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quote from bob’s:
Apparently a mass SMS was sent alleging that a mass conversion ceremony of Muslims to Christianity was to be held at the church. This resulted in a large crowd of angry Muslims, including representatives of several religious organisations, massing at the church to demand that the ceremony be stopped. As it turned out, there was a mass baptism being held but it was for 100 odd children of non Muslim backgrounds.
well, much earlier, i.e. around 2.00pm, i had received the sms but it did not mentioned anything about the mass conversion of muslims. this was what the sms said:
police dispersed muslim mob demonstrating outside silibin church family day celebration, where guest speaker datuk azhar mansor, noted malaysian sailor was giving his testimony. he is now a catholic and resides in singapore. fr. xxx ask for support of your prayers. please pass on.
whatever version it was, the fact remained that once again we see the mob mentality rearing its ugly head. as bob asked, why were they so paranoid, why can’t religious matters be discussed sensibly like in an open forum (that’s why we need the IFC) instead of these group of muslim who suka-suka, sikit-sikit, go on a demonstration (everybody still remember what happened at the article 11 forum in penang).
in bernama report, perak CPO was heart to say:
“We do not know what prompted the sending of the SMS. Perhaps there are some people who want to disrupt the country’s harmony,”
and he further said that they will monitor the situation and conduct probe into the sms incident.
fine if he wants to do that… but at the same time, why no probe into the mob who gathered at the church? the mob must have frightened those poor parishioners, adults and children (people belonging to that church) who were there for regular sunday mass.
if you read the bahasa version of the bernama report, it mentioned about azhar the sailor. apparently azhar’s brother came out to deny that azhar had converted to christianity and he is in langkawi on a business venture.
oh well, azhar himself could not be contacted (in fact he seems to disappear from the scene all together), thus we won’t know for sure if he has or has not converted, wouldn’t we?
azhar’s brother and his family were among the mob who gathered at the ipoh church. so what? based on a sms, they just had to join the mob to demo outside the church? is that all they can do – screaming loudly in a demo? bob rightly asked:
Where is the so-called multi religious harmony that we are supposed to enjoy? Why the paranoia and unwillingness to dialogue on matters like these? I would dare say that an open forum where inter faith issues can be discussed with mutual respect would have pre-empted paranoid mobilisation of mob actions like this.
UPDATED: read the star’s report ‘cops to probe baptism SMS‘.
note especially the last paragraph, what fr. fabian said:
The Catholic Church has always believed that dialogue is the best platform to resolve issues and as such is extremely disappointed that there was no attempt whatsoever for dialogue.
indeed. that was what i was trying to say too. just base on some SMS, this group of people had to gather in huge number to protest in front of the church, frightening the church goers. why can’t just the leaders went to clarify with the church authorities… have a dialouge, instead off calling for a demo!
so you see, people of malaysia, you can thank these group of fanatic islamist who at the slightest hint of something to do with their religion, gather in protest, for keeping the cops and FRU busy. (the report stated that until last night, the cops were still at the church).
for some pictures, go to this blog.