Tuesday 3 April 2012

Video not real evidence of proselytisation, says the Islamic Renaissance Front

PETALING JAYA: The screening of videos by sacked Selangor executive councillor Hasan Ali as “proof” of proselytisation has earned him the ire of doubtful Christians and Muslims alike.

Two vocal personalities FMT spoke to said that the “evidence” that Hasan claimed to have produced would hardly stand the test of people’s intelligence, much less hold up in court.

Progessive Muslim think-tank, the Islamic Renaissance Front (IRF), labelled Hasan as “a trouble maker” indulging in “scare tactics in the run-up to the general election”.

“It is not real evidence, it has two people claiming to be converted. It doesn’t count. There is yet to be real clarification on the issue,” said Ahmad Fuad Rahmat, a research fellow at IRF.

“For now, it’s just polemics and conjecture. Other people have difference counts of the numbers of Muslims seemingly converted to Christianity.

“Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria Zakaria puts it at 260,000. Associate professor Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah says there are 135 apostasy cases. Why the big disparity?” asked Ahmad Fuad.

Ahmad Fuad said that if Hasan’s intention and objective was to expose the truth, he “still has lots more to do”.

However, he added that Hasan’s role was more about playing the race and religion card to confuse Muslims and “polarise opinions”.

“To him, he is fulfilling his obligations to cast doubts on PAS’ credibility. The narrative is this: Muslims are being turned into Christians and PAS does not care since it is aligned to DAP.”
Crying wolf all the time

Ahmad Fuad said that the matter was a very sensitive one and has split views among Muslims.

“He [Hasan] is polarising opinions. Based on my own observations on urban Malays, there are some Muslims who find him convincing while others are sceptical.

“Conversion is a very, very sensitive issue for Malays. There are a lot of them who have been put on the defensive. To what extent it is influencing voters is another matter,” he said.

Meanwhile, Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor of the Catholic weekly Herald, said that there are certain people who are “crying wolf all the time”.

“Christianity is not a threat, that’s what I’m saying. There is no proof, and from the sporadic incidents that have been happening, it gives the impression that this is an induced treat. And these are attempts to justify that ‘threat’, which is unjustified,” he said.

“If this is genuine, then he [Hasan] should be able to show us something more solid. But if you don’t have evidence, even I can concoct a story like that, ask a few people to say something.”

Lawrence asked: “Which court would be able to accept such evidence? If it is really true that they returned to Islam, then what’s the big deal about hiding their faces?

“The government or the police would surely support them. Christians won’t attack them, they are not known for that kind of thing.”

Lawrence said that in the controversial “Allah” case in which he was involved, there was no evidence adduced in court to prove that Christianity was a threat to the nation.

“Where is the threat? There is not one shred of evidence that there is a threat to the nation. Now the story is that Christians are a threat to Muslims.

“If we are a threat to the nation, there shouldn’t be a Christian minister in the Cabinet, that is the test of logic,” Lawrence said.

“To all Christians, I say, stay calm, and pray for all these people. Just pray that God’s wisdom will dawn on them. There is no point trying to make this a big issue,” he said.

Christian threat unfounded

Yesterday, Hasan screened video clips showcasing three people, their faces blurred and voices distorted for “their safety and reputation”, whom he claimed were apostates.

This was the alleged proof of proselytisation he promised he would provide last week.

The issue blew up last year after the Selangor Islamic Religious Department raided a dinner held at the Damansara Utama Methodist Centre (DUMC) claiming Muslims were being proselytised. No one has been charged over the incident.

Since then, Hasan, the controversial ex-Selangor PAS chief who was also in charge of Islamic affairs of the state, had been pressured to provide proof of his claim that Christians were proselytising Muslims.

Last week, a seminar organised by the Johor mufti and the education department for religious teachers, drew flak over its theme which made mention of a “Christian threat”.

Originally it was titled, “Strengthening the Faith: The Dangers of Liberalism and Pluralism and the Threat of Christianity towards Muslims. What is the Role of Teachers?”

After an outcry from non-Muslim religious groups, the organisers dropped the reference to Christians.
The “Christian threat” was dismissed as “unfounded and unjustified” by Bishop Ng Boon Hing, chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia, who called for moderation.

No comments:

Post a Comment