Statement by Azmin Ali Menteri Besar of Selangor on return of Al Kitab Bibles

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Official return of Al Kitab bibles

This morning the 351 Bibles that contained the word ‘Allah’ that were seized earlier this year have been returned to the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) on the occasion of a courtesy call on His Royal Highness Sultan of Selangor by The Most Revd Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok, who is the Chairman of ACS and Acting President of the Council of Churches of Malaysia at the Istana Alam Shah, Klang.

Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok was accompanied by the Secretary Generals respectively of the Association of Churches in Sarawak, Elder Ambrose Linang and of the Council of Churches of Malaysia, Rev. Dr. Herman Shastri.

The event were witnessed by State Secretary, Dato’ Mohammed Khusrin Bin Haji Munawi; Dato’ Seri Utama Di Raja Mufti Selangor, Dato’ Setia Mohd Tamyes Abd Wahid; Chairman of Majlis Agama Islam Selangor (MAIS),  Dato’ Setia Haji Mohammad Adzib Mohd Isa; Director of Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS), Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad and myself.

Firstly, I want to register the highest appreciation and gratitude to His Royal Highness Sultan of Selangor for his foresight and initiative in seeking the best way to resolve this long standing problem.

All parties concerned in particular the MAIS and the ACS have therefore reached an amicable resolution of the Bible issue through sincere efforts and conviction to respect religious sensitivities of all communities.

I would also like to record my appreciation to the Chairman of MAIS, Dato’ Setia Haji Mohammad Adzib Mohd Isa and The Most Revd Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok for doing their best to see this matter resolved in the best way possible.

As I have said on many occasions since assuming the position of Dato’ Menteri Besar, this administration will pursue all means possible to enhance and foster communal and religious understanding in Selangor. Among other priorities in this regard, I had pledged to have the Bibles returned to the Christians because they belong to them. Now, thanks to the wisdom and foresight of His Royal Highness Sultan of Selangor, this has become a reality.

On this auspicious occasion, it bears repeating the Qur’anic injunction:

“And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.” (al-Baqara : 143)

Interpreting the above-quoted verse, world renowned Islamic jurist Sheikh Dr. Yusuf al Qardhawi says:

“The Muslim umma is a nation of justice and moderation; it witnesses every deviation from the straight path in this life and in the hereafter.”

It should, therefore, be stressed that what we witnessed in this morning’s handing over event is the Qur’anic imperatives on justice and moderation being applied in reality.

As I have said before, all parties must respect the status of Islam as the State religion. However, as freedom of religion is enshrined in the Constitution, extremist sentiments, race baiting and religious fanaticism will not be part of the administration of the State of Selangor.

Islam is rahmatan Lil alamin, a blessing for all humanity, and my administration will continue to propagate Islamic teachings and showcase the State of Selangor as exemplary in advocating moderation and justice.

Mohamed Azmin Ali Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor

 

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