Friday, March 5, 2010

What kind of AG do we have to give such flimsy excuses

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has decided not to press charges against the two reporters who wrote an article about the church and Islam in a magazine.

He said taking stern action would not be in the interest of justice, peace and harmony at this particular time. “I have previously decided similarly in other cases where the circumstances were quite similar involving other religions, under those circumstances taking serious action would not be in the interest of justice at that particular time,” he said in a statement here today.

He said a police report was lodged in respect of an article published in Majalah Al-Islam entitled “Tinjauan Al-Islam Dalam Gereja:Mencari Kesahihan Remaja Melayu Murtad” in its May 2009 issue.

“The police commenced investigation and submitted the investigation papers to my Chambers,” he said.

Abdul Gani said the investigation revealed that the two reporters went into the Church of St Anthony at Puduraya to verify allegations that Muslims were converted into Christianity and the use of the word “Allah”.

“Their observations showed that such allegations were not true. In the church, they were given the white bread by the pastor which they subsequently brought back to their office.

“It was further disclosed that they did not know the significance of the white bread. No disturbance was caused in the church. In fact, no one in the church was aware that they were Malays,” he said.

Abdul Gani said the actions of the two reporters might have hurt the feelings of the people but he was satisfied that they did not intend to offend anyone and it was an act of sheer ignorance. — Bernama

I almost felt like throwing up after reading the comments by our AG. To be appointed to such esteem position must surely reflect a high level of intelligence compared with the normal man. The statements made by him however reflect the contrary.

Allow me to express my view. To the comments shaded in brown - so he had decided on similar cases in the past. Were the culprits Muslims, Hindus, Christians or atheists? If the perpetrators were non-Muslims, I bet you, the law will be in full swing and to top it all, street demonstrations will be the call of the day, with special "permits" granted to them. So, Mr AG, can we know the nature of the such cases you have handled in the past. However, if the perpetrators were Muslims, as in the Al Islam case, then you are only encouraging Muslims to carry on doing what they have been doing, since you do not consider it an act of aggravation.

Remarks shaded in blue - the host was brought back to Al Islam office? For what? To keep as a souvenir and gloat over it? The fact is, they had it in their mouths and spitted it out on the ground and then have the host photographed. Mr AG, it is all in black and white in the month's issue of Al Islam or are your blind? How would the Muslims react if a non-Muslim were caught abusing the Holy Quran by throwing it on the ground and then spitting on it, and later plead ignorance? Would you treat this case as 'NFA' or throw the books at the culprits? The host, like the Holy Quran, is a spiritual item and therefore, must be accorded its due respect. You are a lawyer so you have must heard of "Ignorantia juris haud excusat", which now brings me to my next point.

Remarks shaded in pink - no disturbance in the church? Of course, there was none because no one was aware of the incident. If someone had been aware, I cannot imagine what would have happened to the two reporters. They would probably be hauled up bodily and brought to the nearest police station to be charged. Similarly to visiting a mosque, the moment you step into the premise, there is a code of conduct that need to be observed. In any case, if the two Al Islam reporters had wanted to check out whether there are any Muslim in the congregation, why didn't they seek the permission of the priest prior? I am sure he would only be too happy to welcome them to sit in during the mass and observe.

Towards, this end, an apology is in order.

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