Al-Islam Apologises To Christians Over Special Report

The Al-Islam magazine has apologised to the Roman Catholic Church and Christians for publishing a special report which involved the desecration of a religious rite.

The apology was posted on the website of its publisher, Utusan Karya.

The controversy began after the magazine published a report, Tinjauan Al-Islam Dalam Gereja: Mencari Kesahihan Remaja Melayu Murtad in its May 2009 edition.

In the apology, Al-Islam said it had “unintentionally hurt the feelings of Christians especially Catholics” with its report.

It said in a three-paragraph statement that the report was to investigate allegations of apostasy and the actions of its journalists were never intended to deride the Christian faith nor desecrate their house of worship.

The magazine also stated that the apology would be published in next month’s print publication.

Two reporters from the magazine attended and participated in the religious rite.

They admitted to receiving Holy Communion and actually spitting the wafer out, an act Catholics consider desecration.

After police reports were lodged against the journalists and the magazine, they were investigated under Section 298A (1) of the Penal Code for causing disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.

However earlier this week, Bernama reported that the Attorney-General had decided not to pursue the case because it would not be in the interest of justice, peace and harmony at that particular time.

Speaking on behalf of Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, Catholic Lawyers’ Society Vice President Joy Appukuttan said Saturday Pakiam expressed his happiness over the move by the magazine to apologise.

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