Friday, August 05, 2011

Church raid ill advised and dangerous precedence

Once again Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) has come into the forefront for the wrong reasons. Its raid on a multi-racial dinner at a Church premise was indeed an act of arrogance that cannot be condoned by peace loving citizen. The way they allegedly interrupted the dinner shows total lack of respect for mainly Christian crowd that was gathered there. Moreover places of worship must be treated with more respect and unauthorized trespasses must be condemned.

The reason for the raid according to Jais and state executive councilor Datuk Hasan Ali was the suspicions of proselytizing at the church dinner which is the organizers of the dinner strongly deny. 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 mob rule there is increasing fear that soon even prayers for the nation by non-Islamic groups may be not allowed.

Are Muslim forbidden from attending charity dinner together with their friends from other faiths?It is time for the authorities realize that Malaysians including our fellow Muslims are mature enough to remain steadfast in the faith even if there are attempts by others to proselytize to them. Non-Muslims in the country are not stupid to proselytize to their Muslim friends whom they love and respect. For over 50years 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 then and the country a great favor by leaving the people alone without telling how to deal with their friends from different religions.

The quick response from the MB 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 will condone.

By quickly coming to the support of Jais despite the pacifying statements by MB Khalid Ibrahim,Hassan Ali would be breaking ranks with the state government on the issue which is indeed regrettable and puts the 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 his principles for power.

Jais and Hasaan Ali should provide convincing prove of their allegations of proselytizing.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.

The 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 rivals the right way to solve inter-faith misunderstandings and disputes, quickly and fairly.
It is time for Malaysians of all faiths to adopt a mindset to accept all religions as equal and there should not be any attempts to convert from one religion to another. God is the same whatever name we choose to call Him and whatever way we choose to worship Him.

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