Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sometimes the Malays would do something stupid it doesn't make sense. To rebuke a story investigative reporting is welcome but do so and write something that does not smack of superiority and inconsiderateness. And if you found nothing to substantiate your investigation then don't write. Keep mum and don't mock others people's belief as you don't want your belief to be made fun off that is the rule of the thumb. Read the article in question

Khairy: Al Islam "un-Islamic"

16 Jul 09 : 5.00PM

By Deborah Loh
deborahloh@thenutgraph.comdeborahloh at thenutgraph dot com

Khairy superimposed against a photo of a Catholic mass
(Background pic by Petter Hermoza G / sxc.hu)

PETALING JAYA, 16 July 2009: Appalling, offensive, unethical, and un-Islamic. These words used to describe Al Islam magazine's undercover story of attending Catholic mass and insulting the holy communion have come not from Christians, but from Umno Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin.

Khairy, the Rembau Member of Parliament, is the first Barisan Nasional leader to condemn the magazine article and the journalist who consumed and then removed the holy communion from his mouth to photograph it.

The article, Tinjauan Al Islam Dalam Gereja: Kesahihan Remaja Murtad in the magazine's May 2009 issue, caused an uproar among Catholics and is now a police case, but has received scarce coverage in the newspapers.

Writing in his blog today, Khairy condemned the article as "unethical journalism, grounded in both disrespect and ignorance".

"Everyone involved in the researching, writing and publishing [of] this article should have considered the fact that Muslims already find it offensive when non-Muslims do not observe basic courtesies expected when in a mosque, like taking off shoes and covering heads.

"They should further imagine their own reactions if someone went undercover in their local mosques, pretend to worship as a Muslim and made a mockery of congregation prayer," Khairy wrote.

He also wrote about empathy, and said that the "heart of the problems" Malaysia faced as a plural society was that people did not think about the perspectives of other communities before acting.

He said the Al Islam journalist and the magazine's editorial team had not shown the Islamic values of "empathy, respect and tolerance".

Khairy also noted that non-Catholics were allowed to sit and observe mass, and as such, there was no need for the reporter to go undercover.

"This 'blunder'," he said, "speaks volumes of the journalist's ignorance and the prejudices held even before he set out on his little mission."

He also criticised the magazine for being sensationalist by publishing the story when there was "no story to sell", since the journalist did not find evidence of Muslim apostates in the church.


Cover of the magazine
"Feelings of moral superiority and righteousness vis-à-vis other faiths, even if unavoidable, should remain private and not manifested in the public domain," Khairy wrote.

Apply the law fairly

Meanwhile, Reverend Jestus Pereira of St Anthony's Church in Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, has called on the police to investigate the magazine and act according to the law.

Although Al Islam did not name the churches visited by its reporter, Rev Pereira said the descriptions in the article appeared to refer to his parish.

He said congregants at the Bahasa Malaysia service described in the article numbered around 800 people who were mainly from Sabah and Sarawak.

Police have so far interviewed another priest in the parish and an office staff member, he told The Nut Graph.

"I hope this is not a public relations exercise, trying to show the public they are doing something about it. The police and other authorities must investigate and take action. If there is some criminal element, they must be ready to do the right thing and charge the person or persons concerned.

"Islam being the religion of the federation does not place Muslims above the law," he said.

"The government must be prepared to use just laws fairly and equally against all peoples, without preferring one religion over another. If disharmony is being caused they must have the courage to address it, even against persons of the dominant religion. The government must have the political will to do so."

Rev Pereira added that the church receives many visitors but does not ask people for identification. "We do not stop anyone from entering. I do not know if anyone from Al Islam came in for our religious service. No one identified himself or herself either before or after the service," he said

An open letter to a Muslim journalist ‘spy’ — Martin Jalleh

JULY 16 — Saudara,

I just read that recently you and a friend visited one of the churches that I belong to. I was surprised that you had to do it in disguise. You should have told the Catholic community there that you were coming and we would have given you a grand welcome.

Such was the experience of the MP for Shah Alam, Khalid Abdul Samad from PAS, who was even given a standing ovation when he visited and had a dialogue with the parishioners of the Church of the Divine Mercy in Shah Alam last year.

Some time back I was attending a Mass (Catholic worship) in a Catholic church in Petaling Jaya and was very moved by the presence of a group of Muslim students together with their Muslim professor who had taken them there as part of their “exposure programme”. None of them were converted.

You see we are not an underground church nor do we function in a clandestine manner. Our hearts are on the holy and not on the hideous. We even pray for Najib the PM, though I feel we do not pray enough for the Opposition. We also pray for people like you who do more harm than good to the name of your religion of peace, tolerance and compassion.

Further, what takes place in Catholic churches is highlighted in our in-house newspaper which was quite unknown to the whole population and whose readers formed an insignificant number — until the Government decided to prevent it from using the word “Allah”. Alas, the Herald should thank the Government for making it so well-known today.

Religious Misfits

It is a pity that you have gone through so much trouble to “investigate” under guise what is going on in Catholic Churches or that “Muslim teenagers were being converted to Christianity in Kuala Lumpur’s churches every Sunday”. You should have gone directly to the Special Branch, which sends it officers to visit our churches occasionally. Surely they will be able to tell you that you would be only wasting your time!

As for the information that Muslims are being driven in droves into Catholicism (which you have concluded to be “false” in your article) it has been a fallacious and stale rumour for quite some time, spread by those who have an obsession and paranoia or by the increasing number of lower echelon zealots or “Little Mullah Napoleons” running riot with their brand of religion.

In February 2006, the Mufti of Perak, Harussani Zakaria, claimed that 250,000 Muslims (of which 100,000 were Malays) had apostatised themselves, while 100,000 more had submitted applications to do so. Of course he was unable to substantiate his claim because it was false.

In November 2006, about 500 Muslims protested in front of the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Ipoh following a SMS wherein the same mufti had disclosed that about 600 Muslim students of the Ungku Omar Polytechnic were to be baptised by national mariner Azhar Mansor!

The church was not converting Muslims but instead was holding the First Holy Communion Mass (one of the rites of initiation to the faith) for 98 Catholic children, many of whom were traumatised by the sight of a threatening mob. Imagine the very unfortunate impression the young Catholics would have got of Islam and of Muslims.

The mufti who had proven to be more of a misfit, was not man enough to own up. He blamed it on an SMS sent out by a woman! Why no action was taken against the mufti, and why the authorities remained mute (on both occasions) over his “mischief” remains but a mystery. You must have been motivated by the mufti.

If indeed the Catholic Church has the conversion of Muslims as its hidden agenda, it would surely have started converting hundreds or even thousands of impressionable young Muslims through its Catholic Mission schools which have existed for as long as 100 years, But no such thing has ever happened.

The Muslim classmates and friends that I had in St Michael’s Ipoh are still good and respected Muslims today, and such was their appreciation and respect for the La Salle Brothers that they made sure that their children in turn would attend a La Salle school or a Convent!

Sacrilegious

Sadly, your disrespect knew no bounds. You chose to abandon all human and religious decency with impunity as a journalist and a Muslim. Under pretence of being a Catholic you participated in the church service and even partook of the Holy Communion (a white and sacred wafer) strictly meant only for Catholics.

You consumed the white wafer which Catholics hold as very sacred and treat with utmost reverence, and both of you spat out the remnants, photographed it and published the picture in an article entitled “Tinjaun Al Islam Dalam Gereja:Mencari Kesahihan Remaja Murtad” which was published in the May 2009 issue of the Al Islam magazine.

I shudder to think of what could happen if the reverse took place — if for instance two reporters from the Herald were to enter a mosque disguised as Muslims, partake of the rituals and desecrate something which the congregation considers very sacred.

I can imagine Khairy Jamaluddin leading a group of Umno Youth thugs and burning the effigy of the Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur and even threatening to set fire to a few churches, and Zulkifli Nordin rousing up a mob and invading the Herald’s office and demanding that it be shut down for good; or certain Muslim NGOs insisting that the two journalists be jailed under the ISA!

It makes me wonder how does a “creature” like you exist in this country? Are you the product of the educational, social or even religious system or process created by Bolehland’s leaders (also read as “Umno”) over the past 30 years?

How is it possible that you could blatantly trespass into a place of worship, violate its sanctity, insult its adherents, even publish your transgression and completely ignore the implications and consequences (will there be any)? What gives you such audacity?

It all points to the reality of you being a cog in Umno’s machine — a political party that has politicised religion for its survival by creating unfounded insecurities amongst Muslims and a distrust of other religions. Meanwhile it dominates, dictates, decides and even defines what non-Muslims can and cannot discuss, deliberate on, and display in print.

Najib’s 1 Malaysia is really Malaysia in one big mess!

As I join my Catholic brothers and sisters in forgiving you (a Catholic duty we are reminded of!), I also pray that you will feel the full weight of God’s wrath upon you.

I feel sad for the many good Muslims in this country who have a respect for peoples of other faiths, for not only have you insulted Catholics but you have insulted them too. Islam would do well without religious misfits like you!

Khairy condemns actions of two Al Islam journalists

Khairy appalled and offended by the Al-Islam reporters. - Picture by Danny Lim

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin became the first Umno leader to speak out against the two Muslim journalists who went undercover to two Catholic churches, describing their action as “appalling and offensive.”

His latest blog posting blasted the Al Islam journalists for pretending to be Christians and taking part in its rituals — receiving and spitting out the Holy Communion wafer for photographs — saying their action was unacceptable even by a Muslim such as himself.

The pictures of the crushed wafer were published alongside the article in the Al-Islam magazine.

Khairy's posting makes him the first Malaysian-Muslim politician to speak on the issue which has upset many in the Christian community. The two journalists were investigating reports of mass conversions at the two churches.

"I have no reservations whatsoever in condemning this instance of unethical journalism, grounded in both disrespect and ignorance," said Khairy.

"The Islamic virtues of empathy, respect and tolerance were obviously absent in both the journalists and the magazine's editorial team that sanctioned the publishing of the article and the methods employed to gather information," he added.

Khairy, who is also the MP for Rembau, further said those behind the fracas should imagine what they would feel if Christians were to do the same thing, going to a mosque pretending to worship as Muslims and then making a mockery out of their religious practice.

"I suspect Al-Islam failed to consider the fact that the gravity of their own actions were similar to this hypothetical situation where the sanctity of the Muslim place and act of worship are violated," commented Khairy.

This incident plus the recent arrest and overnight detention of nine people who were allegedly on a conversion mission at Universiti Putra Malaysia have made many people doubt the sincerity of the 1 Malaysia concept.

Another case which has left many Christians upset is the swift legal action taken against the Catholic Church for using the word “Allah” in their newspaper. “Allah” in Arabic simply means god but many Malaysian Muslims believe that non-Muslims should not be allowed to use the word.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ali Karim said...

He himself knows a darn thing about Islam or Quran. Can he at least translate the meaning of any part of the solat?

6:00 AM  

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