Al-Islam Apologises To Christians. Catholic Church -: 1; Umno, Attorney General -: 0
The Al-Islam magazine has apologised to the Roman Catholic Church and Christians for publishing a special report which involved the desecration of a religious rite.***** It is indeed a magnanimous gesture by the Roman Catholic Church to have so quickly accepted the 'apology' by Al-Islam. While the so-called apology came across as contrived, insincere and probably given under pressure by Umno bigwigs, the happiness expressed by the Archbishop shows that the Church believes it's time to put and end to this unfortunate fiasco and move on. This is definitely a big win for not only the Catholics and Christians but also for those of all faiths who believe in equitable and fair justice.
The apology was posted on the website of its publisher, Utusan Karya.
The controversy began after the magazine published a report, Tinjauan Al-Islam Dalam Gereja: Mencari Kesahihan Remaja Melayu Murtad in its May 2009 edition
In the apology, Al-Islam said it had “unintentionally hurt the feelings of Christians especially Catholics” with its report.
It said in a three-paragraph statement that the report was to investigate allegations of apostasy and the actions of its journalists were never intended to deride the Christian faith nor desecrate their house of worship.
The magazine also stated that the apology would be published in next month’s print publication.
Two reporters from the magazine attended and participated in the religious rite.
They admitted to receiving Holy Communion and actually spitting the wafer out, an act Catholics consider desecration.
After police reports were lodged against the journalists and the magazine, they were investigated under Section 298A (1) of the Penal Code for causing disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing the maintenance of harmony or unity, on grounds of religion.
However earlier this week, it was announced that the Attorney-General had decided not to pursue the case because of “public pressure.”
Speaking on behalf of Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, Catholic Lawyers’ Society Vice President Joy Appukuttan said Pakiam expressed his happiness over the move by the magazine to apologise.
However Umno, its leaders and the Attorney General come out of this mess of their own creation looking very, very bad. They have been exposed as desperadoes who will go to any length and lie to any extent to justify the unjustifiable. The Attorney General's attempt in particular to explain why no action was taken against the two fanatic culprits will rank for a long time as the most egregious decision by a legal officer in our country's history. By right he should resign in shame. But then again he and his ilk have either never heard of or believed in words such as shame, accountability or resign. These people are the real pengkhianat whom Malaysians should condemn and shun.