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Thread: Religion: Christian cleric condemns Jais raid on PJ church

   
   
       
  1. #11
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    Learn to recognize the elements of the UMNO War Machine and know thy enemy.

    Identify the elements of the UMNO War Machine.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That will stand you in good stead to withstand the psychological warfare waged against the Rakyat.

    Isn't it wonderful how the victim is turned round to become the offender?

    Read the title below. The implication is that DUMC is guilty. See how the psychological warfare tacticians frame the debate.

    Sultan: Insufficient evidence for prosecution in Jais raid




    Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah today said there were attempts to subvert the faith and belief of Muslims during a function at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) during Ramadan.


    Despite this, legal action cannot be taken because of lack of evidence, said the sultan in a statement faxed to the press.


    The Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) had raided a thanksgiving function at the DUMC on Aug 3 and later investigated 12 Muslims who had been present that evening.
    “Therefore, after carefully deliberating the report by Jais and after obtaining advice from religious authorities and legal experts, we are in agreement that there would be no prosecution against any party," said the sultan.


    He said that he scrutinised the Jais report on the "search" carried out by Jais on the DUMC and was convinced that the department had acted correctly.


    "We are satisfied that the actions of Jais were correct and did not breach any law enforceable in Selangor," the sultan added.


    As for the 12 Muslims under probe, the ruler said they would be subjected to counselling sessions by Jais to "restore their belief and faith".


    Do not subvert Muslim faith


    Meanwhile, the sultan urged members of the public not to misconstrue or dispute Jais' actions before they knew exactly what happened.


    He also expressed hope that from now on, there would be no more activities carried out with the purpose of spreading other religions to Muslims.


    "The religion of Islam as practised in Selangor is one of tolerance. Muslims are always encouraged to respect the believers of other religions.


    "However, persons or parties cannot take the opportunity to spread other religions to Muslims," he said.


    The sultan said this was in line with Clauses (1) and (4) of Article 11 of the Federal Constitution and Selangor non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment 1988.


    He urged non-Muslims to protect their freedom of religion in Selangor with respect for the laws.


    "This freedom has been practised in harmony in this state. We wish that this harmony, which has existed for a long time, will continue to exist.


    "Protect your rights and religion and do not attempt to subvert the belief and faith of Muslims," he said.


    And you have another puppy hopping on-board yapping in agreement.



    Hasan: Sultan's statement shows bid to proselytise



    py

  2. #12
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    NGO: Apologise to Muslims for conversion attempt

    Would this statement be construed as the result of Royalty sticking their nose into politics?

    Suddenly, the victim has become the villain.

    In the internet age, such shallow psychological warfare tactics won't work anymore.




    NGO: Apologise to Muslims for conversion attempt






    A Muslim NGO has demanded an apology to all Muslims from those involved in the controversial thanksgiving dinner held at the premises of the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC).

    This is because it is clear from Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah’sdecree yesterday that there indeed were attempts to subvert the faith and beliefs of Muslims at the function, although legal action could not be taken because of a lack of evidence, the NGO said.

    In a statement today, Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) said it welcomed the sultan’s remarks assuring Muslims that the integrity of their faith was under his watch and care against “the threat of Christianisation”.

    “The (issues raised by the event) have caused Muslims to feel concerned that it will become a concern and a threat if not stopped," said Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman.

    “His (Highness’) stand, which views Jais’ actions objectively, has shown his concern for this sensitive issue.”


    Jais, or the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department, had raided a thanksgiving function on Aug 3 organised by Harapan Komuniti, a welfre group, at the auditorium of the DUMC.


    The department claimed to be investigation allegations that Muslims were being subjected to Christian proselytisation. It then conducted a probe on 12 Muslims who had been present that evening.


    'View issues holistically'

    Isma also called on state religious councils and religious affairs departments nationwide to learn from the incident and “always take proactive measures to see issues holistically".

    Rather than treat the 12 as having committed a ‘crime’, Isma said they should be perceived as victims of conversion attempts and counselled so that any confusion or misunderstanding they may have about their faith can be corrected.

    This includes taking measures that address the family background, social interactions and problems and other factors that may have made them susceptible to the plans and tactics of Christian evangelists.

    In addition to recommending that the staff of Islamic affairs departments be made more aware of their responsibilities in upholding the sanctity of Islam, Isma also urged that the level of the services and operating procedures of these bodies be improved.


    “That the organiser of the event was let off (without) any charge should serve as a (lesson).”
    py

  3. #13
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    Evangelicals: Was the sultan not properly informed?




    The Christian community has waited with anticipation for the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, to come out with a statement that will help resolve the inter-religious crisis sparked off by the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department's (Jais) raid on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) on Aug 3, 2011.

    We welcome the sultan’s wish that religious harmony should continue in the state and his decree that there be no prosecution against any of the parties involved.

    However, the sultan’s statement does raise a few issues of serious concern for the non-Muslim community as there are views expressed therein that suggest that the sultan may not have been properly informed by his advisers.

    First, the statement “the actions of Jais were correct and did not breach any laws enforceable in Selangor,” as they “are in line with the jurisdiction provided under Syariah Criminal Procedure (State of Selangor) Enactment (2003), Syariah Criminal (State of Selangor) Enactment, 1995 and the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment of 1988” (herein referred to as the “Selangor Enactment”).

    With all due respect, I beg to differ from this interpretation of the state enactments.

    In the first place, the jurisdiction granted by Article 11(4) of the federal constitution was to permit the state to control or restrict the propagation of religion among people professing to be Muslims.

    This must be read in the context of the Article itself which fundamentally provides for every person the freedom to profess, practice and propagate his religion. Such power to control or restrict propagation cannot be understood as absolutely prohibiting any conduct or activity on the excuse of some unspecified complaint that they are for the purposes of propagation of religion.

    Such power cannot be taken as licence for officials to intrude or trespass into a function conducted within the premises of what is clearly a non-Muslim religious institution (in the present case, a Christian institution) without legal authority. There is no legal provision under the Propagation Enactment that allows Jais officials to intrude into the premises of DUMC, much less carry out a raid.

    From my reading of the Selangor Enactment (198, the closest possible justification that can be offered by Jais are sections 12 and 13 which specify that “an authorised officer may investigate the commission of any offence under this Enactment and may arrest without warrant any person suspected of having committed any such offence.” He may also apply for warrants of arrest from a magistrate to require the attendance of witnesses.

    Not applicable to non-Muslims

    There is however, simply no unilateral power to carry out an entry and search under the Propagation Enactment or, for that matter, even to apply for a search warrant. If the officer responsible for the raid intends to conduct an entry and search, he must base his power from some legal source.

    Jais officers appear to have acted under the Syariah Enactment which, however does NOT apply to non-Muslims and cannot be imported into the Propagation Enactment.

    While superficially this provision seems to grant disturbing power to this “authorised officer”, the enforcement must be consistent with the more fundamental provisions under Part II of the federal constitution relating to fundamental liberties and the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code (Act 593) relating to search and arrest, which presumes that a search warrant should have been sought as a matter of course, and that the warrant is granted only upon reasonable suspicion that a seizable offence has been committed at the DUMC premises.

    The requirement of a search warrant is a fundamental recognition of the right to privacy within one’s own domain and space.

    More importantly, given the sensitivity of inter-religious relations and the sanctity of religious places of worship, such a warrant should be granted only by a magistrate or judge from the civil court and only upon firm and clear grounds.

    The fact remains that Jais carried out the raid with disregard for established provisions and procedure of law – the leader of the Jais party failed to:

    • present relevant identity documents to confirm he was indeed “an authorised officer”,

    • specify the offence(s) or suspected offence(s) relating to propagation under the Selangor Enactment that was alleged to have been committed and

    • show that he had obtained a search warrant from a Magistrate or the High Court, especially when a church was the target of the raid.
    For these reasons, it may be argued contrary, to the sultan’s statement, that prima facie, Jais had not acted lawfully within the bounds of law when it raided DUMC.

    Unfair, misleading accusation

    Second, it should be noted that the statement claims “there were attempts to subvert the faith and belief of Muslims but that the evidence obtained would be insufficient for further legal actions to be taken.”

    The plural word “attempts” suggests Christians at DUMC were guilty of subverting Islam not only on 3 August 2011, but that they were repeatedly committing the alleged offence.

    This is a most unfair and misleading accusation that imputes guilt to DUMC without offering any evidence that could be verified or refuted.

    It may be noted that the English version of the sultan’s statement uses stronger words than the official Bahasa version – it translates the words “memesongkan (distort, deviate) fahaman dan kepercayaan fahaman orang Islam” into the words “subvert the faith and belief of Muslims”.

    The statement unwittingly exposes the feeble foundations of its accusations when it concedes that there was insufficient evidence obtained for further legal action.

    In simple terms, this must means that Jais had failed to make a prima facie case against DUMC.

    I may add that despite the attempt to hide behind the legal term of “insufficient evidence”, the reality is that there was simply no evidence of subversion of the Islamic faith. Beating a hasty retreat from the threat of prosecuting DUMC was the best option left for Jais.

    Third, it is alarming that the statement describes the activities of DUMC as “subversion” of the Islamic faith. This charge is injurious to the integrity of Christians with regard to their profession and practice of faith.

    Regarding integrity of profession of the Christian faith: Christians at DUMC have never pretended to be teaching any religion other than Christianity.

    DUMC is, after all, a church. Christians have every right to uphold their beliefs and practise their faith and, while doing so, should not be judged as subverting or deviating, or memesongkan fahaman Islamic beliefs on account of the doctrinal differences between the two religions.

    Following the logic of Jais, Christians could equally have charged Muslims for subverting the Christian faith when Muslims preach a faith different from Christians.

    Regarding practice of faith: Christians are well-known for their social work that flows from their belief in the love of God for the poor and needy.

    Misconstrued by mischievous parties

    As the Bible says, “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world” (James 1:27).

    Hence, the press statement from DUMC says, “DUMC conducts all its activities to serve the community and for the welfare of all Malaysians regardless of creed, race or religion.”

    It is therefore alarming when Jais casts aspersions against the charity work done by Christians and claims that Christians are subverting Islamic beliefs on account of their good works. It may well be the case that some needy Muslims have availed themselves to the good services offered by DUMC. DUMC obviously cannot turn them away simply because they happen to be Muslims.

    DUMC may well be charged for promoting religious disharmony if it makes religion a factor before anyone can receive welfare.

    On the other hand, Christians may well be advised to stop their work, if that may incline a Muslim to view the Christian faith favourably, since this would incur the wrath of Jais officials.

    At best, the sultan’s statement can be misconstrued by mischievous parties and exploited to misrepresent the altruistic intention of Christians. At worst, it maligns the welfare work of Christians.

    Therefore, we welcome the announcement made by the Mentri Besar of Selangor, Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, that the Selangor government will set up a special committee to fine-tune the standard operating procedure (SOP) followed by Jais in handling attempts to proselytise Muslims.

    We hope the committee will come up with recommendations that will ensure:

    1) Jais fully understands and observes the bounds of its authority, that is, that it has no jurisdiction over non-Muslims, and

    2) any investigation of non-Muslims leading to intervention by the Islamic authorities should follow a proper procedure and law, including obtaining a search warrant granted by senior judicial officials from a religiously neutral institution, such as a magistrate or a high court judge.

    Otherwise, the government ends up surreptitiously investing illegitimate and excessive authority to Islamic officials over non-Muslims. The consequences will be abuse of power, and insensitive and provocative actions against non-Muslim believers as seen in the case of the Jais raid of DUMC.

    We do well to listen respectfully and sympathetically to the appeal from the victim of religious abuse, in this case DUMC, when it says in its media statement, “We sincerely ask that all religious communities and places of worship be treated with utmost respect and not be intruded upon.”


    NG KAM WENG is research director and on the board of directors of the Kairos Research Centre, which was set up in 1993 by a group of evangelical leaders to encourage and facilitate Christian research, scholarship and intellectual development.
    py

  4. #14
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    Relicion: JAIS raid on DUMC

    Selangor dances the limbo for JAIS


    ]Mariam Mokhtar
    | October 14, 2011

    The Sultan's decree does not resolve important issues raised by the farcical raid on DUMC and has left many with bottled up feelings of resentment and discontent
    COMMENT
    The principal parties involved in the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (JAIS) raid on a Methodist church function last August have officially endorsed the sultan’s solution, and the matter is deemed closed.


    The Sultan of Selangor’s brief statement said that “….there had been attempts to subvert the faith and belief of Muslims” during the dinner at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) organised by the NGO Harapan Komuniti during Ramadan.


    Despite this, many issues remain unresolved and the rakyat is more perplexed than ever because his statement raises more questions than answers.


    How much involvement has Umno in the affairs of an opposition led state, do state religious authorities think that they are above the law and had abuses of power by JAIS been swept under the carpet?


    The statement did not allude to any evidence uncovered in these “attempts” at proselytisation, neither did it make reference to the Christians.


    However, it mentioned that no further legal action could be taken because of insufficient evidence and that JAIS had acted correctly in conducting the search.


    Sultan Sharafuddin said: “Therefore, after carefully deliberating the report by JAIS and after obtaining advice from religious authorities and legal experts, we are in agreement that there would be no prosecution against any party.


    “We are satisfied that the actions of JAIS were correct and did not breach any law enforceable in Selangor. We command that (Islamic officials) provide counseling to Muslims who were involved in the said dinner, to restore their belief and faith in the religion of Islam.”


    Officials of DUMC have, from the outset, vehemently denied the allegations that Muslims had been proselytised at what they claim was a multiethnic gathering to raise funds for HIV/AIDS. They have however, criticised the actions of JAIS enforcement officials for their role and conduct in the unauthorised raid.


    Perhaps, the most disquieting statement was when the sultan said that he was “gravely concerned and extremely offended by the attempts of certain parties to weaken the faith and belief of Muslims.”


    Malaysians have remarked that they are just as offended because nothing has been done to check high-handed officialdom and the mistrust which the officials have in the rakyat.


    Firstly, they are offended that Malays are perceived to be of weak faith and an even weaker constitution, that their presence in a largely Christian flock, when hymns are sung or prayers said, could make them denounce their faith.


    Secondly, the notion that any multiethnic event, be it a funeral, Christmas party, celebration of a festival or something as innocuous as a dinner, is seen as an attempt to convert the Muslim brethren.


    As defender of the faith, the sultan had also directed his subjects to stop questioning the actions of JAIS and that activities which spread other religions to Muslims should cease.


    He said: “The religion of Islam as practised in Selangor is one of tolerance. Muslims are always encouraged to respect the believers of other religions. However, persons or parties cannot take the opportunity to spread other religions to Muslims.”


    What if a similar raid was on a mosque?


    But disgruntled non-Muslims have remarked: “It is all right for you Muslims. But who speaks for us, when members of our community undergo forced conversions?


    “Families are torn apart, children are separated from their mothers, bodies are snatched from graves, marriages cannot be registered. Where is the freedom to practise our religion as provided in the constitution?”


    A Malay resident of Petaling Jaya living beside a Church said: “No one questions JAIS for wanting to do its job. The issue is how JAIS conducted itself when it carried out the raid.


    “Did JAIS have any respect of the sanctity of a place of worship? Did it even follow procedures when conducting the raid? Are there any standard procedures in the first instance?


    “If a similar raid were to be conducted on a mosque, wouldn’t there be a Muslim backlash? Without search warrants or strict adherence to guidelines to raid, do you think anyone will have any respect for authority if they simply bulldoze their way in?


    “Where is the respect for another person’s religion?” Where is our tolerance?”


    Mindful of the many illegal and unlawful precedents of the raid, the Menteri Besar of Selangor, Khalid Ibrahim has said that the Selangor government would form a special committee to scrutinise the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of JAIS with regard to attempts to proselytise Muslims.


    Khalid said that the committee would include religious leaders, legal experts and senior government officers, and in an attempt to draw a line over the incident and prevent royal dissent, he acquiesced and said: “The Selangor government will not look back on this issue. Rather, we will enhance awareness on the need to strengthen JAIS’ enforcement and gathering of evidence.”


    Khalid’s delicate role as diplomat-cum-politician is misconstrued as a feeble attempt to placate certain quarters, not least to salvage JAIS’ reputation. Nonetheless, the Christians are left bristling with discontent.


    Questions have been raised as to why a six-minute video clip of the raid surfaced on pro-Umno blogs a fortnight later. There were security concerns when photographs and personal details of the Muslim dinner guests were leaked. How did the bloggers obtain supposedly confidential JAIS evidence?


    Lawyers representing Harapan Komuniti said that they had not been given a final report nor any details about the JAIS raid. They also said that investigations into the death threat received by their clients, had not achieved any progress.


    Meanwhile, the Selangor executive councillor in charge of Islamic affairs, Hasan Ali, was satisfied with the sultan’s decree and said that he was grateful that the sultan “wanted stern action to prevent proselytising”…. “because of the attempts to influence people’s faith”.


    If there was insufficient evidence, why should the Muslims be counselled? And if there were indeed attempts to proselytise, shouldn’t the offenders be punished? What about the lawfulness of the raid itself?


    This decree does not resolve any of the important issues raised by this farce and has left many with bottled up feelings of resentment and discontent.


    Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist
    py

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