ages.

    “It was left over from the crusades, the conflict between Christians and Muslims. They feel they need to recoup their loss, and are doing so by proselytising Muslims, who are largely Malays in Malaysia.”

    This special unit, Hasan said, was staffed by highly dedicated and committed Christian volunteers from around the globe who volunteered their time and effort to proselytise Malays.

    “They come from Korea, from Australia, from Switzerland, from all over the world and volunteer to stay here for at least one year. Imagine that, one year away from their families, wives and jobs,” he told the assembled Muslims.

    The volunteers, he claimed, were well-qualified, many holding PhDs and masters in theological subjects and mundane disciplines such as engineering or medicine, assisted by a network of fellow missionaries across the country, and with access to unlimited funding and expertise in psychological tools for converting Muslims.

    ‘We don’t want negotiated Islam’

    “Their philosophy for Malaysia is, you are Christian, but don’t leave behind your Malay roots. You are Christians, don’t leave behind wearing robes. You are Christian, don’t leave behind wearing skullcaps. You are Christian, but don’t leave behind mingling with Malays and Muslims,” posited the Gombak Setia assemblyperson.

    Hasan accused the Christians of using the concept to recruit, proselytise and leave in place cadres of converted Muslims who, he claimed, were prevalent all over Selangor, even in Bangi, hiding in plain sight under the veil of Malay-ness, despite their conversion.

    Against such a threat, he said, the Malays were nearly helpless. As at present, the Muslims themselves were dangerously shallow in their knowledge of Islamic practice and faith.

    Hasan also blamed any a lack of interest in Islam among the youths on parents, who he said did not inculcate religious teachings in their children.

    To a query, he replied that it wa not that Islamic religious leaders were not doing enough, but that the people did not listen to them and did not cooperate well enough with religious agencies such as Jais and Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais).

    “The greatest challenge to us now is not the global economic meltdown nor the volcanic eruptions in neighbouring countries, but to go against the faith,” warned Hasan, urging Muslims to fortify themselves, using mosques as strongholds, to strengthen their faith and knowledge against “the very real challenge from the Christians”.

    “Find a movement that places Islam at the helm, not other movements. This is the one true and straight road, the path of Islamic law, the path of good conduct, the road to faith.

    “We don’t want a negotiated Islam. To me Islam is non-negotiable. That is what must be done and shall be done. Insya Allah (God willing),” Hasan said.

    ‘Liberalism a threat to Islam’

    Another speaker at the forum saw another solution to the matter.

    This was in the way of a call for public support for the enforcement of the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment, 1988.

    This call was made by deputy chief of the Syariah section of the Attorney-General chambers, Mahamad Naser Disa, who lamented obstacles to the implementation of this law because of what he termed as “a wave of “liberalism”.

    “Liberalism has become a threat to the Islamic faith… this wave of liberalism paralysed Islamic authorities during the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) controversy, Seksualiti Merdeka outrage and legal challenges on behalf of Muslim apostates,” Mahamad Naser said.

    “We have good laws to protect Islam, but the problem is enforcement,” he said, and he went on to accuse Selangor assemblypersons and MPs of opposing the law, which was promulgated in 1988 but never enforced.

    “When politics dictates everything, then even defending the faith becomes problematic,” he lamented, adding that the liberals wanted to strip Islamic laws from the land in the name of democratic freedom.

    Mahamad Naser said he himself became involved on the second day of the DUMB fracas. He denied any attempt at interference, but said that he just wanted it to be test case on the enforcement of the enactment, which had never been tested in court or enforced before in Selangor.

    However , he blamed it all on the influence of the wave of liberalism as well as the inexperienced handling of the case by Jais officials for the politicians’ decision not to charge those involved.

    “The evidence was clear, provisions under the enactment present, but because the case was sensationalised by the press and Internet portals, and because of political intervention, no charges were filed,” Mahamad Naser said.


  17. PKR urges PAS to take action against Hasan
    Hafiz Yatim
    5:39PM Jan 6, 2012

    PKR today strongly urged its Pakatan Rakyat partner PAS to act against its former Selangor party commissioner Hasan Ali, for his negative comments on a wide range of issues, including the planned Jan 9 rally in support of Anwar Ibrahim.

    PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, tweeting about Hasan’s comment yesterday described the Selangor exco member’s remark on Anwar’s sodomy charge as a personal matter.

    “Let me reiterate that the PKR and Pakatan’s stand is solidly in support of Anwar and that the charge is a fabrication, and it is gutter politics employed by Umno and Barisan Nasional.

    “Does Hasan condone the gutter politics employed by Umno and BN?” he asked.

    “Hence, it is not proper to say it is a personal fight for Anwar, and wrong of him to involve the people as this is not the Pakatan’s stand.

    “I hope and (desak) urge PAS to take action against Hasan’s (celupar) unbecoming statement and what he had said for his own personal agenda,” he said.

    Azmin said while Hasan was making his statement yesterday, Anwar was meeting with Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, who had voiced his support.

    “Nik Abdul Aziz said he will come on Jan 9, if his health permits and who is Hasan to say otherwise (asking PAS members not to come,” he said.

    Azmin hoped PAS will study the appropriate action to initiate against Hasan. If he does not want to go (to the rally) then he does not have to, but Himpun, he attends.

    Yesterday, Hasan said he would not attend the Jan 9 gathering as he claimed it was Anwar’s personal fight and it was wrong for the opposition leader to drag others including the people in it.

    Asked whether he would recommend that Selangor PKR Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim drop Hasan from the state exco line-up, Azmin replied that he will let PAS act first.


  18. Hasan Ali sacked from PAS (Updated)
    Published: Sunday January 8, 2012 MYT 2:47:00 PM
    Updated: Sunday January 8, 2012 MYT 6:10:49 PM
    The Star Online

    S’gor to submit replacement exco member’s name on Wednesday

    PETALING JAYA: Selangor executive councillor Datuk Dr Hasan Ali has been sacked from PAS with immediate effect, party organ HarakahDaily reported Sunday.

    In a brief statement, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said the party’s central committee’s collective decision was reached based on a provision in Paragraph 82(9) of the party’s constitution because of Hasan’s actions, which were deemed detrimental to the party.

    Dr Hasan, who is also former Selangor PAS commissioner and assemblyman for Gombak Setia, has been critical of PAS’ leadership, particularly on the welfare state concept espoused by the party, which he said deviated from its original struggle of championing Islam.

    PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan, in an immediate reaction, expressed full support for the decision.

    Dr Hasan can appeal against the decision to the Shura council, the party’s top decision-making body.

    Reacting to the party’s action, Dr Hasan expressed shock and said he would be consulting his friends and religious scholars on his next course of action.

    “I just received news of my sacking. I am very shocked with the drastic action by the PAS central working committee,” said Dr Hasan in a statement.

    “I am also sad that my struggles for Islam are repaid in this manner,” he added.

    Dr Hasan said he will be calling for a press conference “soon” to clarify his position.

    Meanwhile, the Selangor Mentri Besar’s political secretary Faekah Husin said the name of the new executive councillor would be submitted to the palace on Wednesday.

    She said Dr Hasan should resign as the executive councillor as he was no longer a member of the Pakatan Rakyat component party.


  19. PAS sacks Hasan; Expulsion is with immediate effect
    Monday January 9, 2012
    The Star Online

    KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor exco member Datuk Dr Hasan Ali, who has been courting trouble with his stinging attacks against PAS and its leadership, has been sacked by the party.

    The former Selangor PAS head, who holds the Islamic Affairs portfolio in the state administration, was removed by the party central committee.

    Party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who chaired the meeting at the party headquarters yesterday, said the decision was a collective one. “The expulsion takes effect immediately.”

    He said the Gombak Setia assemblyman could appeal to the Syura Council.

    The decision by the party comes as no surprise to many as Dr Hasan had been criticising its leaders for some time. Party leaders from various levels backed his removal.

    However, Dr Hasan expressed shock over his sacking. He is expected to be dropped as an exco member this week.


  20. No offer from Umno to Dr Hasan Ali, says Muhyiddin
    Published: Tuesday January 10, 2012 MYT 6:54:00 PM
    Updated: Tuesday January 10, 2012 MYT 7:04:13 PM
    The Star Online > Nation

    PUTRAJAYA: Umno has not made any offer to former Selangor PAS Commissioner Datuk Dr Hasan Ali who has been sacked by PAS, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said.

    Asked of the possibility that Dr Hasan may join Umno, Muhyiddin said as an experienced and capable leader, he (Hasan) can join any political party deemed suitable for his ideology.

    “In his case, we (Umno) never made any offer. I believe Hasan is a capable and experienced leader. If he feels drawn to any political organisation, that is his choice.

    “There is no reason to rush things. If the struggle for Islam is no longer PAS’ struggle, then it is up to his wisdom to make his own decision.

    “Umno opens its doors to anyone interested and are ready to fight for our struggle,” he told reporters here.

    He stressed that what happened to Dr Hasan was a PAS internal matter, which Umno had never interfered, but in Umno, there was a democratic system based on Islam.

    Muhyiddin, also Umno deputy president, said Umno would have given the former Selangor PAS commissioner ‘a chance to defend himself’ and not expel him arbitrarily, as PAS had done.

    “If a member commits an offence, no disciplinary action will be taken without giving him a chance to defend himself, more so if he is a leader,” he said. BERNAMA


  21. Malaysia is a secular state, reiterates Karpal
    6:56PM Oct 25, 2012

    Specific provisions about Islam and the lack of the word “secular” in our federal constitution notwithstanding, Malaysia has been officially declared as a secular state, argued a veteran lawmaker.

    “A five-man bench of the Supreme Court (equivalent of the present Federal Court which replaced the Privy Council) presided by the then head of the judiciary Tun Salleh Abbas in 1988 in Che Omar bin Che Soh vs Public Prosecutor, clearly stated the law in the country was secular.

    “That being the position declared by (the) high authority, it must follow inevitably that the country was a secular state and not an Islamic state, as a country having secular laws could not be an Islamic state,” argued DAP national chairperson Karpal Singh.

    He believe, as such, that Malaysia has been “judicially pronounced to be a secular (country)”.

    Karpal (above) was responding to Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, parliamentary reply Monday, declaring that based on legal provisions in the country, Malaysia has never been declared nor endorsed as a secular nation.

    Mohd Nazri added that this was different from secular countries like the United States, India and Turkey where this is clearly stated in their constitutions.

    However, Karpal pointed out that neither has Malaysia been declared to be an Islamic state, as reflected in the constitutions of Islamic countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Iran.

    ‘Invoke Article 130’

    He also rubbished political declaration by Dr Mahathir Mohamed (left) in Sept, 2001 at the Gerakan general assembly that Malaysia was an Islamic state.

    “(It) does not have the stamp of legitimacy. Both Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussien Onn are on record to have stated that Malaysia was not an Islamic state”.

    The veteran lawyer believe that the pronouncement by Mohd Nazri in Parliament that Malaysia is not a secular state, therefore, conflicts with the judicial decision in the case of Che Omar bin Che Soh.

    As such, he proposed that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong invoke his power under Article 130 of the constitution to refer to the full bench of the Federal Court for its opinion as to whether Malaysia is a secular state or an Islamic state.

    Article 130 permits “the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to refer to the Federal Court for its opinion on any question as to the effect of any provision of this constitution which has arisen or appears to him likely to arise, and the Federal Court shall pronounce in open court its opinion on any question so referred to it”.



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s