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The Thinker

The Thinker
Staring out the BUS, thinking abt life..

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Open Letter to a Muslim Journalist “Spy”

Just something to caught my attention to be shared.

I just read that recently you and a friend visited one of the churches that I belong to. I was surprised that you had to do it in disguise. You should have told the Catholic community there that you were coming and we would have given you a grand welcome.
Such was the experience of the MP for Shah Alam, Khalid Abdul Samad from Pas, who was even given a standing ovation when he visited and had a dialogue with the parishioners of the Church of the Divine Mercy in Shah Alam last year.

Some time back I was attending a Mass (Catholic worship) in a Catholic church in Petaling Jaya and was very moved by the presence of a group of Muslim students together with their Muslim professor who had taken them there as part of their “exposure programme”. None of them were converted.

You see we are not an underground church nor do we function in a clandestine manner. Our hearts are on the holy and not on the hideous. We even pray for Najib the PM, though I feel we do not pray enough for the Opposition. We also pray for people like you who do more harm than good to the name of your religion of peace, tolerance and compassion.

Further, what takes place in Catholic churches is highlighted in our in-house newspaper which was quite unknown to the whole population and whose readers formed an insignificant number – until the Government decided to prevent it from using the word “Allah”. Alas, the Herald should thank the Government for making it so well-known today.

Religious Misfits
It is a pity that you have gone through so much trouble to “investigate” under guise what is going on in Catholic Churches or that “Muslim teenagers were being converted to Christianity in Kuala Lumpur 's churches every Sunday”. You should have gone directly to the Special Branch, which sends it officers to visit our churches occasionally. Surely they will be able to tell you that you would be only wasting your time!

As for the information that Muslims are being driven in droves into Catholicism (which you have concluded to be “false” in your article) it has been a fallacious and stale rumour for quite some time, spread by those who have an obsession and paranoia or by the increasing number of lower echelon zealots or “Little Mullah Napoleons” running riot with their brand of religion.

In Feb. 2006, the Mufti of Perak, Haji Harussani Haji Zakaria, claimed that 250,000 Muslims (of which 100,000 were Malays) had apostatized themselves, while 100,000 more had submitted applications to do so. Of course he was unable to substantiate his claim because it was false.

In Nov. 2006, about 500 Muslims protested in front of the Catholic Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Ipoh following a SMS wherein the same Mufti had disclosed that about 600 Muslim students of the Ungku Omar Polytechnic were to be baptized by national mariner Azhar Mansor!
The church was not converting Muslims but instead was holding the First Holy Communion Mass (one of the rites of initiation to the faith) for 98 Catholic children, many of whom were traumatised by the sight of a threatening mob. Imagine the very unfortunate impression the young Catholics would have got of Islam and of Muslims.

The mufti who had proven to be more of a misfit, was not man enough to own up. He blamed it on an SMS sent out by a woman! Why no action was taken against the mufti, and why the authorities remained mute (on both occasions) over his “mischief” remains but a mystery. You must have been motivated by the mufti.

If indeed the Catholic Church has the conversion of Muslims as its hidden agenda, it would surely have started converting hundreds or even thousands of impressionable young Muslims through its Catholic Mission schools which have existed for as long as 100 years, But no such thing has ever happened.
The Muslim classmates and friends that I had in St Michael’s Ipoh are still good and respected Muslims today, and such was their appreciation and respect for the La Salle Brothers that they made sure that their children in turn would attend a La Salle school or a Convent!

Sadly, your disrespect knew no bounds. You chose to abandon all human and religious decency with impunity as a journalist and a Muslim. Under pretense of being a Catholic you participated in the church service and even partook of the Holy Communion (a white and sacred wafer) strictly meant only for Catholics.

You consumed the white wafer which Catholics hold as very sacred and treat with utmost reverence, and both of you spat out the remnants, photographed it and published the picture in an article entitled "Tinjaun Al Islam Dalam Gereja:Mencari Kesahihan Remaja Murtad" which was published in the May 2009 issue of the Al Islam magazine.

I shudder to think of what could happen if the reverse took place -- if for instance two reporters from the Herald were to enter a mosque disguised as Muslims, partake of the rituals and desecrate something which the congregation considers very sacred.

I can imagine Khairy Jamaluddin leading a group of Umno Youth thugs and burning the effigy of the Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur and even threatening to set fire to a few churches, and Zulkifli Nordin rousing up a mob and invading the Herald’s office and demanding that it be shut down for good; or certain Muslim NGOs insisting that the two journalists be jailed under the ISA!

It makes me wonder how does a “creature” like you exist in this country? Are you the product of the educational, social or even religious system or process created by Bolehland’s leaders (also read as “Umno”) over the past 30 years?

How is it possible that you could blatantly trespass into a place of worship, violate its sanctity, insult its adherents, even publish your transgression and completely ignore the implications and consequences (will there be any)? What gives you such audacity?

It all points to the reality of you being a cog in Umno’s machine – a political party that has politicised religion for its survival by creating unfounded insecurities amongst Muslims and a distrust of other religions. Meanwhile it dominates, dictates, decides and even defines what non-Muslims can and cannot discuss, deliberate on, and display in print.

Najib’s 1Malaysia is really Malaysia in one big mess!

As I join my Catholic brothers and sisters in forgiving you (a Catholic duty we are reminded of!), I also pray that you will feel the full weight of God’s wrath upon you.

I feel sad for the many good Muslims in this country who have a respect for peoples of other faiths, for not only have you insulted Catholics but you have insulted them too. Islam would do well without religious misfits like you!
Martin Jalleh
(15 July 2009)