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- Former 11th Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia
The controversial book which was distributed at a varsity-held seminar critical of Christianity was not banned as it did not contravene the law, the Home Minister said today.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) said the book, “Exposing the Christian Agenda” by Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais), was just research.
He added that the book’s contents were explanations by the Selangor religious authorities on the agenda, the Christianisation movement and efforts to proselytise Muslims in the country.
“The book discusses ways to spread the Christian faith which Muslims should be aware of. It was not found to have any content that goes against the provisions in the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984,” he told Darell Leiking (PKR - Penampang) in a written reply.
The controversial seminar on Allah and Christology held at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on May 6 saw several speakers talking about the “threat of Christianisation”.
Several police reports have been lodged over its anti-Christian elements, including two by college lecturer Perzeus James and author Uthaya Sankar Narayanan.
The seminar was jointly organised by UiTM's Academy of Contemporary Islamic Studies, Warisan Ibnu Aaby and the Selangor Islamic Council (Mais) with the support of Utusan Malaysia, Kumpulan Karangkraf, TV Al-Hijrah, Zikay Group and Pantai Bharu Group of Companies.
But the sponsors had distanced themselves from the seminar, saying that they were under the impression that it was an academic programme and had no idea it was organised to criticise Christianity.
UiTM and Mais have meanwhile kept mum over the seminar, but a source from the religious authority said it had no hand in either the theme or the speakers.
“The university authorities decided on the event, invitations and the panel of speakers,” the source said, adding that university authorities had asked Mais to distribute the book “Exposing the Christian Agenda” to seminar participants.
Speakers at the event include Pertubuhan Muafakat Sejahtera Masyarakat Malaysia (Muafakat) general-secretary Abdul Karim Omar as well as Indonesians Masyud S.M., Irena Handono, Menachem Ali and Insan L. S. Mokoginta.
Although Mokoginta said he was a Catholic priest before embracing Islam in 1976, the Bishops Conference of Indonesia executive secretary Father Edy Purwanto said there was no information on him.
Mokoginta had spoken on “The Threat of Christianisation” at the seminar and said that “every follower of Jesus should convert to Islam otherwise it would be a betrayal to Him”.
Meanwhile, checks on another speaker Handono, who said she was a former Catholic nun, showed she did not complete her training, with Purwanto saying she only had a brief stint as a novice with the Congregation of the Ursuline Sisters. – June 13, 2014.