Muslim NGOs Target Selangor MB Over Church Raid

The Defenders of Islam movement (Pembela) has slammed Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim (left) for his "apologetic" stance over last week's raid by the state Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC).

In a statement, Pembela president Yusri Mohamad condemned political interferance in Islamic affairs and called for Jais to be given freedom in carrying out its duties.

"The Selangor MB's apologetic statement is regretful and should not have been made while the investigation (by Jais) is going on. Also, statements by non-Muslim politicians that have hurt the feelings of Muslims are as if Islam has no position in the country,” he said.

"The statements have added to the confusion and caused deep suspicion between Muslims and non-Muslims. It is best if Jais and other religious authorities in other states be given the freedom to carry out their duties so long as they do not violate any laws.”

Pembela also defended Jais, claiming that the department had entered the church premises in a civil manner.

"(We) find it necessary to condemn defamatory statements about Jais which claimed that it had 'stormed', raided', 'barged' (into the premises) or similar actions when, in fact, Jais had negotiated with the organisers for an hour before entering," it said.

The statement adds to the barrage of criticism directed against Khalid and his government after he expressed regret about the incident last Thursday.

The Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia expressed similar sentiments in Malay daily Utusan Malaysia today, while Islamic welfare organisation Pekida president Jamaludin Yusof was quoted as asking for Khalid's resignation if he is unable to defend the sanctity of Islam.

The daily also quoted Malaysian NGO Coalition secretary Mohd Jurit Ramli as accusing Khalid (left) of trying to appease non-Muslims in the state government.

A group of between 20 to 30 Jais and police personnel had on Aug 4 disrupted a dinner by entering the premises of DUMC without a warrant, claiming there was a complaint of proselytisation. They also took videos and photographs.

The organisers of the event, Harapan Komuniti have clarified that the dinner, at which several Muslims were present, was a fund-raiser for HIV/AIDS support programmes.

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