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

   
   
       
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    Religion: Christian cleric condemns Jais raid on PJ church


    Watch this carefully. There's a master puppeteer behind this.


    Christian cleric condemns Jais raid on PJ church



    The front facade of the Damansara Utama Methodist Church is seen after it was raided by Jais and police, August 3, 2011. — Picture by Boo Su-Lyn

    By Debra Chong August 04, 2011

    KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 4 — In an immediate reaction, Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) secretary-general Rev Hermen Shastri hit out at Selangor’s Islamic religious authorities for “storming” a Petaling Jaya church last night on questionable grounds.

    The Malaysian Insider reported earlier this morning that some 30 policemen and enforcement officers from the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) had barged unannounced and without a warrant into a multiracial dinner at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) here last night over an unspecified complaint.

    But Shastri said he understands the raid was linked to attempts to preach to Malay Muslims about Christianity.

    “Apparently there was a police report by Jais on proselytising to Malays,” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.

    “The facts of what happened are yet unclear but the Council of Churches view with great concern this development and call on the government to take whatever action necessary to curb the power of Jais to just go into the religious places of other communities and conduct their investigations,” he added.

    The vocal Christian slammed Jais for resorting to such high-handed action in conducting its investigations without first checking with the church leaders.

    “This is unprecedented. Should the authorities have any concern, the courteous thing to do is to contact the church for clarification,” he said.

    “Before [they] enter any place of worship, they should talk to the leader. They should not storm the church. Imagine how it would look if someone stormed a mosque,” he continued, saying Jais’ act was “totally unacceptable” when various groups were trying to build a harmonious community in line with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s unifying 1 Malaysia call.


    Najib (right) met with Pope Benedict XVI to establish diplomatic ties with the Vatican last month. — Reuters pic

    Shastri, who is on the Cabinet’s Special Committee to Promote Harmony and Understanding Among Religious Adherents set up last year is expected to raise this issue to Putrajaya’s attention.
    He co-chairs an interfaith subcommittee aimed at resolving peaceably disputes between Muslims and non-Muslims.

    A DUMC pastor, Daniel Ho had told The Malaysian Insider last night that the church had hosted a thanksgiving dinner organised by a non-governmental organisation called Harapan Komuniti that was attended by between 100 and 120 guests of all races.

    “This is a dinner for people to come in the 1 Malaysia spirit,” Ho said, adding they were mainly Christian although he admitted there were “there were about 15 or so Malays.”

    On its website, Harapan Komuniti describes itself as a non-profit organisation that provides disaster relief and helps single mothers, children and AIDS patients regardless of race.

    Ho said the authorities did not arrest anyone, but seized the function’s programme sheets and questioned the dinner organisers and guests.

    “(They came in) on the pretext of a complaint and said somebody made a complaint,” said the pastor.

    He pointed out, however, that the authorities did not explain what the complaint was.

    Last night’s raid in the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state came after Malaysia sealed formal ties with the Vatican last month, seen as a high point in religious relations where Muslims are the majority.

    Religious tensions heightened two years ago when the Home Ministry barred Christians from referring to their god as “Allah” in a Catholic newspaper.

    In 2009, the High Court allowed the church to use the word, but the case is pending a Home Ministry appeal of the decision.

    Several churches across the country fell victim to arson attempts in January last year following the ruling.

    Christians, who form 9.2 per cent of Malaysia’s 28.3 million-strong population, were further outraged when the Home Ministry seized 35,100 Malay-language bibles.

    The bibles were later released ahead of the Sarawak state election in April on condition that copies in Peninsular Malaysia be marked with a cross and the words “Christian publication”.
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    PRESS STATEMENT
    AUGUST 4, 2011

    SELANGOR REGRETS RAID, ASK JAIS FOR A REPORT

    The State Government views seriously the incident where the police and JAIS raided a multi-racial dinner at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya last night.

    Menteri Besar Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has called Senior Pastor Daniel Ho to personally express his regrets regarding the incident.

    “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 Menteri Besar.

    The Menteri Besar assures the people of Selangor that the state government fully respects freedom of religion and the rights of religious groups to manage their affairs.

    He also repeated that the state is always open to engagement and dialogue regarding the harmonious and mutually respectful coexistence of different religious communities, and appreciates the efforts of all who seek to build a more united society.

    PRESS SECRETARIAT
    OFFICE OF SELANGOR MENTERI BESAR

    --
    Sekretariat Akhbar
    Pejabat Dato' Menteri Besar Selangor
    Tel: 03 5544 7452 Fax: 03 5510 9686
    www.selangorkini.com.my
    www.tvselangor.com
    http://www.youtube.com/user/mbselangor


    ---------- Post added at 05:54 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:26 PM ----------

    The idea is to trigger a reaction which will give them ammunition to play it up with the Malay community and also to give them an excuse to use their sledge-hammer. They are at their wits end when Malaysians react calmly.

    Community Thanksgiving Dinner Trespassed At Dream Centre


    Senior Pastor Dr Daniel Ho

    Thursday, 04 August 2011 15:04

    A Thanksgiving Dinner of a non-profit organisation, Harapan Komuniti was held on 3rd August 2011 at the Dream Centre in Petaling Jaya. The appreciation dinner was held to commemorate the NGO's efforts in working on its 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 benefitted from the NGO's work.

    At 10 pm on the same night, a large group of between 20 to 30 Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS) and Police officers, some in uniform and many in plain clothes, entered the premises of Dream Centre without a warrant. They entered the hall where the dinner is taking place, and started taking videos and photographs. When asked by the organizers why they were there, JAIS replied that they received a complaint, but was unable to produce a copy when asked.

    JAIS officers took down details of the Muslim guests before leaving the premises with the Police.

    Damansara Utama Methodist Church and Community Excel Services who rent Dream Centre are highly disappointed with the trespass and the action of JAIS and the Police officers who entered and searched a private property without a warrant. They have subjected all guests at the Thanksgiving Dinner to undue harrasment. We stress that the dinner was a community thanksgiving dinner conducted in love, peace and harmony, with the purpose of appreciating and commemorating Harapan Komuniti's efforts to help Malaysians of all walks of life.

    We call on all Malaysians not to condone this breach of Freedom of Assembly and Associations as provided by Article 10 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, but to live in mutual trust and love, to promote peace, harmony and unity in the true spirit of 1 Malaysia.



    SENIOR PASTOR DR DANIEL HO for Damansara Utama Methodist Church and Community Excel Services

    4th August @ 12 noon
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    Hasan Ali backs Jais raid, says ‘Quran’ and ‘Pray’ used in front of Muslims

    UPDATED @ 11:11:20 PM 04-08-2011 By Debra Chong August 04, 2011


    Selangor state exco Datuk Hasan Ali

    SHAH ALAM, Aug 4 — Selangor executive councillor Datuk Hasan Ali defended today a late-night state Islamic enforcement raid on a church in Petaling Jaya yesterday, saying the words “Quran” and “pray” were used in the presence of Muslims at the dinner function.
    He claimed this was part of the authorities’ evidence that Christians were proselytising to Muslims.

    Widely seen as a religious conservative, Hasan has been at odds with the ruling Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government’s seemingly liberal policies on several occasions, most notably his push for a beer sale ban in the country’s most developed state earlier this year.

    Hasan had lost badly in the recent PAS election as the Islamist party moved to embrace leaders like Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad who is seen to represent a more progressive and inclusive brand of Islam.

    Dropped as PAS Selangor chief after the party polls, Hasan’s statement today is seen to rebuff his tendency to mirror rival Malay party Umno’s thinking.

    “Towards the end of the event, the enforcement team and the police had made checks and found attempts to prevent their examination and to get rid of the evidence material,” the PAS man said in a statement faxed to The Malaysian Insider this evening.

    He said the authorities had discovered further materials to prove there was activity to proselytise a religion other than Islam to Muslims, but did not disclose what they were.

    Hasan added that several Muslims had attempted to flee the premises through the church’s back door but were successfully stopped by Jais.

    He also denied the authorities had carried out a “raid” on the church as alleged, saying instead it was merely an “examination” that was based on a report that Muslims had attended the church dinner’s “break fast” event.

    “There was no raid and no arrests. Instead, examinations were conducted after negotiations with the organiser,” he said.

    Hasan said 12 Muslims who attended the dinner have been ordered to turn up at the Jais enforcement office for further investigation.

    “Based on initial investigations those involved can be charged under Section 10 of the Syariah Criminal Enactment 1995.”

    The executive councillor in charge of Islamic religious affairs’ remarks came just after Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim moved to calm the uproar over the raid.

    Earlier today, Khalid had asked the state Islamic authorities to justify their raid on the multiracial dinner at a Petaling Jaya church last night, adding he regretted the incident that has caused a public outrage.

    A group from the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) raided the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) building during a dinner and had questioned a few Malay guests based on an unspecified complaint.

    Khalid said today he had called DUMC’s senior pastor Daniel Ho to personally express his regrets regarding the incident.

    “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 Mentri Besar in a statement this evening,

    He also assured the people of Selangor that the state government fully respects freedom of religion and the rights of religious groups to manage their affairs.

    In the statement, Khalid sought to contain growing outrage over the incident by saying that “the state is always open to engagement and dialogue regarding the harmonious and mutually respectful coexistence of different religious communities, and appreciates the efforts of all who seek to build a more united society”.

    In a statement today, DUMC’s senior pastor Ho related how a group of 20 to 30 of Selangor’s religious police had entered its rented premises at the Dream Centre in Petaling Jayan without a warrant and intimidated invited guests, including Muslims, at its private dinner celebration last night.

    “They have subjected all guests at the Thanksgiving Dinner to undue harassment,” he said, noting that not all the enforcement group were in uniform and had failed to produce a copy of the complaint when asked for the reason for the raid.

    Ho stressed that the dinner was non-religious in nature but held to celebrate the work of non-profit organisation Harapan Komuniti in helping women, children, HIV/AIDS sufferers and victims of natural disasters.

    “We call on all Malaysians not to condone this breach of freedom of assembly and association as provided by provided Article 10 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, but to live in mutual trust and love, to promote peace, harmony and unity in the true spirit of 1 Malaysia,” he said.

    The pastor told The Malaysian Insider last night that the thanksgiving dinner organised by Harapan Komuniti was attended by between 100 and 120 guests of all races.
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    No law against Muslims in churches, says Bar Council

    By Yow Hong Chieh August 05, 2011


    Lim said the Jais raid and the recent 8TV advertisements were a poor reflection of the nation’s multiculturalism. — File pic

    KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 — The Bar Council said there are no laws stopping Muslims from entering church premises, and accused the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) today of “disrespecting” the right to association by raiding a Petaling Jaya church this week.

    Its president Lim Chee Wee also pointed out there is no law stating Muslims cannot be part of the audience at a thanksgiving event held in church premises, even if it contained religious elements like prayer and singing.

    “By conducting such a raid... then taking down the particulars of Muslims found in attendance, treating them as though they had somehow broken the law, Jais has besmirched the good name and sullied the hard-earned reputation of Malaysia and her peoples for multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-faith acceptance,” he said in a statement.

    “Especially in this month of Ramadan, one would have hoped that the Islamic religious authorities in Selangor would have focused their attention on more constructive pursuits rather than the disruption of a community thanksgiving dinner that brought together people of various races and faiths in peace, harmony and unity.”

    Lim said the raid — which followed “insensitive” public service announcements (PSA) by 8TV — did not bode well for racial and religious harmony in Malaysia as their actions suggested that moderation was increasingly giving way to “mindless orthodoxy”.

    “If, after almost 54 years of independence in Peninsular Malaysia, a state Islamic authority and a national television company can still display a form of arrogant authoritarianism and callous condescension in their actions, then we must collectively ask ourselves where we have failed as a nation,” he said.

    He added that he welcomed the statement of regret offered by Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim and urged that disciplinary action be taken against Jais officers responsible for the raid if they are found to have exceeded their authority.

    “The civil authorities cannot allow the Islamic department to wantonly disrespect the fundamental rights and liberties of all citizens to gather and associate freely with one another,” Lim stressed.

    Jais enforcement officers raided a dinner function at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church late Wednesday night without a warrant after receiving an unspecified complaint, bringing with them a team of policemen.

    Between 100 and 120 people, including several Muslims, attended the non-religious event to celebrate non-profit outfit Harapan Komunity’s success in helping women, children, HIV/AIDS sufferers and victims of natural disasters.

    Immediately after, Khalid called on Jais to furnish the state government with a full report on the purpose of the raid while assuring that the state government fully respects freedom of religion and rights of religious groups.

    But state executive councillor Datuk Hasan Ali defended Jais’s actions, alleging that the words “Quran” and “pray” were used in the presence of 12 Muslims at the dinner and claimed this was proof Christians had been proselytising to Muslims there.

    Hasan’s PAS colleague, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, then sought to distance the party’s state leadership from its former chief by saying it was “not Selangor PAS’s stance”, revealing a deep and continuing rift between the Islamist party’s liberal and more hardline factions in the state.

    .................................................. ........................................


    Celebrate Freedom, Not Fear
    LETTERS/SURAT
    Friday, 05 August 2011 Combat

    By Lim Chee Wee, President, Malaysian Bar Council

    The Malaysian Bar deeply deplores the action by the Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor ("JAIS") who, with the assistance of Polis DiRaja Malaysia, rudely interrupted a thanksgiving dinner hosted by a community-based non-governmental organisation and held at Damansara Utama Methodist Church two days ago.

    We welcome the statement of regret offered by the Menteri Besar of Selangor over the incident, and his call for JAIS to furnish a detailed report on the incident. We trust that appropriate disciplinary action will be taken if JAIS officers are found to have exceeded their authority in this regard. The civil authorities cannot allow the Islamic department to wantonly disrespect the fundamental rights and liberties of all citizens to gather and associate freely with one another.

    Especially in this month of Ramadhan, one would have hoped that the Islamic religious authorities in Selangor would have focused their attention on more constructive pursuits rather than the disruption of a community thanksgiving dinner that brought together people of various races and faiths in peace, harmony and unity. This is the true spirit of Malaysia which we must value, uphold, protect and defend.

    We know of no prohibition in law against Muslims entering the premises of a Christian church, nor of being part of the audience in a thanksgiving event held in such a place, even if such an event were to contain certain religious elements such as prayer and singing. By conducting such a raid, video-recording a part of the event, rummaging and removing the contents of garbage bags and then taking down the particulars of Muslims found in attendance, treating them as though they had somehow broken the law, JAIS has besmirched the good name and sullied the hard-earned reputation of Malaysia and her peoples for multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-faith acceptance.

    This action on the part of JAIS, coming so closely after the insensitive public service announcements released by television station 8TV, does not bode well for the future of inter-racial and inter-faith harmony in our country. If, after almost 54 years of independence in Peninsular Malaysia, a state Islamic authority and a national television company can still display a form of arrogant authoritarianism and callous condescension in their actions, then we must collectively ask ourselves where we have failed as a nation. Moderation has increasingly given way to mindless orthodoxy, and those in authority have parted company with common sense.

    Let us all recommit ourselves, in this mutual month of Ramadhan and Merdeka, to a practice of faith or belief that will free our lives from fear, and a pursuit of ideals that will free our thoughts from binding shackles, both of which our forefathers struggled so hard to achieve.
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    Selangor PAS demands Hasan, Jais explain church raid

    By Lisa J. Ariffin August 05, 2011


    Khalid said the Jais raid should not have taken place. — File pic

    SHAH ALAM Aug 5 — Selangor PAS wants former chief Datuk Hasan Ali and the state Islamic Religious Department (Jais) to explain Wednesday’s controversial raid on a multi-racial dinner at a Petaling Jaya church, including a claim that Christians were attempting to convert Muslims.

    The Islamist party is part of the state Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government where Hasan is state executive councillor in charge of Islamic affairs.

    “We reserve final comment until we are able to get Jais’ report and meet with Hasan Ali to seek further clarification. We want to see what evidence Hasan has,” Selangor PAS deputy commissioner Khalid Samad told a press conference here.

    Selangor has gagged all its exco members from talking about the raid after Hasan claimed there were efforts to convert Muslims when Jais and police raided the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC). The raiding party entered building without a warrant on the basis of preventing the conversion of Muslims.

    The multiracial dinner was attended by about 100 people, including a dozen Muslims.

    Khalid said only Hasan has associated the dinner — organised by charity association Harapan Komuniti — with the aim to convert Muslims.

    “Previously, Jais gave grounds that there is evidence of (Christians) proselytising to Muslims. So far, only one party (claims this),” said the Shah Alam MP.

    He also agreed with the state government in asking the religious department explain the reasons for the raid.

    “Jais has to give an explanation; they have to present a report on how and why they decided to raid the church.

    “Places of worship — regardless of religion — must be respected; this comes from the teachings of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Going into a place without a warrant or permission is something that must be avoided entirely, more so in a place of worship,” he said.

    He pointed out that while the country’s official religion is Islam, non-Muslims must also feel safe and added: “For PAS, we want (Jais) to let them feel safe by showing utmost respect.”

    On Hasan’s claim that the late-night enforcement raid was to prevent an attempt to convert Muslims, Khalid said, “It is not wise to make conclusions that Christians were proselytising to Muslims just because they were having dinner in a church. There must be more substantial evidence, more intelligence.”

    “If it’s only dinner, then there is no reason (for the raid). There are lots of programmes with people of different faiths. Look at Ramadan, people of all races gather together to break fast. In fact, this is encouraged in Islam,” he added.

    Khalid said in any operation, there are rules to be followed.

    “It is very surprising for this to have occurred. It should not have (taken place). We will wait for the report to understand why it happened,” he said.

    Khalid also said he hoped the allegation of Muslim conversions were not true.

    “These are serious accusations. If true, it will have heavy implications... Proselytisation of a Muslim is against the constitution. However, I am confident that those involved are aware of this,” he said.

    When asked if he was concerned PAS would lose non-Muslims votes during the upcoming general election, Khalid said PAS Selangor is not involved with Jais.

    “We think raiding a place of worship is hard to accept. Even in an Islamic state, it does not mean (a religious department) can act out as (it) pleases. We want to know why Jais carried out the raid,” Khalid said.

    Damansara Utama Methodist Church senior pastor Daniel Ho has called for action to be taken against religious enforcement officers, saying they had denied over 100 dinner guests their constitutional right to freedom of assembly in the raid.

    The pastor said the enforcement officers swooped in on the dinner based on an unspecified complaint, bringing along a police team but without any warrant for the operation.
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    Top Catholic bishop praises PAS but wants answers over church invasion

    Harakahdaily
    Aug 5: The country's top Catholic leader Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing has praised PAS as a party that upholds morality in public and private conduct, saying its Murshidul Am Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat had proven this in "word and deed".


    L-R: Bishop Paul and Nik Aziz


    "Too often in politics, we are faced with people who make a pretense of public virtue while being squalid in private morals,” Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing told news portal Malaysiakini on the sidelines of his comments on the recent raid by Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS) at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya.

    “That this is not the case with PAS is something that their spiritual leader has sought by word and deed to transmit to the Malaysian people. We are greatly edified by his endeavour," added Bishop Paul, who is also the president of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

    Surprised it was PAS

    Describing PAS as a party that was "inclined to unify the Malaysian people rather than divide along them along sectarian lines", Bishop Tan however expressed surprise that the raid was conducted by a body which came under the purview of a PAS leader, Hasan Ali.



    Hasan (left), the Selangor exco on religious affairs who until recently was the Selangor PAS commissioner before being replaced by Dr Abd Rani Osman, had earlier defended JAIS's intrusion of the church's dinner event on August 3, saying the department had proof of an attempt at propagating Christianity to Muslim guests there.

    "...I am greatly distressed that the latest round of accusations against Christians emanates from their quarter," Malaysiakini quoted Bishop Paul as saying.

    “Ironically, the fact that the accusation stems from their (PAS's) quarter raises hope of its decisive and final adjudication: Is it true or is it false?” he asked.

    Bishop Paul warned that the latest controversy would be exploited by agent provocateurs "to foist their poisons on the body politic".

    “This must stop either by Christians desisting from unconstitutional conduct or by their accusers being made to account for the falsity of their claims. There are no two ways about this," he stressed, as quoted by the news portal.
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    1988 state law allows Jais to act against non-Muslims

    By Clara Chooi and Debra Chong August 07, 2011

    Lim maintains that Jais did not have proper legal basis to raid the DUMC premises. — file pic
    PETALING JAYA, Aug 7 — The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) had likely acted within the law when it raided a church here, as a controversial enactment passed by a Barisan Nasional (BN) state government in 1988 allows action against non-Muslims.
    Malaysian Bar Council chief Lim Chee Wee pointed out, however, their being empowered also meant the religious authorities can only act within the confines of the Islamic laws, highlighting that the words allegedly said to prove Christians were proselytising to Muslims at the event — “Quran” and “Pray” — did not fall within the religious enforcement’s context.

    “Whilst Jais may have the legal power to enter the premises, it must do so on a proper legal basis that there has been an offence committed. From the presently available facts, there is no basis for its intrusion,” he told The Malaysian Insider in an email.


    Lim said the 1988 enactment had been deemed “far-reaching and unreasonable”. — File pic
    Lim said there were four existing state Islamic legislation that give the authorities wide powers to act on religious matters, namely:
    • Enakmen Jenayah Syariah (Selangor) 1995 (“Enakmen Jenayah”);

    • Enakmen Ugama Bukan Islam (Kawalan Pengembangan di Kalangan Orang Islam) 1988 (“Enakmen Ugama Bukan Islam”);

    • Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003; and

    • Syariah Criminal Procedure (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003.

    Selangor’s Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment, which outlines offences deemed as acts of proselytisation by non-Muslims towards Muslims, grants the religious authorities powers to launch investigations and arrest individuals without producing a warrant.

    Some offences include the persuasion or incitement of Muslims to convert, to receive instructions or to participate in any activity for the benefit of any non-Islamic religion; if non-Muslims communicate with a Muslim for the purpose of subjecting the latter to any speech on a non-Islamic religion; if a person uses certain prohibited words to describe any belief pertaining to any non-Islamic religion, and others.

    The Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) was raided by Jais on Wednesday after it received a complaint that Muslims were present at a dinner function there, leading to suspicion that Christians were attempting to proselytise Muslims.

    Section 11 of the enactment also describes the offences as “seizable offences”, which, under the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), does not stop the police from raiding private spaces, like DUMC’s rented premises here.

    The Malaysian Insider understands that DAP lawmakers had raised hue and cry when the enactment bill was tabled in the Selangor state assembly in 1988, arguing that the legislation would encroach the rights of non-Muslims.

    But despite the furore, the bill was passed and gazetted into law by a BN-dominated House, after it earned the blessings of even non-Muslim lawmakers, including those from MCA.

    DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang confirmed the controversy, saying that the enactment had been deemed “far-reaching and unreasonable”.

    “I cannot remember specifically the details of the Bill but DAP strongly objected it,” he told The Malaysian Insider when contacted.


    Hasan is due to face the PAS CWC today. — File pic

    Lim would not comment, however, when asked if this meant that blame for Jais’ highly-criticised raid on the DUMC should be heaped on MCA and BN, instead of the present Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Selangor government.
    “At this point, we still do not know for certain on what basis Jais had conducted the raid so there may be a leap in reasoning to say who was right or wrong. Let us wait for (Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri) Khalid Ibrahim to make a statement on this first,” he said, reiterating that he could not remember details of the 23-year-old enactment.

    The PR state government came under fire immediately after news of the church raid on Wednesday hit the headlines, with MCA leading the chorus of disapproval on the incident.

    MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek also lambasted PAS state executive councillor Datuk Hasan Ali for defending Jais, and warned Selangor Muslims against the Islamist party’s hardline Muslim stance.

    Hasan, in his defence of Jais, had explained the raid was conducted based on a complaint that said Muslims were among those attending a dinner function at the church’s rented premises here.

    He said the words “Quran” and “pray” were used in front of Muslims and claimed there was also proof of efforts to proselytise Muslims during the function. Those involved, he said, could face punitive action for insulting Islam under Section 10 of the Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment 1995.

    Hasan is due to face his party’s central working committee (CWC) today to explain the Jais raid. The Islamist party’s lawmakers have taken pains to voice their disappointment over the raids and explain circumstances where enforcement authorities can take action.
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    Tuesday, 09 August 2011 13:25

    Church raid: Umno's hand is clear and the issue has boomeranged

    Written by Maclean Patrick, Malaysia Chronicle
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    When Hasan Ali defended JAIS for raiding a fund-raising dinner for HIV sufferers at Damansara Utama Methodist Church in Selangor, he probably thought he had won brownie points with the Muslim community and made himself out as a defender of Islam.

    But actually, Hasan and JAIS may have struck a hornet’s nest of religious debate, all of which are unravelling at high and disadvantageous speed to Prime Minister Najib Razak's UMNO party instead of the real target - the Selangor state administration run by PKR Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

    While UMNO is trying to drive up support amongst hardline Selangor Muslims, so far the response has been tepid. Yes, Hasan may be a PAS leader but his former wish for a merger with UMNO should not be forgotten, and neither should the fact that many of the top JAIS leaders are UMNO stalwarts like Selangor state secretary Khusrin Munawi, who was in charge of JAIS before Najib promoted him to his current post.

    Further evidence of UMNO's hand can be seen in the groups which have been the most vocal on the issue. These are mostly aligned to UMNO. By stark contrast, renowned former Perlis Mufti Asri Zainual Zbidin has crticised the raid as unbecoming of Islam. As for Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, he and his administration were the first to apologize for the raid. They have promised to be fair all by studying in detail the JAIS report before making any further public pronouncements.

    At the same time, Christians around the country say they are beyond 'fed-up'. They now openly say they are praying for a change in government as that is the only way to end their persecution.

    Did not bother to hide his distrust of Christians

    Meanwhile, both Hasan and JAIS have stood out as arrogant enforcers of Islamic law, who go about their business without taking into due consideration the feelings and thoughts of those from other faiths.

    Hasan did not hide his own distrust towards Christians when in defending JAIS’s actions, he stated that the words “Quran” and “Pray” were used in the dinner speech, where out of the 120 attendants, 12 or 15 diners were Muslims.

    It was the use of these words that amounted to the act of proselytising towards Muslims and thus, Damansara Utama Methodist Church violated article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution. Yet, it defies logic, that these two words can and will shake the faith of faithful Muslims to the point that they would walk out of the dining hall as Christians.

    Both logic and reason were thrown out of the window as Hasan and JAIS stepped forward to explain themselves with additional help from the press.

    UMNO-controlled Berita Harian and Harian Metro picked up on Hasan’s statement and in typical Utusan Malaysia style, reported that "Muslims questioned that night confirmed that they had been asked to convert."

    Both Berita Harian and Harian Metro did not back up their report with evidence and leaves us wondering, where did they get this bit of information from? How could they report this when the official report by JAIS was not even ready?

    What was the goal of Berita Harian and Harian Metro, in writing such a report? Was it to create distrust among the Muslim community against their Christian neighbours and flame the age-old conflict between Christians and Muslims?

    Between murtad and self-proclaimed 'murtad' status

    In response to these news-reports, there is now a ‎1,000,000 umat Islam sokong JAIS & Hasan Ali cegah MURTAD Facebook page. Yet, such irresponsible reporting hides the fact that for one to be declared “murtad” requires him or her to subject themselves to a process laid out by the Syariah Courts and their religious bodies. It is not a simple nor as easy a process as hinted on by Berita Harian and Harian Metro.

    JAIS further shames itself by raiding a place of worship without first presenting strong and irrefutable evidence to support its actions. It is clear that this raid was acted upon in an impulsive and rude manner, compromising the universal accepted notion that the sanctity of any place of worship must be respected and its security safeguarded by those in authority.

    For JAIS to subject 120 dinners to “abuse” is unacceptable when it would have been more professional to merely take aside the 12 or 15 Muslims who attended the function and question them with more privacy. This has set a precedence for JAIS or any other state Islamic enforcement agency to raid, disrupt and question guests and participants of functions held within the compounds of a non-Muslim religious establishment.

    This is troubling and angers practitioners of other religions, for who gave Islamic bodies like JAIS over-lord status to dictate and monitor the activities of other religions?

    Underpinned by the Constitution

    There is no question that all who live in Malaysia accept Article 3(1) of the Federal Constitution - Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation. This is also clearly stated.

    Yet, the actions of JAIS, no matter how they attempt to explain themselves, cannot simply be swept under the rug because it seriously brings into question the interpretation and understanding of the following articles enshrined in the Federal Constitution:

    8 (2) Except as expressly authorized by this Constitution, there shall be no discrimination against citizens on the ground only of religion, race, descent, place of birth or gender in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment.

    11(3) Every religious group has the right— (a) to manage its own religious affairs; (b) to establish and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes; and (c) to acquire and own property and hold and administer it in accordance with law.

    11 (4) State law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.

    12 (3) No person shall be required to receive instruction in or to take part in any ceremony or act of worship of a religion other than his own.


    The actions of JAIS and the statements by Hasan and the two newspapers clearly show a lack of understanding and appreciation for the Federal Constitution that safe-guards each and every citizen's right to religion. It further shows the willingness of these people to disregard national unity and religious harmony and to promote the continual polarization of Christians and Muslims.

    This incident is a continuation of a stream of abusive statements that have been levelled upon the Christian community throughout the year. All of which have so far been baseless and merely serves to further widen the distrust amongst Muslims and Christians in Malaysia. It shows the arrogance of those in authority who choose to impose their own religious views without due consideration towards those who practice otherwise and brings to naught the visit by Najib Razak to the Vatican to promote Malaysia as a “moderate” Muslim country.

    It is time to stop the religious attacks and the best way is for all faiths to pray for a government that can usher in enlightened leadership and peace so that all can live and let live according to their respective beliefs and creeds.

    - Malaysia Chronicle
    py

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    13,385

    Religion: MCCBCHST MEDIA STATEMENT

    Majlis Perundingan Malaysia Agama Buddha, Kristian, t'lindu, Sikh dan Tao

    Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism
    123 ,Jalan Berhala, Brickfields,50470 Kuala Lumpur. Tel 03-2273 9304 Fax :03-2273 9307 Email : mccbchst@yahoo.com Website:http://harmonymalaysia.wordpress.com

    MCCBCHST MEDIA STATEMENT

    08.08.2011

    THE NATION MUST BE LED WITH UNDERSTANDING, TRUTH. COMPASSION, JUSTICE AND RESPECT

    The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) unreservedly condemns the unwarranted raid on the premises of the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) on the evening of 3 August 2011 by officers of the Selangor lslamic Religious Department (JAIS) and the police which clearly breached the constitutionally guaranteed, and internationally recognised, sanctity of a holy place of worship - an event which has been confirmed by the Malaysian AIDS Council to have been organised to raise funds.

    MCCBCHST fully supports the statements already released by the Selangor Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Dato' Seri Abdul Khalid lbrahim; by Prof. Datuk Hamdan Adnan,
    Deputy Chairman (on behalf of the Exco) of the Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia (Proham); by the Chairman, Bishop Datuk Ng Moon Hing, and the Executive
    Committee of the Christian Federation of Malaysia; by Rev. Dr. Hermen Shastri, General Secretary of the Council of Churches Malaysia and similar sentiments (that
    this action sets a dangerous precedent and makes a mockery of the sanctity and inviolability of all religious places in our beloved country) yet to be expressed by all other responsible, just and right-minded Malaysians (and organisations) of every race, faith and political inclination.

    MCCBCHST is especially heartened by the prompt action of Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Dato' Seri Abdul Khalid lbrahim and the Selangor State Government on this fiasco by JAIS. We are further encouraged by his statement that "the State is always open to engagement and dialogue regarding the harmonious and mutually respectful co-existence of different religious communities and appreciate the efforts of all who seek to build a more united society."

    We are astonished as to how using the words "Quran" and 'nPray" in speech can amount to proselytising towards Muslims when these very words are used every day by Malaysians when conversing with each other.

    JAIS' action sets a dangerous precedent which must be stopped and condemned by all peace-loving Malaysians. The constitutionally guaranteed and internationally
    recognised sanctity of all places of worship cannot be compromised, and this unprecedented violation must be investigated and those responsible, appropriately
    punished.

    The Press (Berita Harian and Harian Metro of 6 July, 2011) reported that "Muslims questioned that night confirmed that they had been asked to convert." These reports, to the best knowledge of the MCCBCHST, did not identify the claimants nor state the basis for their making such statements. Such witnesses must be made available to an independent lnquiry, which must be instituted immediately, to determine their qualification to bear such witness, to corroborate such evidence and to verify it.

    We urge the Federal Government to expeditiously launch a thorough investigation into this fiasco. lf the newspapers in question are found to have published false
    statements likely, or meant, to incite religious or racial hatred between Malaysians, the authorities must initiate the necessary action to punish them to the full extent provided for in our laws. All 120 guests who attended this multi-racial appreciation dinner deserve an unconditional apology from the raiding parties. The government of the day must also come forth to assure the Malaysian non-Muslim communities that such untoward incidents will never recur.

    The MCCBCHST must highlight the systematic and deliberate attempts this year by many of "those who walk the national corridors of power" to create conflict among the citizens of different races and religions in our beloved country by driving wedges between them. There is ample evidence in "the lnterlok controversy" (January); "the Alkitab issue" (February); the unproven and ludicrous accusations in the media of attempts to "make Christianity the official religion" (May); the even more ludicrous charge against the illegally detained Sungei Siput MP, Dr. Michael Jayakumar and others, of "waging war against the Yang DiPertuan Agong" (June); the absurd charge of "reviving Communism" on the PSM 6 under Section 3(1) of the Emergency (Public Order and Prevention of Crime) Ordinance 1969," (July); profiling leaders of Bersih as "traitors to the nation" (July) and unfounded allegations against the Christian church of "proselytizing Muslims" (August). These insidious efforts must be stopped forthwith if we are to preserve the hard-earned peace and harmony between our peoples of the past half-century.

    Finally, ihe MCCBCHST calls on all leaders of all faiths to dedicate every Friday, from 16 August till 16 September,2011 during the month-long celebrations of our 54 years of lndependence as Malaya and 48 years as Malaysia to pray in their respective places of worship that the leaders of our nation have it in their hearts and minds to find the understanding, truth, respect, compassion and most of all, the wisdom, to justly govern this blessed, bountiful and beautiful Malaysia, home to us all, in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the land.

    Reverend Dr. Thomas Philips
    President
    MCCBCHST

    Sardar V. Harcharan Singh, lruN
    Vice President
    MCCBCHST

    Mr. RS. Mohan Shan, JMW, AMK, BKM, pJK
    Vice President
    MCCBCHST

    Daozhang Tan Bon Sin, nunr
    Deputy President
    MCCBCHST

    Venerable Ming Ji
    Vice President
    MCCBCHST

    Mr. Prematilaka KD Serisena
    Honorary Secretary General
    MCCBCHST
    py

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    13,385
    So, what happened finally? The lessons will not come from events today. They come from history.

    And history has shown us what happens to people who stand on the wrong side of history.

    KENYATAAN AKHBAR
    10 OKT 2011
    KERAJAAN NEGERI HORMATI TITAH DYMM SULTAN SELANGOR

    Kerajaan Negeri menghormati titah DYMM Sultan Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah berhubung laporan pemeriksaan terhadap Dream Center di Damansara Utama yang telah diperiksa oleh Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS).

    Kerajaan Negeri yakin dan percaya, titah baginda ini adalah keputusan terbaik dan adil serta mengambil kira keharmonian masyarakat berbilang kaum dan agama di negeri ini dan Malaysia amnya.

    Sebagai rakyat Selangor, kita mesti menghormati dan menerima titah ini dengan hati terbuka dan positif kerana baginda adalah ketua negeri dan tempat masyarakat berbilang kaum berlindung.

    Kerajaan Selangor tidak akan menoleh ke belakang lagi disebabkan isu ini. Sebaliknya isu ini memberi kesedaran tentang keperluan untuk mengukuhkan penguatkuasaan JAIS serta pengumpulan bukti.

    Justeru, Kerajaan Negeri akan menubuhkan jawatan kuasa khas untuk memperkasakan Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) di JAIS agar jabatan itu dapat memantau cubaan untuk memesongkan kepercayaan dan akidah umat Islam dengan teliti dan berkesan.

    Jawatan kuasa khas ini akan dianggotai tokoh perundangan dan pakar agama selain pegawai kanan kerajaan yang mana nama-nama mereka ini akan diumumkan kelak.

    TAN SRI DATO’ SERI ABDUL KHALID IBRAHIM
    DATO' MENTERI BESAR SELANGOR

    --
    Sekretariat Akhbar
    Pejabat Dato' Menteri Besar Selangor
    Tel: 03 5544 7452 Fax: 03 5510 9686
    www.selangorkini.com.my
    www.tvselangor.com
    http://www.youtube.com/user/mbselangor
    py

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