Saturday 27 August 2011

Harapan Komuniti target of death threat

Harapan Komuniti, which held a thanksgiving dinner at a Petaling Jaya church on the night that it was searched by the Selangor Islamic Department Affairs (Jais), yesterday lodged a police report following death threat.

According to a source close to the NGO, the threat was spotted at the entrance of its premises in Taman Sri Manja, Petaling Jaya, early yesterday morning.

"It was in a form of a package, with things like jangan cabar Islam (do not challenge Islam) and other threatening things written on a note on top of it. They did not open the package and surrendered it to the police when they reported the incident," he said when contacted by Malaysiakini today.

The source, who is also familiar with the case pertaining to the Jais harapan komuniti hiv aidssearch of the Damansara Utama Methodist Church on Aug 3, said the NGO lodged the report at the Sea Park police station at 10 last night.

This has been confirmed by the officer who received the report at Sea Park station, although the details of the police report cannot be revealed.

"The NGO runs an outreach centre for single mothers and people living with HIV/AIDS as well as a tuition centre for needy children. They are terrified for the safety of the children, especially, and have moved their operations temporarily," said the man who refused to be named.

The source also claimed that some of the 12 Muslims asked to attend counselling sessions by Jais after being spotted at the dinner at DUMC have also received phone calls late at night by a man purporting to be from Jais.

"Only the female individuals receive the calls. Of course we cannot be sure if this man is really from Jais," he said, blaming irresponsible parties who published the identity of these individuals.

The search has triggered much controversy, with some pointing the finger at the zakat authority for not assisting poor Muslims to the extent that they are forced to turn to churches and Christian organisations for help.

Church shouldn't be discouraged

In response to this, Selangor Islamic affairs exco Hasan Ali announced that government is setting up a service centre to receive complaints and requests for whatever form of assistance to ease the burden of underprivileged Muslims dubbed Unit Selamatkan Aqidah.

anwar dang wangi police station 290611Commenting on this today, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim (right) said that while the effort is good, such moves to assist the poor should not be in a form of a reaction to allegations of proselytisation.

"I have been informed briefly by (Selangor MB Abdul) Khalid (Ibrahim). I feel that this is the work of the Muslim community and should not be a reaction to what the church is doing," he said.

He added that such efforts, even if it is using zakat funds, should not stop at "any race or any religion", and must not be seen as an act to discourage others from assisting, including the church.

He also stressed that as a principle, the zakat is not just meant for Muslims, but is "an institution for all deserving poor".

"In Permatang Pauh, we help everyone including poor Chinese and Hindus in our Ramadan programme, so I hope I don't get accused of proselytising too," he said.

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