It's no trivial matter that JAIS - the Selangor Islamic Religious Department - gate-crashed a dinner at the Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) in Petaling Jaya on Aug 3- and alleging that not only were Muslims at the function, but that the church was converting Muslims.
JAIS has claimed that it did not raid the church, as widely reported but went there, and entered the premises within the ambit of the syariah law of the state.
Its director Marzuki Hussin had said the “check” to look for Muslims was conducted together with the police and that this was provided for under the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995.
Predictably, the incident sparked outrage - largely from the Pakatan Rakyat leaders and supporters and the Christian community.
Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim, of course, immediately apologized for such an unacceptable action by JAIS.
He ordered JAIS to submit a report. A preliminary, according to sources, has already been submitted to Khalid, who also issued a gag order to his executive councillors. Tsk tsk tsk.
Khalid had also met with the Sultan of Selangor on the matter.
Then he announced that a "majlis syura" - as advised by the Sultan - would be formed to deliberate on the matter. A boo-boo because the Sultan immediately issued a denial, saying that he had advised nothing of the sort.
A swift fix by the Selangor government. It's not a "majlis syura". So sorry about that. We don't want to confuse the people. Actually, it's a "hearing committee".
Clearly, this is a serious issue. It must be very difficult to resolve because straight answers have not been offered to simple questions.
Was it a raid? Or did JAIS conduct the inspection lawfully? Were the 12 Muslims at the event breaking fast in conjunction with what the church claimed to be a "unity dinner"/attending the dinner in conjunction with breaking fast or part of their proselytising ceremony?
Was the church converting "needy' Muslims?
Frankly, I find it odd that it is taking this long for the state government to wrap up investigations. I know JAIS had difficulty in interviewing the Muslims who were at the function they were all represented by their lawyers.
So, I've come to the conclusion that all's not well....