BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — An Islamic evangelical group has denied a claim spread via text message that his organisation was covertly amending the official religious records of those receiving free copies of the Quran it was purportedly distributing.
According to Firdaus Wong Wai Hung, who established the Multiracial Reverted Muslims (MRM), his organisation was not even involved in distributing the Quran as alleged in a WhatsApp message and accompanying pictures that made the accusation.
The said message was a warning that the MRM was delivering free copies of the Quran in Teluk Pulai, Klang and recording the identification details of recipients that it would then use to amend their official identity records from non-Muslim to Muslim, without saying how the group achieved this.
Appended to the message are two pictures, one of a MRM vehicle and another depicting what appeared to be an evangelical session by the group’s members.
“We have never been to Teluk Pulai in Klang and that kind of message portrays us trying to dupe non-Muslims into becoming Muslims.
“Yes, that van in the message belongs to us but we did not do such a thing (convert non-Muslims). Now this message with the picture of our vehicle, however, implies otherwise,” Wong told Malay Mail Online when contacted.
He further explained that the picture of his volunteers was taken last December during a briefing session for a programme called “Street Dakwah (preaching)” in Penang, and not in Klang as alleged in the message.
“We reject this…we never, ever cheat people into becoming Muslims,” Wong said, adding that he will lodge a police report over the “appalling” claim.
Wong founded MRM in 2010 and the group largely comprises Muslim converts who actively work to spread the positive aspects of Islam through street evangelism via brochures and tracts.
In an interview with the Malay Mail Online last month, Wong said that as part of their missionary work, almost a thousand MRM volunteers hit the streets throughout peninsular Malaysia last December 20, just days before Christmas, handing out the said brochures.
“We don’t promise them they’ll get a certain amount of money,” he said then when insisting that MRM did not coerce or bribe people to embrace Islam.
He also urged Muslims not to hate Christians, whom he described as the people “closest” to Muslims.
Racial and religious tensions have simmered for the past few years as Muslim groups accuse Christians of trying to convert Muslims with their insistence on referring to God as “Allah”, while Christian groups complain of Bumiputera Christians in Sabah being duped into embracing Islam.
Some Malay Muslim groups have accused Christian evangelical groups of trying to convert weak Muslims with financial aid and some politicians have even claimed there were attempts to subvert Islam’s position as the religion of the federation as prescribed in Malaysia’s constitution and install a Christian as the head of government.
The discontent is exacerbated by laws prohibiting the proselytization of non-Islamic faiths to Muslims, but not vice versa.
This was demonstrated by an unusual outburst by the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism who last month warned non-Muslims not to accept free translated copies of the Quran that a Muslim group was distributing.
Original source : Malay Mail