Compared to P.Gunasegaram's article on the caning of three Muslim women who committed illicit sex, the action by two Al-Islam journalists was far worse and a real insult to a religion.
The journalists who had pretended to be Christians and took part in a Catholic Mass to probe allegations that Muslims were being converted.
In their article, the two admitted to receiving Holy Communion — which is in the form of bread which Catholics believe changes to the body of Jesus Christ through the rite. They said they subsequently spat it out in what Catholics consider an act of desecration.
P.Gunasegaram was merely speaking the obvious. He stated that women are exempted from caning under the civil law and Islamic law must comply with the exemption. The punishment meted does give a perception that Islam practiced in Malaysia is medieval and punitive. Unfortunately, this is not the real face of Islam.
Unsurprising, several Muslim organisations e.g. Mais, National Indigenous Organisation (Perkasa), Perkasa Selangor, Malaysian Islamic Consumer Association (PPIM) and Malaysian Muslim People's Coalition (IRIMM).
Meanwhile, senior Home Ministry official Abdul Razak Abdul Latif as saying that the ministry had found the article published in The Star may threaten "public order".
According to Abdul Razak, the newspaper has been given 14 days to offer an apology and explanation before the ministry decides whether it will take any action.
He added that the printed apology, which was published by The Star the day after the article appeared, was not enough to settle the matter.
These Muslim NGOs and Abdul Razak should try to answer a simple question; which is more supreme, the syariah law or the civil law? If the answer is the former, then these organisations and Abdul Razak may have committed a contempt against the federal constitution. This will put a serious doubt over their loyalty and to the secular federal constitution and democracy in Malaysia.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said the Attorney General’s decision to let two Al-Islam magazine journalists off the hook for allegedly desecrating Catholic Communion hosts should not matter so long as the magazine has “learned its lesson from this episode.”
Similarly, The Star has published an apology over the article. If action is still taken against P.Gunasegaram or the paper, we want to know why an action is not taken against the two journalists who had committed a more serious offence.
In a democratic country, P.Gunasegaram had merely state his view and he did so without harming anyone. Many of us held the same view on this matter.
UMNO is not the law. UMNO politicians have been interpreting what the law can or cannot do at their own whims and fancies. This is the main threat to Najib's 1Malaysia.
The most important tenet of 1Malaysia is the rule of law.