JAIS raid video appears on pro-Umno blogs

A video of JAIS’ raid on DUMC claims proof of proselytising and implicates Annou Xavier and Teresa Kok in covering up the issue.

(Free Malaysia Today) – A video purportedly showing scenes of a raid by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) on the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) surfaced on a number of pro-Umno blogs yesterday.

The six-minute clip has been presented by the bloggers as evidence of the church proselytising to the 12 Muslims who attended its multiracial thanksgiving dinner two weeks ago.

The clip, which was first posted on a blog called “Screwkuat”, showed snippets of JAIS officials entering the church, a man sharing his Muslim upbringing with the crowd and the officials questioning guests dressed in the Malay national costume.

The man sharing his religious upbringing was accused of having converted out of Islam although he made no mention of being a Christian.

A woman named Sophia – who was clad in a baju kebaya – was accused of being involved in the event organisation by inviting Muslims for the purpose of conversion. One of her guests, a Chinese women, later told JAIS that no Muslims had attended the dinner.

The blogger then trained his guns on Seputeh MP, Teresa Kok, and Annou Xavier of the Catholic Lawyer’s Society as conspirators in concealing DUMC’s attempts to convert Muslims.

Xavier is also the lawyer for the dinner organiser, NGO Harapan Komuniti, which has insisted that the dinner was for a HIV/AIDS support group.

“Annou Xavier has plotted with Teresa Kok to defend the 12 but has only managed to ‘control’ eight so far,” wrote the blogger of Screwkuat. “He also issued a letter requesting a postponement of the statement that the 12 meant to give JAIS last week.”

“This is an insult to JAIS and the Sultan of Selangor (Sharafuddin Idris Shah). The question is, why are the 12 being defended by a lawyer from the Catholic Lawyer’s Society?”

Clip an ‘afterthought’

The blogger claimed that in order to cover up their conspiracy, the duo had engaged Muslim lawyers who shared their views as well as secured the support of Father Goh Kiat Ping who is reputed to have an in-depth understanding of Islam.

“The 12 will hold closed-door talks with PAS because Teresa Kok believes that only PAS can be used to cover up these acts of conversion,” the blogger concluded. “So we will await the next statement from PAS. No wonder PAS keeps blaming Umno in this issue.”

In an immediate response, Xavier branded the clip as an “afterthought” to justify the raid. He pointed out that the clip was taken from a narrow angle by an anonymous person and questioned its authenticity. But he stopped short of speculating that JAIS had leaked the clip to the blogger.

“What I will say is that it’s very irresponsible for bloggers affiliated to a certain political party to come up with an insinuation that puts down their fellow Malaysians,” he told FMT. “Investigations are still ongoing but these bloggers are acting as investigators and prosecutors.”

Xavier drew attention to Section 6 of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Act 1995 under which the 12 Muslims are being investigated.

“This section states that anyone who accuses a Muslim of converting and the accusation is found to be false the accuser can be liable for up to a fine of RM5,000 or three years in jail or both,” he said.

“This is a very serious offence and carries the same sentence as the offence of conversion. So just because one is a Muslim and with JAIS doesn’t mean he knows the law.”

When contacted, Kok told FMT via text message that she was unable to comment due to the gag order imposed by Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, pending the investigation findings.