You wouldn’t like it if it was the other way round

Why have the authorities remained silent on this?

Ravin Palanisamy, TMI

A VIDEO clip of controversial Islamic preacher Firdaus Wong advising a teacher to secretly convert minors in school is shocking and disturbing.

What is most appalling is that no action has been taken against the preacher.

Several civil society groups have expressed outrage over Wong’s’ desire to convert underage children to Islam without their parents’ knowledge, much less consent.

What Wong advises is clearly against the Federal Constitution and a crime.

Under Article 12(4) of the constitution, the religion of a person aged under 18 is to be decided by his “parent or guardian”.

On January 29, 2018, the Federal Court in M. Indira Gandhi’s case decided that the word “parent” in Article 12(4) is to be interpreted as “parents” if both are still alive.

Indira had challenged the conversion of her three children to Islam by her Muslim convert ex-husband without her consent.

In other words, the Federal Court in 2018 decided that for children born to a couple who were both non-Muslims, consent of both the mother and the father (if both are alive) is required before a certificate of conversion to Islam can be issued.

Why have the authorities remained silent on this?

Why is Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil, who is also the government spokesman, keeping mum?

Is Wong not misusing network services? Where is the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission?

The silence of Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek is also concerning. She must not allow such unethical and clearly illegal acts to take place on school grounds.

Must parents now lose sleep over the risk of their children getting converted into Islam while at school?

Imagine the trauma they will experience when they discover that their children—who were sent to school, a supposedly safe environment—have become Muslims without their consent.

Acting with impunity

Would Wong’s advice be tolerated if it was given by non-Muslim preachers, gurus, monks, or leaders?

In Malaysia, it is illegal to proselytise to Muslims, meaning it is an offence for non-Muslims to preach to and convert Muslims, even though the reverse is allowed.

Muslims who seek to renounce Islam face legal obstacles, societal pushbacks, and harsh penalties.

Imagine if the deceitful advice of Wong by a non-Muslim preacher to convert Muslims.

Never mind the legal actions that would follow, we would also fear extrajudicial actions.

Remember the enforced disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh? He was accused of converting Muslims to Christianity. His whereabouts are still unknown.

Another question that lingers in the minds of many is, are Islamic preachers a protected species in Malaysia?

They seem to get off scot-free whatever they do.

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