Saturday 6 August 2011

Hasan Ali to answer to PAS CWC tomorrow

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — PAS will make its official stand on a controversial church raid tomorrow, after meeting with senior party member Datuk Hasan Ali who broke ranks with the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) pact when he backed the Selangor religious authorities’ action.

PAS central working committee (CWC) member Dzulkifly Ahmad said his colleague has been asked to explain himself to the central panel at the party headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut tomorrow morning.
The Islamist party is part of the state 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 said yesterday.

Last Thursday, Hasan issued a statement defending the Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s (Jais) disruption of a multiracial dinner at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) 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 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 (picture) 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 defence has been 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.

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.

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