Punish if proselytisation proven, PAS tells Jais


KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 – PAS finally declared its official stand today on therecent church raid in Petaling Jaya, saying the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) must take immediate action if it finds proof that Christians were proselytising to Muslims there.

“We take the stand that if Jais has sufficient proof, they should take immediate action against those said to be attempting or are attempting to convert Muslims or destroy the Islamic faith according to provisions under the Selangor Islamic enactments,” deputy president Mohamad Sabu told a press conference at the party’s headquarters here.

He said PAS’s political bureau had held a meeting this afternoon to finalise its stand on the issue, adding that its decision is in accordance with PAS’s position as a party founded on Islamic principles.

Mohamad added that under no circumstances would PAS leaders ever compromise on matters involving threats to Islam.

“PAS is an Islamist party. Our Constitution states Islam is our foundation and the Quran is our reference.

“So PAS’ priority is to defend the sanctity of Islam, there is no compromise when it comes to upholding the faith,” he said.

However, when asked if this meant that the party condones the controversial raid on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC), PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub, who was also present, shook his head and said “no”.

Mohamad then reiterated that the party would only support Jais if it finds concrete proof of proselytisation as this was tantamount to threatening Islam.

PAS leaders had earlier appeared split on the matter when news of the raid hit the headlines. The party’s more hardline faction had backed Jais in the incident, with state executive councillor Datuk Hassan Ali explaining that the department was acting on a complaint that Muslims were being courted to convert by Christians at the church.

But Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who has crossed swords previously over other religious matters with Hassan, disagreed, saying Hassan’s view did not reflect that of the party’s.

On PAS’ plans to meet with Jais and DUMC officials, party secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali confirmed receiving a letter from the latter party agreeing to meet next Tuesday.

Jais, however, he said, had declined the meeting proposal, purportedly on advice from the Sultan that its investigation on the incident was not yet completed.

“We respect the decision,” Mustafa said.

PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar however urged the department to expedite its investigation in order to cease all speculation over the sensitive matter.

When asked if their decision today would affect the party’s ties with its non-Muslim partners in Pakatan Rakyat (PR), Mohamad disagreed.

“This is the basis of our party’s struggle. No reason for it to affect ties,” he said.

He also denied rumours that surfaced in pro-Umno blogs claiming that one of its leaders had tried to interefere in the Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) alleged plan to seal DUMC’s premises.

The blogs had named Khalid, along with other PR leaders like Teresa Kok and Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, claiming they had called the council and ordered it to stop its plans.

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