A Repository of Malaysian Stuff and More
Mob intimidation at Church
Here’s what the Herald, published by the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur and ever minding its language had to say:
Rumours that were circulated through SMSes nearly jeopardised the peace, harmony and religious freedom experienced by the Catholics of Ipoh. All was well when the Tamil Mass began at 7.OOam on Sunday, November 5, 2006. However by 7.30 am, assistant parish priest Fr Dominic Santhiyagu had realised (from the altar) the mounting presence of police personnel and patrol cars on the main road. The crowd had swelled outside and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) person¬nel and trucks had arrived and taken up their posi¬tions along the main road in front of the church. Soon the crowd on the right side of the church started shouting, “Kalau Mansor masuk, bakar bangunan ini! ” (If Mansor goes in, burn the building).
What had brought this mass of people from a different religious faith to the steps of the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Ipoh on the day of a First Holy Communion celebration? The SMSes might shed some light.
One went thus: Sejumlah Melayu akn dibaptiskan oleh Dato Azhar Mansor Ahad ini di Gereja Selibin IPOH. Seramai 600 plajar Poli teknik Unku Omr Ipoh telah msuk Kristian baru2 ini. Pendedahan oleh Mufti Perak ptg ini di masjid Negeri. Sampaikan sms kpd org-2 yg mahukan ISLAM (A number of Malays will be baptised by Dato Azhar Mansor this Sunday at the Silibin Church, Ipoh. Recently 600 students from the Ungku Omar Polytechnic have converted to Christianity.
Revealed by the Perak Mufti
(Remember this fellow as he comes in the picture again later.)
this afternoon at the state Masjid. Please forward to all who stand for Islam).
IPOH: Perak Mufti Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria [Remember him?] has named a woman in her 40s as the originator of a text message that claimed a group of Muslims was going to be baptised at a church here last month. He claimed the woman is a graduate of the International Islamic University, who later studied at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo.
Harussani: ‘What I revealed was meant to stay within the confines of the meeting’
Read the rest in
Nov 25, 2006 – Sampaikan sms kpd org-2 yg mahukan ISLAM (A number of Malays will be baptised by Dato Azhar Mansor this Sunday at the Silibin Church,..
‘Baptism’ message started by woman, claims Perak Mufti
Monday, 13 Nov 2006
IPOH: Perak Mufti Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria has named a woman in her 40s as the originator of a text message that claimed a group of Muslims was going to be baptised at a church here last month.
He claimed the woman is a graduate of the International Islamic University, who later studied at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo.
“Upon her return, she joined a missionary group that carried out social work. She later converted to Christianity and now claims to have returned to Islam,” he told reporters at his home in Kampung Melayu Gunung Rapat here yesterday.
Harussani said he had had an audience with the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, to explain his stand on the issue.
“The Sultan is happy and satisfied with my explanation,” he said of his 9am meeting with the Ruler.
The SMS, which was widely circulated last week, had alleged that national mariner Datuk Azhar Mansor would lead a ceremony to baptise a group of students at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Silibin here on Nov 5.
It was later found that the supposed baptism was an event to mark the first Holy Communion for about 100 Catholic children.
Harussani said the woman had sent him an SMS message on Oct 21 to give the time and place of the alleged baptism. He asked her to meet him at his house.
“She came with her husband a day before Hari Raya,” he said, adding that she brought along compact discs and documents that purportedly disclosed that Azhar would be at the church to baptise the Malay students.
Harussani claimed he handed all the information to the police and the Special Branch for their investigation.
He said he raised his concerns over the allegations with representatives of Muslim non-governmental organisations at the state mosque here on Nov 2.
“What I revealed was meant to stay within the confines of the meeting. I did not know that those present would pass the word around.
“It was never my intention to create chaos. As the mufti (Muslim scholar who interprets Syariah laws), I have the responsibility to remind Muslims of the threats facing Islam today,” he said.
“I heard about the commotion at the church while I was in Syria. I am saddened and disappointed by the turn of events.
“I was only carrying out my duty as a mufti to inform the necessary people of the supposed baptism,” he said, stressing that he had not spread the SMS or told people to protest.
Asked about the anxiety and tension the SMS had stirred, Harussani said: “What they did (circulating it) was wrong. Why can’t they leave it to the police to investigate?”
Harussani said he gave his statement to the police on Saturday during a four-hour meeting with state police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Aziz Bulat and Special Branch chief Senior Asst Comm (II) Dr Ab Rahman Ismail at his house.
When contacted, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said police would investigate the mufti’s statement.
“We will act accordingly,” he added.