CFM accuses Al Islam magazine of desecration

The Christian Federation of Malaysia deeply regrets the surreptitious manner in which information was gathered for, and the publication by the magazine Al Islam of, the article entitled “Tinjauan Al Islam Dalam Gereja: Mencari Kesahihan Remaja Murtad” in its May 2009 edition where the “investigators” took it upon themselves to be “undercover spies and policemen”.

Firstly it is not proper or acceptable for adherents of one religion to spy on worshippers of another. Matters of faith and belief are personal, and it should not be the case that citizens of Malaysia should be made to live in fear of professing and practising the religion of their own free choice in public.

Regrettably the interpretation/existence of certain laws, customs, practices and teachings in Malaysia has bred a type of religious imperialism, intolerance, intemperance and illegality which is unhealthy and unhelpful in the development of a truly multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious society where everyone is able to profess and practice their own faith free from the interference of the authorities, whether civil or religious.

Secondly, no right-thinking publication and editor should have stooped so low so as to condone, let alone permit, this so-called investigative piece of journalism (if the article can even be called that) to be published. The authors of this article clearly failed in their stated aim as described in their chosen title – to seek the truth about Muslim youths who had converted to Christianity. It should have ended there.

That it went further, and led to the actual publication of the article and the proud disclosure of acts which can only be described as religious desecration (by the illicit and wrongful participation in the rite of Holy Communion of Christians without understanding its meaning and consequences), only goes to reveal the moral, ethical and journalistic bankruptcy of the editors of this publication. The sacrilegious behaviour of the authors simply breached all standards of common decency. All God-fearing and peace-loving Malaysians, regardless of their faith traditions, should rightly distance themselves from such conduct.

Thirdly, Christianity has nothing to hide. If people indeed seek the truth, if they are curious about what Christianity is all about, what Christians do, what Christians believe, they need only ask. If they sincerely wish to learn, we welcome them with open and loving arms, as we do people of all faiths, or of none, into our churches and seminaries to learn more about Christianity. There is no need to snoop or to spy. Doing so is merely going about things the wrong way.

Finally, we trust that the authorities will do the right thing and take the necessary action to correct the wrong that has been done.

The Rt. Revd. Ng Moon Hing
Chairman, Executive Committee
Christian Federation of Malaysia
Petaling Jaya