Monday 15 August 2011

Church raid: Jais quizzes 12 Muslims

The 12 Muslims, who attended a joint thanksgiving dinner in a hall on the grounds of a church in Petaling Jaya two weeks ago, turned up for an interview today at the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais).

It is learnt the 12 were to be interviewed from 10am. This was confirmed today by a lawyer representing 10 of them. The other two have no known legal representation.

"Yes (the interviews are on), but my clients do not want any additional publicity on this," the lawyer told Malaysiakini when contacted.

azlanLast week, Jais informed them that the Islamic authority was investigating the matter under the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment 1988 for "the offence of persuading, influencing or inciting a Muslim to change his faith".
The 12 had their details recorded when they attended the fund-raising dinner hosted by NGO Harapan Komuniti, which was disrupted by a team of Jais enforcement officers and police.
The Islamic authority had also issued notice orders instructing the 12 to present themselves to its office for "pre-counselling" and to assist in its investigations.
Jais had denied its action was a raid, preferring calling it an "inspection visit".

When contacted today, a representative from Jais confirmed via text message that the report was being finalised, but that the authority would only issue a statement after the report was done.

Earlier, a tweet from Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim confirmed that a full report on the Jais inspection would be ready soon.

"The full report on the Jais inspection at the church is being drafted and will be presented to the Selangor Sultan," the MB said in his tweet.
Further queries to the MB's office failed to answer when the report will be ready to be presented to his highness, only saying that they will issue a statement on the matter soon.

Counseling in small groups

According to Bernama, the 12 - three men and nine women in their 20's and 40's - were also given counseling by Jais officers.

The 12 were seen arriving at Jais office at Sultan Idris Shah building
in batches from 9.15am-1pm.

Also seen in the meeting room where the statements were recorded are Jais director Marzuki Hussin and Selangor deputy mufti Abdul Majid Omar.

According to sources, the news agency reports, they were given counseling in small groups of two to three people by several Jais officers and Selangor mufti department.

Sources said the recording of statement and counseling went on until late afternoon.

The religious department summoned the 12 people to give their statements today after they failed to do so on Aug 9.

"Some of them were companied by their counsel," the source told Bernama.

Detail on the recording of statements and counseling were unavailable as Marzuki declined to meet the media.

In fact, a Jais employee who asked media members to wait at Level 6 of the building asked them to leave.

The media then waited at Marzuki's office but were asked to leave by security guards who received instruction from their 'bosses'.

On Aug 3, Jais inspected Damansara Utama Methodist Church in Petaling Jaya after receiving tip-off that Muslims were present at a breaking of fast and thanksgiving ceremony.

The inspection was made under Selangor Syariah Criminal Enactment 1995.

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