CLS Press Statement: Memorandum On Sacrilegious Act By Al Islam Journalist

The Catholic Lawyers’ Society Kuala Lumpur (CLS) have today handed over to YB Datuk Abu Seman Yusof, The Honourable Deputy Minister(1), a Memorandum on the “Article in the May Issue of Al Islam entitled “Tinjuan Al Islam dalam gereja – mencari kesahihan remaja melayu murtad” (Impugned Article).

Also present at the meeting were Datuk Markiman, Special Assistant to the Minister, Datuk Micheal Chong, Advisor to the Minister cum Special Officer to the Ministry. Representatives from CLS were Mabel Sabastian, President, Joy Appukutan, Vice President, Francis Pereira, Past President and Rev. Fr. O C Lim SJ, Spiritual Advisor of the Society.

The purpose of the Memorandum from CLS is to urge the Home Ministry to complete it’s investigation and bring to book the persons responsible for violating the sacredness of the Holy Communion. The sacrilegious act of the journalist is an unprovoked attack on the fundamental belief of the Catholic Community.  It is not only the act of the journalist that have hurt the Catholic Community but also the blatant disrespect shown by the editor and publisher of Al Islam in publishing the Impugned Article. Such callous act of the journalist, editor and publisher of Al Islam have only added fuel to the racial and religious polarization that have besieged this nation.

Since the publication of the Impugned Article many have expressed outrage over the unrepentant misconduct of the journalist, editor and publisher of Al Islam for publishing the Impugned Article. This outrage is not only expressed by the Catholic Community but also fellow Malaysians of different faiths.

The Authorities have failed to take to task those responsible for instigating religious disharmony. The incident at the Catholic Church of our Lady of Lourdes in Ipoh has been highlighted in our Memorandum. It is this progression of misconduct that lies at the heart of our concern. The deafening silence by the Authorities over past misconducts appears to legitimize subsequent misconducts. Unless those responsible are brought to justice, there will be others in future who will treat such inaction as a license to act and continue other atrocities without fear of the law and consequences of their action to the detriment of religious minorities in this country.

The Catholic Lawyers’ Society therefore urges the Home Minister to rely on the provisions of the law to deter those who incite religious disharmony.

The authority to act, investigate and prosecute in accordance with these laws lie with the various agencies that are under the auspices of the Honourable Minister and the Attorney General.

We urge and trust the Home Minister will bring to justice those responsible for the Impugned Article.

Dated  27th August 2009

Mabel Sabastian
Catholic Lawyers’ Society, KL
HP No: 016-6381276

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