Azril: Why I said Christian evangelicalism should be banned

Asila Jalil

Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy CEO Azril Mohd Amin (right) says the nation needs anti-evangelicalism laws his call to ban Christian evangelism is prompted by conversion of Muslims. – Twitter pic, June 21, 2017.

THE man, who sparked a controversy by calling for a ban on evangelicalism, said the proposal was prompted by the high number of Muslims leaving the faith for Christianity.  

Azril Mohd Amin, the CEO of the Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy (Centhra), said there were some 400 conversion cases before the shariah courts and if the trend continued, it could have an impact on the country’s security.

But he said that he will not push the issue any further because of the criticism his views attracted.

Azril also told The Malaysian Insight: “We have been receiving hundreds of complaints regarding this matter.

“Is this not a cause for us to worry about?”

He said the proposal was not aimed at ridiculing Christians but he was only expressing his concerns at the high number of Muslims converting out of Islam.

“This is about national security, it is not about me against Christianity,” Azril told The Malaysian Insight, pointing out that Islam is the religion of the federation.

He said his concern was expressed within the context of Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution, which says that every person has the right to propagate but the state can restrict the propagation of religions to Muslims.

“Of course, all citizens have the right to freedom of religion but we have limitations as it is clearly stated you cannot preach other religions, other than Islam, towards Muslims.

“It is because of that concern, that I called for a ban on Christian evangelicalism.”

Azril came under attack after he wrote an article published in Utusan Online last week calling for the banning of Christian evangelicalism.

In the article, he also supported the move to ban the Jerusalem Jubilee, a Christian meet, which was supposed to be held in Malacca earlier this month. Azril said the Christian evangelical movement threatened religious harmony in Malaysia.

The banning of Jerusalem Jubilee was ordered by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who said it would upset the sensitivities of Muslims during Ramadan.

But the organisers of the meet said the event was a prayer gathering for Christians from Malaysia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Azril said he is not going to push his call to ban Christian evangelicalism, as the proposal was criticised by many, including Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed, who said the proposal was counterproductive. 

Instead, Nur Jazlan said dialogues should be held to end interfaith suspicions.

“The idea has been shot down. I am not going to push for it.”

The proposal also came under fire from Christian groups with the Sabah Council of Churches urging the authorities to investigate Azril under the Sedition Act for “seriously threatening religious harmony in the country”. 

Azril said: “In the context of the law, it is unfair to accuse me of being seditious.” – June 21, 2017.

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  • Perhaps he should explain some details about the 400 wanting to opt out. For instance, how many were originally non Muslims but converted on account of marriage to a Muslim spouse.

    Posted 6 years ago by Watchdog Watchdog · Reply

  • If you don't want people of your religion to leave your religion, then you shouldn't accept people of other religion who leave their religion.

    If you accept people of other religion to leave your religion, then you shouldn't bar people of your own religion to leave for other religion.

    You can't have your cake and eat it too.

    Posted 6 years ago by Nehru Sathiamoorthy · Reply

  • You have to look within yourself and not blame others on why Muslims are leaving Islam. Could it be that they find Islam inconsistent with science, logics, human rights and ethics.... and are realising that Islam is not the way to God but to ignorance, poverty and wars and violence ?

    Posted 6 years ago by 2016 Lalor · Reply

  • Evangelism is all about brainwashing. The evangelicals are experts in this. The same brainwashing goes on in the madrasahs in Pakistan which turn out cannon fodder for the killing fields in the Middle East. These madrasahs are funded by Saudi Arabia who are killing the youth of Pakistan.

    Posted 6 years ago by Joe Fernandez · Reply