Thursday, February 26, 2015

One Million Translated Copies Of The Quran To Be Distributed To Non-Muslims A Cause For Concern

Majlis Perundingan Malaysia Agama Buddha, Kristian, Hindu, Sikh dan Tao
Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism

9 February 2015

The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST)refers to a project organised by the Islamic Information and Services Foundation under which one million copies of the Quran will be produced and translated into Tamil, Chinese, English and Malay to be distributed to the public (STAR on 9/01/2015). Tun Dr. Mahathir who is the projects patron said it was aimed at lessening misconceptions and alleviating the fear of Islam amongst Non-Muslims. Dr. Mahathir further gave an example of "the verse that allowed Muslims to kill Non-Muslims only touched on one event in the history of Islam. It does not mean we are told to kill other people".

The reason and example advanced by Tun Dr Mahathir on the need to distribute the translated version of the Quran to the Non Muslims specifically does not make sense. It is Muslims who are indulging in killing and condemnation of other religions and religionist. Therefore, the need is for Muslims to be educated on the true teachings of Islam and not the Non Muslims.

Further, it appears that the purported ignorance of the Muslims is sought to be transferred to the Non-Muslims, to justify the distribution of copies of the Quran in Chinese, Tamil, etc. to the Non-Muslims. We have to emphasise that Non-Muslims have not carried out any acts of terrorism in the name of Islam and thus are not confused.

The actual intention thus appears to be to propagate the Islamic faith to the Non-Muslims under the guise of removing misconceptions of Islam.

The first objection to this is that the intended distribution of the translated Quran to Non Muslims is being done in bad faith as the main reason given to remove misconceptions does not hold water as the misconception is with the Muslims and not the Non-Muslims.

Muslims vehemently object to any exposure of Non-Muslim religions to them. They rely on Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution which allows the State to restrict or control the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.

Article 11(4) is supposed to be used as a shield by the Muslims. However, It cannot be used as a sword to oppress the others or to propagate their faith to the Non-Muslims. The maxim "Do onto others, what you would have them do onto you" is apt. Nothing in Article 11(4) authorises Muslims to propagate their faith to the Non-Muslims.

Section 298A of the Penal Code makes it an offence for any person to "cause, or attempt to cause, or is likely to cause disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will... on grounds of religion..." Thus, propagation of one's faith by inducements, other pretexts, etc. may amount to an offence under Section 298A.

Article 11(1) gives every person the right to profess and practise his religion. Therefore he has every right to reject the propagation of other faiths to him.

The following instances show that there is a concerted effort to persuade Non-Muslims to abandon their faith:
  1. Various instances reported in the last few years about students in colleges and universities being converted to lslam.
  2. A recent instance in Sabah where 69 natives were alleged to have been converted to Islam through deception.
  3. Yayasan Pusat Hidayah (HCF), an Institution under the Prime Minister's Department has stated its objective as "mensasarkan untuk mendapatkan 3,000 mualaf tahun ini" (Free Malaysia Today on 18/7/14).
  4. Multi-racial Reverted Muslims founded in 2010 by Firdaus Wong Wai Hung (Buddhist turned Muslim) distributed between 15,000 to 20,000 CD/s in Peninsular Malaysia last December just days before Christmas including one entitled "Jesus Christ in the Quran".
  5. The Role of Jakim, Perkim and Jabatan Agama is well known. Jakim has an Annual Budget of about RM800 million.
In addition to the above, various inducements are provided for converts to Islam, although it is officially denied. For example, Section 29(1) of "Akta Pentadbiran Undang-Undang (Wilayah-Wilayah Persekutuan) 1993 provides that a registered mualaf (i.e - a person who has converted to Islam), "is entitled to receive assistance as determined by the Majlis as follows:

(a) conversion to Islam; (b) circumcision; (c) lbadah kit and (d) funeral expenses. Section 29(2), the mualaf may further apply for assistance for (a) living assistance (b) residential assistance (c) medical assistance (d) marriage assistance (e) for any form of education or training which the Majlis thinks necessary, including Islamic studies, academic and skills and (f) legal assistance". The Majlis has also discretion to provide any other necessary assistance which it deems necessary to the mualaf.

MCCBCHST is of the view that the intended distribution of the translated copies of the Quran to Non-Muslims is obnoxious as a similar right is not given to Non-Muslims. Further, the Quran being a Holy Book should not be distributed so freely as there may not be proper respect shown to it. Some Muslims may think that the possession by Non-Muslims of the translated copies of the Quran is blasphemous. What happens if the translated copies have words which have been forbidden for use by Non-Muslims by the various State Enactments?

MCCBCHST therefore, advise Non-Muslims not to accept the translated copies of the Quran. The Non-Muslims have every right to protect their religion and to alert their children and members of their family of the advances made by Islamic information and Services Foundation. Non Muslims have every right to practice their religion in peace and harmony as provided for in Article 3(1) of our Federal Constitution.

Article 3 (1) sates "Islam is the religion of the Federation; but other religions may be practised in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.".
Dated: - 09 February 2015

Sardar Jagir Singh
Venerable Dato Seri Jit Heng
Deputy President
Daozhang Tan Hoe Chieow
Datuk R.S. Mohan Shan
Elder Kong Yeng Phooi
Prematilaka K.D. Serisena
Hon. Secretary General


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Police look foolish probing minister after Cabinet clears him, says Kit Siang

Published: 5 February 2015 11:31 AM

The police have been made to look foolish for investigating Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob over a racist statement he made as the Cabinet has already cleared the minister of any wrongdoing, the DAP said today.
The party's parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang was referring to police hauling up Ismail over his call for a boycott of Chinese businesses after a statement by the Prime Minister's Department, which defended the minister.
"After the Cabinet meeting, the police today called up Ismail Sabri for investigation over his racist call on his Facebook to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese business, which prompted my tweet: 'Sheer rigmarole when PMO has cleared Ismail Sabri'," the Gelang Patah MP said in Sarikei last night.
"This has only made the police, the overwhelming majority of whom are dedicated and professional officers, committed to the duty to maintain peace and uphold law and order, look very foolish."
Lim also noted that the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar's Twitter had been "strangely quiet" after Ismail's statement went viral although he was quick to take to the social networking site to direct his men to investigate non-Barisan Nasional politicians or civil society members.
"I had occasion to ask Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar whether his Twitter account had broken down or whether Bukit Aman had suffered a breakdown of Internet access, as he had been strangely quiet for several hours on his account.
"It was a few hours after my tweet that Khalid took to the Twitter to say Ismail would be investigated, but all this was only for show, full of light and thunder but meaning nothing," he added.
In a strongly-worded speech, Lim also fired at the Cabinet for coming to Ismail's defence, saying that all 35 ministers have been shown to have "comprehension" problems worse than ordinary school children, who are already several years behind their peers in other countries, as shown in international assessment tests.
"It is fortunate that the 35 Cabinet ministers did not represent the country in these Pisa and TIMSS tests or Malaysia would be 10 or even more years behind other countries," he said, referring to the Programme for International Student Assessment and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study respectively.
"This is because even the average school children would not have made the colossal error committed by the 35 ministers in concluding that the call by Ismail Sabri to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses was not targeting Chinese traders alone but aimed at all traders."
Ismail, the Bera MP, courted controversy after he wrote in a Facebook post that Malay consumers had a role in helping Putrajaya fight profiteers by using their collective power to lower the price of goods.
"The majority of consumers are Malay, Chinese are a minority, if the Malays boycott their businesses, they will surely have no choice but to reduce their prices," the agriculture and agro-based industries minister wrote on his Facebook page.
He also singled out the OldTown White Coffee chain owned by OldTown Bhd, saying DAP MP Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham owned shares in the company.
"As long as the Malays don't change, the Chinese will take the opportunity to oppress the Malays," said Ismail.
A statement from the Prime Minister's Department yesterday, following a Cabinet meeting, defended Ismail, saying the minister had not targeted any specific race with his social media post.
Instead, it was "meant to rebuke traders who refuse to lower the price of goods" despite the drop in fuel prices," the statement said.
"The Cabinet meeting is the most disgraceful in the nation's history as the Cabinet ministers just fell short of former Umno youth leaders who gathered yesterday with the 'I am Ismail Sabri' placard endorsement," said Lim.
"It shows that the 35 ministers are incapable of taking a stand on the great rights and wrongs in the country.
"Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, gender or age will have to pass judgement on the quality and character of the 35 Cabinet members, for no Malaysian has brought more shame and disgrace to the country's international reputation and standing than the ministers themselves since the start of the new year." 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015




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