PAS leaders give their take on JAIS’s church invasion

(Harakah Daily) – PAS leaders have made their views known over the action by the Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS) to intrude on a dinner event at a church in Petaling Jaya citing complaints about “proselytization to Muslims”.

PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man explained his view about the latest incident by giving a personal anecdote which took place during his teaching days at UiTM.

Recalling the story, Tuan Ibrahim said he once ordered a juice at a Malay restaurant, which was served to him in a glass with a beer label.

Feeling uncomfortable, he asked that the glass be replaced, telling the restaurant owner that although the juice was halal, “but the sight of the glass could invite suspicion and slander among my students about me and your shop”.

“The lesson learnt here is that humans tend to have negative assumption. Some students seeing me drinking from such a glass would conclude that I was consuming beer, never mind  the juice in it was orange in colour and never mind that it was in a Muslim outlet.

“The shop owner too could be accused of selling alcoholic drinks.

“The first lesson here is one should not quickly be taken in by slanders without any investigation,” said Tuan Ibrahim (right), adding that those who believed that he was drinking beer could not be faulted.

“Because I would have done something which could arouse suspicion on me,” he explained.

Another lesson, said Tuan Ibrahim, is that one should not act in a way that attracts undue suspicion from the public.

“In short, we must always have good thoughts of each other and avoid doing something that could attract slander,” he said.

Tuan Ibrahim said both these elements can now be seen in the frenzy which followed the JAIS action – the tendency to believe in an accusation and the tendency to do something arousing suspicions.

As such, Tuan Ibrahim said while JAIS may want to justify its actions in the name of defending Islam, it must be mindful not to create unnecessary controversies which could damage the name of the Selangor state government, the Islamic body, as well as that of Islam.

Meddling in other religion

Tuan Ibrahim, who PAS commissioner for Pahang, called on JAIS to always act according to laws and procedures.

“Any action must not be seen as meddling in other religion,” he said.

He reminded that the authorities must be able to see through the intention in any complaint received, whether it was true or just made in bad faith against the backdrop of the country’s heated political and racial climate.

“JAIS should also ensure that investigation is carried out in a transparent manner and every action must be according to procedures even after confirming the reliability of the information it received,” said Tuan Ibrahim.

He also said that Muslims who were at the church attending the dinner should ponder whether their actions, unconsciously or otherwise, had caused difficulties to the dinner event as well as to the church concerned.

On what JAIS should do if it was proven that its action was wrong, Tuan Ibrahim has this advice to the department:

“Do apologise if you are wrong.”