We Will Continue To Seize Bibles With ‘Banned’ Words, Says Muslim Body

The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) today insisted it will continue to seize Bibles that contained the word Allah in the state, adding that it had every right to destroy the holy books it had already seized earlier this year from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).

Its chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said operations to counter the distribution of such Bibles in Selangor will continue and warned that it will not hesitate to arrest those distributing it.

"This process will go on and we will also make arrests," he said in his speech at an event in the Tabung Haji Complex in Kuala Lumpur today. Adzib also stressed that Mais will not accept the decision of Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail in the seizure of the BSM Bibles, adding that it will not return them to the BSM.

Gani decided to close the case against BSM after finding the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) had erred in the seizure of the Bibles, which he said were not a threat to national security as alleged. The A-G said the Bibles did not run afoul of Section 9 (1) of the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation among Muslims) Enactment 1988 in Selangor, which prohibited the use of certain words by non-Muslims, including "Allah".

However, Mais has refused to comply with the instruction from the A-G and the state government but instead said that it would be getting a court order to dispose of the holy books. The religious council said that it will not close the case as was ordered by Gani and insisted that there is a provision in the 1988 state enactment to charge BSM.

Adzib today said that although the council would accept the A-G's decision not to prosecute BSM but it maintained that the reason given not to take action against the society was not valid.

"We accept the decision not to prosecute as it is under the purview of the A-G. But we do not agree with the reasons he gave," he added.

"On the seized Bibles, actually Jais could dispose it themselves. But because we care about harmony and justice, we leave it to the prosecutor to decide."

On January 2 this year, Jais seized the 321 AlKitab (Bahasa Malaysia Bible) and Bup Kudus (Iban-language Bible) from the then BSM office in Damansara Kim, sparking an outcry and criticisms aimed at the religious authority. Then BSM president Lee Min Choon and office manager Sinclair Wong were detained and taken to the police station but were later released on bail.

Following the A-G's decision not to prosecute the BSM officials, and the refusal of the state religious authorities to comply, the Sultan of Selangor then ordered Jais to refer the matter to the prosecutor and the court to determine if the holy books should be returned.

Earlier today, Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, however, said no decision has been made yet on the return of the Bibles to the BSM, adding that they are waiting for advice on this from the A-G's Chambers.

He also quashed rumours that the Bibles seized have been destroyed, saying they are still being kept by Jais. "We are writing to the Attorney-General's (A-G) Chambers on how to go about returning the Bibles," he had said.

* See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/we-will-continue-to-seize-bibles-with-banned-words-says-muslim-body#sthash.vYxPLLHc.dpuf

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