Religious NGOs must respect each other

Source: Brunei Post

KOTA MARUDU: A senior Sabah politician yesterday issued a stern warning against religious non-governmental organisations which tried to destabilise the country by taking the law into their own hands.

“We treasure the existing religious peace and harmony that we enjoyed since the formation of Malaysia,” said acting Parti Bersatu Sabah President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.

He made the call following a provocative proposal by a coalition of Islamic NGOs to ban Christian evangelicalism in Malaysia.

“Today’s harmonious situation has been achieved through respect for the Federal Constitution and practice of moderation and tolerance towards each other’s religion,” the Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister added. Read more

PAS Youth claims state laws insufficient to protect Islam, curb Christian evangelicalism

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PAS Youth says since state laws have failed to restrict the movement among Malay Muslims, federal laws to curb Christian evangelicalism are needed. — Reuters pic.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 ― Federal laws to curb Christian evangelicalism are needed because state laws have failed to restrict the movement among Malay Muslims here, PAS Youth alleged today.

The Islamist party’s department of law and human rights director Wan Rohimi Wan Daud said in a statement that statistics by the Shariah courts showed there were 863 requests to “change the status of Islam” between 2000 and 2010.

He said that this situation is unacceptable, considering that the Federal Constitution and state enactments have laws restricting the propagation of faiths other than Islam to Muslims. Read more

Minister: Anti-evangelism laws ‘myopic’, violate human rights

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — A Cabinet minister today slammed the so-called Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy’s (Centhra) demand for the formulation of anti-evangelism laws, saying such a proposal is narrow-minded, and violates basic human rights on religious freedom.

Labelling the proposal as ignorant, minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Paul Low said the group must first understand that Malaysia is a multi-cultural society which recognises diversity, and the rights of religious beliefs and cultural practices.

“The Federal Constitution was made to protect the rights of various groups, including (the) rights of those who are in the minority groups,” Low who is in charge of governance, integrity and human rights, told Malay Mail Online.

“So, the call by this Centhra — note that they ironically call themselves a human rights centre—to prohibit the evangelical Christians, would violate the spirit of our Constitution with regards to freedom of worship, and most importantly, basic human rights.” Read more

‘Anti-evangelism laws’ not for Malaysia, deputy home minister says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 — Datuk Nur Jazlan Muhammed is against a suggestion for Malaysia to ban Christian evangelism.

The deputy home minister said outlawing the movement is counterproductive and will only drive its followers underground, in response to a non-governmental organisation leader’s call for similar legislation to Russia’s Yarovaya Act.

“Legislating any form of anti-evangelism or evangelicalism officially would have counterproductive outcomes because the followers would go underground instead of stopping their activities,” Nur Jazlan told Malay Mail Online  in a text message yesterday when contacted for comment.

He expressed scepticism on views that legislation is the best approach to tackle religious matters, saying instead that dialogue is the way forward to end interfaith suspicions. Read more

Call to ban Evangelicalism simply wrong, says constitutional lawyer

Source: The Malaysian Insight 

Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra) CEO Azril Mohd Amin proposes that the ‘dangerous movement that is evangelicalism’ be kept in check as it ‘threatens religious harmony in Malaysia’. – YouTube screenshot, June 16, 2017.

EVERY Malaysian has the right to profess and practise his or her religion according to the Federal Constitution, and this right may not be restricted or denied by the state, a constitutional lawyer said, on the call to ban Evangelical Christianity in Malaysia.

Lawyer Syahredzan Johan said to outlaw evangelicalism here would be unconstitutional especially when the church worships in private without propagating to Muslims.

“Outlawing Evangelical Christianity would be unconstitutional. These are Christian denominations we are talking about, and Article 11(1) is clear; all persons have the right to profess and practise their religion.

“This right cannot be restricted or denied by the state at all. So there is no grounds to outlaw it,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra), a coalition of Islamic groups, had said the banning of evangelicalism was in line with Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, towards preserving peace among religions. Read more