Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) Sabah
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE USE
31 Oct 2014
Sabah Church Wants AG to Act Against Bible Burning Threat
The SIB Sabah Church wants the Attorney General and the de facto law minister to stop defending religious extremism and to take immediate action against those wanting to burn Bibles.
Rev Jerry Dusing, president of the Sidang Injil Borneo or the Evangelical Church of Sabah, said the failure of the AG and the law minister to act against religious bigotry and extremism can only serve to embolden such extremists to become more incendiary in their posture against non-Muslims.
"The views of both the AG and the law minister are both obnoxious and unacceptable. It is clear under Article 8 (1) of the Federal Constitution, all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law," Dusing pointed out.
"Even Muslim leaders in the government reject such extremism. We welcome the statement by Sabah Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak that telling Malaysians that it is right for Ibrahim Ali (Perkasa president) to call for the burning of the Bible is not something Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak will endorse, "he pointed out.
"We are indeed very encouraged that the Sabah Speaker pointed out that even if Christians do not protest such statements, Muslims in Sabah dan Sarawak will still feel uncomfortable with something like that and that Tun Dr Mahathir should speak out with a voice of moderation and not with a voice of extremism (in defending Ibrahim Ali,)" Dusing said.
"Both the AG and the law minister should understand this very well as their oaths of office demand that they uphold and defend the constitution as the supreme law of the land. The AG cannot choose to keep silent on this issue when the whole nation is waiting for a response from him. On such an important issue, it is only fair for all Malaysians to know that justice and fairness is not only done but seen to be done. The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The supremacy of racism and religious bigotry cannot be seen to be condoned and defended by our government," he added.
"We have come a long way since the formation of Malaysia. The formation of Malaysia was based on the understanding that this nation would be multi-cultural and multi-religious. In our pursuit of building this nation, there must be mutual tolerance and respect for one another's background and beliefs. Religious extremism must not be tolerated and we must nip in the bud". Dusing said.
In January 2013, Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali was on record calling on Muslims to seize and burn copies of Bibles which contain the term "Allah" or other Arabic religious words and that it was the only way to stop non-Muslims from stirring the sensitivities and sentiments of the majority of population in the country.
Dusing said after 51 years of the formation of Malaysia, it is evident to Malaysians at large that racial and religious polarisation has reached an alarming level.
"As a result of reports lodged against Ibrahim, a week later police hauled him up for investigation and submitted its findings to the AG," Dusing said.
"Many people, including a law professor were charged with sedition over a spate of less than eight months this year while no charges were preferred against Ibrahim for nearly two years now, "he said.
"There are limits to what one can say against another religion. Asking for the Holy Scriptures of another religion to be burned violates the most basic of human decency," Dusing said.
"It's about time both the AG and the law minister start upholding the constitution as the supreme law of the land so that all persons regardless of race or religion are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law," Dusing said.
REV.DATUK JERRY DUSING
President Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) SABAH
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