PAS will not participate in the anti-apostasy rally in Shah Alam this Saturday after organisers said that their event was not linked to any political party.
“PAS has been informed that the event those not involve political parties, thus PAS’ position is not to participate in the rally to respect the wishes of the organisers,” said party president Abdul Hadi Awang in a statement late last night.
The statement was issued after PAS’ political bureau met to discuss their position on the Himpunan Sejuta Ummah (Gathering of a Million Muslims) organised by a coalition of Muslim NGOs.
Chief organiser of the rally Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid told Malaysiakini yesterday that their event was not linked to any political party.
Specifically, Mohd Azmi said Kulim Bandar Baru MP Zulkifli Noordin, Senator Ezam Mohd Noor and Pasir Mas MP Ibrahim Ali have no role in the event, nor were they invited as speakers.
“Any statement issued by them regarding the event does not represent the organisers,” said Mohd Azmi.
In event was organised in view of purported increasing attempts to persuade Muslims to embrace Christianity.
The last incident which attracted widespread attention was the raid by Selangor religious authorities on a dinner event organised by the Damansara Utama Methodist Church.
'Don't cause friction with others'
It was claimed by Selangor Religious Affairs Department (Jais) that 12 Muslims at the event were being subject to proselytisation attempts by Christian evangelists, which is forbidden by law.
Following this, an investigation was carried out the results presented to the Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah who decreed that although there was evidence of proselytistion, it was not enough for legal action to be taken.
Meanwhile, Abdul Hadi urged rally organisers to ensure that the event is held in accordance with the country’s laws to ensure Malaysia’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious society is in harmony.
“Any efforts to raise a religious and racial polemic will not create an environment which is beneficial to anyone.
“PAS views with seriously at attempts by anyone who attempts to take advantage of the situation for political or purposes,” he said.
He said PAS was supportive of any attempts, by NGOs or other groups, to strengthen the Islamic faith as this is a commendable effort but it must be done in a courteous manner.
“PAS is of the position that to strengthen the faith in Muslims, it must be done through peaceful dakwah (preaching) which is how Islam has been accepted by society in this region,” he said.
To participate or not to participate, that was the question. To participate would mean alienating the non-Muslims, especially the Christian community. Not to participate, would have the party facing a repercussion from the Malay Muslim community, and knowing UMNO and its agents, they will exploit it to the hilt. So a decision has been taken and we should applaud PAS for taking such a courageous stand.
We have been told officially that there was no attempt to Christianise Penang, and the recent national statistics further showed that there were no records of Malays having converted to Christianity. So why the necessity for such a rally? Would the police issue permits to the Buddhists or Hindus should they wish to hold similar rallies to protest against the government for converting their people to become Muslims?