Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Jais raid on BSM unwarranted and illegal

Where do minorities turn to for justice ?

The Jais (Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor), raid on the Bible Society Malaysia(BSM), the arrest of BSM officers and the confiscation of copies of bibles is not only illegal but also a dangerous act that must be not be condoned. The state and federal governments must come on hard on this dangerous act of Jais taking the law into its own hands. It is an arrogant and blatant abuse of power that goes against the provisions of the Federal Constitution and basic tenets of every religion. The presence of police officers in the raid further adds weight to its illegality. 

Does Jais have the power to raid a non-Muslim premise and arrest its personnel? If so who gave them the authority to do so? Why was the police involved in the raid, joining in an illegal operation instead of acting to stop it? If this action of Jais is not an abuse of power what is it?

This illegal and high-handedness of Jais brings to question, “Where do the non-Muslims and minorities in our country go to for justice?” Why have a Federal Constitution when it is not upheld? The courts don’t seem to be fair in their judgments, the police lopsided in their investigations and all government agencies are openly pro-Umno in mindset. Fact, reason and logic don’t seem to have any value in our country today as they are blatantly ignored. The government has failed to protect the rights of the minority in this country by upholding the provisions in the constitution. The Prime Minister remains silent, refusing to come to their aid. Where and who do they turn to get the justice they are entitled?

The Allah controversy has now become more complex and spilled over into becoming a confrontation between the Muslims and Christians. The situation has come to s dangerous level and the leaders at the highest level, especially the Prime Minister and his cabinet must act fast to stop deterioration of the situation. Silence on their part only emboldens the abusers of the law and the righteous denied justice.

All parties must first stop open confrontation on the issue of “Allah” and return to peaceful and civil dialogue. The dispute on the use of Allah cannot be solved in the courts, confrontation or with a show of force. It can only be overcome with goodwill and tolerance for one another which appears to be the most difficult to come by.

The Allah issue is not about winning or losing or is it about proving who is stronger. It is about God and so it is about love, humility and goodwill not for any particular group but for the sake of overall peace and harmony, something far greater than the interests of any individual or group. 

Christians and Muslims alike should put God above all and for His sake they must embrace the virtues of goodwill, humility and tolerance to compromise a little for the sake of all the greater peace and well-being of all Malaysians and the country they love.

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