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.
“However, the enactment was found to be inadequate as it failed to protect the Islamic faith and to prevent the evangelism movement to spread among the Malays,” he claimed and cited Section 4(1)(a) of Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment 1988 as an example.
The enactment states that a person would have committed an offence if he/she persuades, influence or incites a Muslim to be “inclined” or “become a follower or a member” of a non-Islamic religion or to “forsake or disfavour Islam”.
Wan Rohimi said that the evangelicalism movement appeared to have challenged the state enactments, claiming that Christian evangelicals continued carrying out their activities freely without any action being taken against them, without providing any corroboration to support his allegation.
“A federal legislation is needed to interpret the real meaning behind the Federal Constitution regarding the propagation of other religion on Muslims,” he asserted.
Last week, the chief executive of a non-governmental organisation Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy Azril Mohd Amin wrote in an essay published in Utusan Malaysia calling for Malaysia to introduce anti-evangelicalism laws similar to Russia’s, claiming a mass conversion conspiracy that seriously threatened Malaysia’s religious harmony.