Bersih twist to church raid saga

An email is circulating claiming that the controversial JAIS raid could be more about politics than religion.

(Free Malaysia Today) – Amidst the simmering tension over the controversial raid on a church by Islamic authorities, a conspiracy theory has surfaced linking the incident to the Bersih 2.0 rally.

An email being circulated alleged collusion between Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein and Selangor exco for religious affairs Hasan Ali, one of those in PAS supportive of a unity government with Umno.

The email claimed that the minister wanted to teach the Christian community a lesson for backing the July 9 street protest, which dealt a massive blow to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s administration.

Last Wednesay, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) together with the police raided the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) after receiving complaints that Muslims were present at a dinner event there.

JAIS later clarified that it was not a raid but an inspection done to check if there was proselytizing of Muslims by Christians. The matter is being investigated under Section 4 of the Non-Islamic Religious Enactment 1988.

Organisers of the dinner had denied the allegation, stating that the event was to raise funds for a HIV/AIDS campaign.

While Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim had expressed regret over the incident, his exco Hasan defended JAIS and the latter was backed by PAS Youth.

‘MCA and Umno leaders told in advance’

However, the email claimed that the raid had little to do with attempts to convert Muslims to Christianity but “had everything to do with Bersih 2.0.”

It alleged that DUMC’s pastor Daniel Ho hosted Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan and members of the polls watchdog’s committee the week before.

“Since last week Hishammuddin has been in touch with Hasan through their proxies on finding a way to teach Ho and the Christian community a lesson for supporting Bersih…

“Hishammuddin wanted to show that he was not afraid to take anyone on. That is why the police could not produce a warrant or JAIS produce a copy of the complaint.

“Hishammuddin has always thought of himself as above the law and is the law,” read the email.

It also claimed that Umno and MCA leaders were informed in advance of the raid and advised to prepare statements to condemn Pakatan Rakyat over the matter.

“This is an effort to conceal the link between Hishammuddin and Hasan,” stated the email, adding that the home minister and Umno considered Bersih 2.0 as the biggest threat to their political future.

“Any support for Bersih 2.0 therefore must be nipped in the bud. The accusation of attempts to proselytize Muslims by the DUMC church is just a distraction from the actual truth,” it added.