Thursday, June 5, 2014

If an Idris Jala goes to church, will Jais act on it, asks DAP lawmaker


Published: 5 June 2014 | Updated: 5 June 2014 1:00 PM
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala has a Muslim-sounding name but is a Christian Kelabit from Bario, Sarawak. Will the Selangor religious authorities bar him from attending church because of his name? – The Malaysian Insider file pic, June 5, 2014.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala has a Muslim-sounding name but is a Christian Kelabit from Bario, Sarawak. Will the Selangor religious authorities bar him from attending church because of his name? – The Malaysian Insider file pic, June 5, 2014.

If the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) received information that someone with the name of Idris Jala is attending a church somewhere in the state, would it investigate, a DAP lawmaker has asked.
Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming, referring to Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala, today criticised deputy director-general of Jais Ahmad Zaki Arshad for his ignorant remarks in justifying the disruption of a Hindu wedding ceremony on Sunday.
Ahmad Zaki had reportedly justified the raid on a Hindu temple in Petaling Jaya by saying that if Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal came to Malaysia and entered a church, Jais would have to probe into it because he has a Muslim name.
Ong said it was ludicrous for Ahmad Zaki to say that Rafael Nadal was a Muslim name as neither Rafael nor Nadal were names widely used by Muslims.

"To use Nadal's name as an example of a Muslim name clearly shows Ahmad Zaki's ignorance," Ong said in a statement.

"There are many non-Muslim Malaysians, especially those from Borneo, who have Malay/Muslim names.

"Idris has a Malay-sounding name although he is a Christian Kelabit from Bario in Sarawak.

"Will Jais investigate if they received information that someone with the name of Idris Jala is attending a church somewhere in Selangor?"

Ong also said Jais’s actions have further strengthened the perception that non-Muslims in Selangor were under siege.

He said Jais has clearly failed to take the sensitivities of the non-Muslims in Selangor into account.

“Jais should respect the sanctity of non-Muslim places of worship and seek approval from the state government first before acting on cases involving non-Muslims.”

Ong said Jais was overzealous when disrupting the wedding ceremony of 32-year-old bride Zarinah Abdul Majid at a Hindu temple.

Jais officers had interrupted the wedding after receiving reports that factory worker Zarinah could be a Muslim.

Checks on Zarinah's MyKad showed that she was Muslim and Jais officers took her away for questioning.

However, the bride said her father, who had abandoned her family, had registered her as a Muslim but she grew up as a Hindu.

Questioning whether Ahmad Zaki's justification for the weekend intrusion meant that Jais would probe into any incident where Muslims were at a non-Muslim place of worship, Ong asked: "Is it wrong for a Muslim to visit a church or a Chinese or Hindu temple? Especially during festive occasions or celebrations?

"Does this mean that non-Muslims in Selangor should stop inviting their Malay friends to weddings or any events held in non-Muslim places of worship?

"Perhaps Muslim politicians in Malaysia should stop attending any functions in non-Muslim places of worship because it can be interpreted as an act of proselytisation," Ong added.

Jais has come under fire since its raid on the Hindu temple. Yesterday, former Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin described Jais as being akin to the Taliban.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, too, rebuked Jais and told the state religious body to refer to the Quran.

Selangor’s Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988 outlines offences deemed as acts of proselytisation by non-Muslims towards Muslims, and grants Jais the power to launch investigations and arrest individuals without a warrant. – June 5, 2014.

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/if-an-idris-jala-goes-to-church-will-jais-act-on-it-asks-dap-lawmaker#sthash.QT7kBl5P.dpuf

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