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Proselytisation: Hasan reveals ‘apostates’ video

 | April 2, 2012

In the video-clip, one of three featured talks about his conversion while another is shown returning to Islam.

VIDEO INSIDE

KUALA LUMPUR: Jati president Hasan Ali today aired a 16-minute video clip which showcased three people – two men and one woman – whom he claimed to be former apostates.

All three faces were blurred and their voices distorted to avoid recognition or identification.

One of the men provided a testimony of his conversion, while the other was seen being guided by Hasan in reciting the affirmation of faith to return to Islam. The woman did not provide her testimony in this edited version of a 90-minute clip.

The first man who went by the pseudonym Ramli Abdullah, 47, said he had lived with Australian missionaries in 2002 who introduced him to Christianity which subsequently led to his baptism.

Ramli claimed he didn’t know that the couple were missionaries and that his baptism had been carried out in an apartment as it was deemed too risky to be held in the church.

“It was a simple ceremony,” he recalled. “They told me that I was a sinner and there would be no salvation until I embraced Jesus as my saviour. Then they taught me how to pray.”

Ramli said that there were up to 400 other Muslims in his “group” but wasn’t sure how many conversions were carried out.

He added that the Christian group later provided him a place to stay and funded his education.

“I had a difficult life and wanted an easier one in heaven,” he said. “They took care of me, showed me love and became my family.”

According to Hasan, the video was the result of six months of work by Unit Selamatkan Aqidah (USA) which had been collating data on apostates in the country.

All audio or visual recordings of the clip were barred following advice from Hasan’s lawyers that any re-publication would jeopardise the individuals’ “safety and reputation”.

The clip, however, contained only testimonies and Hasan, a former PAS leader, admitted that he did not have any further evidence to support his allegations of proselytisation.

“Maybe my other friends have more evidence but I can tell you that it isn’t easy to get,” he told a packed media conference at his residence in Taman Tun Dr Ismail here.

“For them to come forward to testify… I would be happy if even one in a thousand did so because of the threat to their lives.”

Hasan defends Sultan

But Hasan was not able to provide specific details of any such threat except to say that one obviously had to exist for the three individuals to request anonymity.

He pointed out that apostates – whether former or current – were ostracised by their families and society, and revealing their identities would further aggravate an already delicate situation.

“They had their reasons and I didn’t probe,” Hasan stated. “There is a threat but I don’t know what it is. The fact is that proselytisation exists and I’m thankful that these three agreed to come forward.”

When asked whether these apostasy cases pointed to his failure as the former PAS Selangor executive councillor for Islamic affairs, Hasan shot back that he had only held the position for four years while apostasy had existed long before that as in the cases of Natrah Maarof and Lina Joy.

Hasan also defended the Sultan of Selangor Sharafuddin Idris Shah when a reporter questioned whether the Sultan had failed in his duties to prevent apostasy.

“The Sultan can speak but who is influential?” he asked. “The Sultan doesn’t have the power to execute.”

“That power belongs to the Selangor Menteri Besar (Khalid Ibrahim), Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (JAIS), Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (MAIS), Lembaga Zakat Selangor and the Muslim community.

“The Sultan has his limitations. I’m not defending him but to say that he has failed in his duties to prevent apostasy is too much.”

‘I am working for God’

Hasan added that even the Lembaga Zakat Selangor faced similar limitations in terms of its bureaucratic system, time frame and zakat quantam which could be less than the funds provided by Christian groups.

He explained that many of these apostates live in the city where “life is hard” and the amount provided by Christians could be hard to refuse.

“On the gradient of sins, apostasy is the highest,” Hasan stated. “This event at my house is more important and of greater impact compared to a World Cup gathering of a million people.”

“I have already brought back a few Muslims through USA. In the eyes of God it is a big deal even if I bring back one Muslim. Man can criticise me but God is happy, and I am working for the pleasure of God, not the pleasure of man.”


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