The Selangor Islamic Affairs Department's (Jais) heavy-handed approach against the Christian community in the country over the use of the word Allah is proof that its actions are politically motivated rather than driven by religion, said an opposition lawmaker.
PAS politician Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa (pic) said Putrajaya should immediately step in and stop Muslim religious bodies like Jais from conducting raids and attempting to enforce state laws on non-Muslim establishments as this only serves to further damage the already fractured interfaith relations in the country.
Jais today caused an uproar when it raided the Bible Society of Malaysia's premises in Damansara Kim, in Selangor, and carted away more than 300 copies of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia and Iban language.
Mujahid questioned the grounds for the Jais raid and confiscation of the Bibles.
"The last time, they accused the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) of propagating their religion to Muslims and in the end, there was no proof of any of that.
"Now what are they accusing the Christians of? Shame on Jais," said Mujahid, who has been actively promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue in the country.
He was referring to an incident in August 2011, where Jais officers had barged into a DUMC multi-racial dinner after claiming that the DUMC was proselytising to Malays.
Jais had subsequently denied the allegations that it had “raided” the thanksgiving dinner and said it was merely carrying out an “inspection” following a complaint that Muslims were at the AIDS support group Harapan Komuniti event.
Mujahid called on the government to consult the Cabinet-sanctioned National Unity Consultative Council on the controversy over the Allah issue, adding that the council is scheduled to meet on January 6.
He added that the matter should be on the agenda on Monday.
He also pointed out that another reason why Muslim religious bodies should not act now was because the Allah issue was still pending in court.
"In any case, there has to be a balance between law and tolerance and the legal process over the Allah case is not over," the Parit Buntar MP added.
"As such, the government needs to look at it in a wise and civilised manner," Mujahid said.
He also questioned the government's failure to find an amicable solution to the Allah issue for Christians in Peninsular Malaysia, in the same manner they were willing to allow Christians in Sabah and Sarawak to use the word based on negotiations.
"So, the government needs to halt all action and not allow Jais to act without prior understanding of the sensitivities surrounding the matter.
"I'm not saying Jais does not have the authority, but use it with wisdom taking into account the impact on the greater society," he said.
Christians make up about nine per cent of the population in Malaysia. – January 2, 2014.