Malaysia

Activist clarifies photo of ‘Muslim apostates in church’ taken at Islamic centre

The photo on the left was used by the blogs alleging it was taken in a church, which is in fact the ISTAC hall in Bukit Tunku. - Pic courtesy of www.renchung.com, March 1, 2014.The photo on the left was used by the blogs alleging it was taken in a church, which is in fact the ISTAC hall in Bukit Tunku. - Pic courtesy of www.renchung.com, March 1, 2014.A rights group advocate has earned notoriety when a picture of him supposedly in a church where Muslims were said to have just been baptized surfaced on the internet.

Women's Aid Organisation advocacy officer Yu Ren Chung said he was shocked when his schoolmate alerted him of the picture, which were in fact taken when he attended a forum by the National Population and Family Development Board at the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilisation (Istac) office in Bukit Tunku.

"Recently, two years after I attended the forum, my friend alerted me that there were allegations being spread on certain blogs and forums in Indonesia that many Muslims in Malaysia were murtad (apostate)," Yu said in his blog posting yesterday.

He added that the blog posts carried a picture of him, with his friends and others who attended the forum on February 29, 2012.

According to Yu, the blog postings also implied that the pictures were taken right after Muslims were "baptised" in a church, with some pinning the blame on opposition parties DAP and PAS.

"I was shocked to read the allegations, ISTAC had become a church," Yu wrote.

He also felt sorry for the government officers who had attended the forum, saying that they were labelled as apostates.

Yu also said that following some checks he had carried out, he found that the allegations were not first spread by blogs in Indonesia as initially thought, but by a blog in Kedah, given the earliest posting of the "news" and the related url address. – March 1, 2014.

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