Interfaith council: No one is questioning Islam

May 6, 2011

A religious council has rubbished allegations that the position of Islam in the country is “under siege”.

Saying that they are “concerned”, the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) is amazed by the remarks made by the Coalition of Muslim Organisations (Pembela) earlier this week.

“How could lslam’s position be under siege when all public institutions and other organs of government are under the control of Muslims?” asked coalition president Reverend Dr Thomas Philips.

He quoted Kita president Zaid Ibrahim who recently said in his blog that the Malays are already in complete political control.

The party president also said that various government-linked companies such as Maybank, Petronas, Telekom Malaysia are already in the government’s hand and managed by Malay-bumiputras.

“The G-20 group of largest listed GLCs alone possesses RM353 billion (around half) of the market capitalisation of the entire Bursa Malaysia,” Zaid had said.

With that, MCCBCHST said that they are “amazed” at Pembela’s claims that a non-Muslim affairs exco position in Penang is unconstitutional and threatens Islam’s position.

“There is no prohibition anywhere in the federal constitution against the designation of a non-Muslim affairs exco. In fact, currently most states under Barisan Nasional have non-Muslim affairs committees to address religious, places of worship, burial grounds and other issues faced by the non-Muslims,” said Philips.

Pembela spokesperson Yusri Mohamad (right) had earlier said that the Penang state government’s designation of a non-Muslim affairs exco as well as the ‘pseudo-appointment’ of Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Idris Jala, a Christian, to handle issues pertaining to the Malay-language Bible as threatening Islam’s position as the official religion.

Yusri claimed there is no provision in the federal constitution for any official non-Muslim affairs body, and that making Idris the go-to minister for Christian affairs is thus unconstitutional.

The Perak state government under BN is incidentally the first to designate a non-Muslims affairs exco.

‘Cannot use Islam’s position to question other’s rights’

In a three-page-long statement by MCCBCHST quoting legal provisions, precedent cases as well as constitutional expert Shad Saleem Faruqi, the council also said that they are not aware of anyone questioning Islam’s position as enshrined in Article 3 of the federal constitution.

Shad Saleem had said that Article 3 (on lslam) does not extinguish anything else in the constitution.

“Article 3(4) provides that ‘Nothing in this Article derogates from any other provision of this constitution. This means that Articles 3 cannot be employed to challenge the validity of a drug trafficking law on the ground that some of its provisions were un-Islamic (Che Omar Che Soh (1988),” Shad was reported to have said.

“Thus, one cannot use the position of lslam as the religion of the federation to question other’s rights. lt has to be based on the provisions of the federal constitution,” said Philips.

He added that though the council reiterates and accepts unequivocally the position of lslam as the religion of the federation as provided for by Article 3, it cannot be used to challenge any other constitutional position.

“The MCCBCHST therefore calls on Yusri and the Muslim NGOs to work together with all citizens towards a harmonious, judicious and united Malaysia,” said Philips.

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 7 May 2011 - 3:01 pm

    Utusan is no better than the National Inquirer when it comes to politics in this country. Instead of aliens, violence and sex, its Islam and race. It is nothing but trash journalism

  2. #2 by Loh on Saturday, 7 May 2011 - 3:24 pm

    ///A religious council has rubbished allegations that the position of Islam in the country is “under siege”.///

    The position of Islam said to be “under siege” is a curious observation. Siege is defined as a military operation in which forces surround a town and cut off its supplies. There is no forces to cut off the supplies of persons who are born to Muslims parents to become Muslims. There is no action by government agencies to tear down mosques like Indian temples being uprooted. There is no limit to the supply of Quran like the supply of Akitab to Christians. The restriction on the use of Allah by non-Muslims weakened the practice of Christianity, and the position of Christianity is truly under siege in favour of Islam. So Islam in Malaysia flourish while other religions are suppressed in its favour. Well it might be more appropriate to say that the position of other religions with the exception of Islam is under siege.

  3. #3 by tanjong8 on Saturday, 7 May 2011 - 5:27 pm

    Maybe next time, Mr Idris Jala will be accused of misleading muslim because of his name. He is a christian. He must change his name

  4. #4 by ktteokt on Saturday, 7 May 2011 - 6:51 pm

    Tell me which religion in Malaysia has such EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS as to VIOLATE TRAFFIC rules by ruthless and indiscriminate parking in the name of ISLAM??????

    And they are still saying Islam is UNDER SEIGE????

  5. #5 by ktteokt on Saturday, 7 May 2011 - 10:09 pm

    I still remember seeing in the Chinese newspaper two years back where they showed a photograph of a “diligent” policeman issuing summons to cars indiscriminately parked at the Nine Emperor Temple during the “Kow Wong Yeh” festival! Look, Kow Wong Yeh festival is only celebrated NINE DAYS a year. Compared to 52 Fridays, this is peanuts!!! Why didn’t the DILIGENT POLICEMEN go around mosques on Fridays and book vehicles discriminately parked?????

  6. #6 by monsterball on Saturday, 7 May 2011 - 10:46 pm

    What those fanatics means is that… when more Muslims respect other faiths…particularly Christainity…they go bongkoo.

  7. #7 by monsterball on Saturday, 7 May 2011 - 10:51 pm

    But Hishamuddin is simply a low class politician echoing the calls of fanatics.
    And to see him do that..means no way out for Govt.
    Must promote race and religion to the maximum limit.
    This is just a starter.

  8. #8 by sheriff singh on Sunday, 8 May 2011 - 9:29 am

    This man is insecure.

    Everything and anything is a ‘threat’ to him from the moment he wakes up till he sleeps.

    He needs to take some medicine. Can somebody supply him with something to clam his inferiority complex and fears so that he is not a threat to anyone including himself?

    Or maybe supply him with a straitjacket.

  9. #9 by tak tahan on Sunday, 8 May 2011 - 12:00 pm

    OK..rambutan’ caretakers are rushing on the way to take care on that matter.Besides medicine,he needs high dose of enternally injection too.Can somebody help?

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