Once again the Church & Her Followers are subjected to such violation of civil liberties and human rights, one of the many ways in which the Malaysian Church has been time and time again pragmatically persecuted.
It was just a Charitable Dinner, nothing religious but a group of insecure Muslims twisted the entire picture and have gone to the extent to slander by claiming that Christians were actively converting Muslims! Does The Quran Prohibit Muslims from entering a Church? As far as i know, Prophet Muhammad took the Church as his second home in the sense that He consided Christians as his family too.
From Dr Chris Anthony, via e-mail
Once again Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) has come into the forefront for the wrong reasons. Its raid on a multi-racial dinner at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church(DUMC) premise was indeed an inconsiderate and disrespectful act that cannot be condoned by peace loving citizens. The way they allegedly interrupted the dinner shows total lack of respect for mainly Christian crowd that was gathered there. Moreover, places of worship are highly dignified and must be treated with more respect and unauthorised trespasses must be condemned.
The reason for the raid according to JAIS and Selangor state executive councilor Hasan Ali was suspicions of proselytising to Muslims present at the church dinner which the organisers of the dinner strongly deny as they say it was a dinner to raise funds for the Malaysian Aids Council. Why was the allegation not investigation in a more mature and democratic way before resorting to such drastic action? Was there a need to rush into the premises with the police on mere suspicion? Why aren’t they upholding the rule of law?
With such a mob mentality there is increasing fear that soon even prayers for the nation by non-Islamic groups may be banned.
It is time for the authorities realise that Malaysians including our fellow Muslims are mature enough to remain steadfast in their faith even if there are attempts by others to proselytize to them. Non-Muslims in the country are not stupid to proselytise to their Muslim friends whom they love and respect. For over 50 years Malaysians of different faiths have learned to live together and they know best how to adapt and interact with one another. The politicians can do them and the country a great favour by leaving the people alone without dictating how to deal with their friends from different religions.
The quick response from the Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim to calm the situation by expressing his regret and ordering an immediate explanation from JAIS is commendable. I agree with him that the raid was not justified and had failed to display fairness and wisdom. Hope he can convince the Sultan to come out with a stern warning to those who planned and conducted the raid. Raiding a place of worship is a blatant disregard and act of great disrespect that no religion condones.
By quickly coming to the support of JAIS despite the pacifying statements by Khalid, Hassan would be breaking ranks with the state government on the issue which is indeed regrettable and puts his Pakatan government in bad light. If Hassan cannot agree with the State government the best thing for him is to resign to prove that he is unwilling to compromise on his principles.
JAIS and Hasaan Ali should provide convincing prove of their allegations of proselytising.If they are unable to do so it is only right that they apologise for the insult they have inflicted on the those present at the dinner that night and right thinking Malaysians in general both Christians and Muslims alike. This would allow all parties to put the issue aside and move forward to build a more united nation based on mutual respect and concern.
This whole fiasco should be lesson for the people on the need for greater respect for each other’s faiths. For the politicians it should be a lesson to leave the people alone to adapt themselves to one another and for that Pakatan government an opportunity to show their critics the right way to deal with inter-faith misunderstandings and disputes, quickly and fairly.