Two Malaysian Catholics have lodged a police report against the Al Islam magazine over an article in which a Muslim journalist took the holy communion at a Kuala Lumpur parish before taking the wafer from his mouth and photographing it.
Joachim Francis Xavier and Sundhagaran Stanley, from Penang, are asking Catholics to make individual police reports and to express dissatisfaction with the magazine's publisher through telephone calls or faxes, The Nutgraph reports.
"We are resolved not to allow anger to guide our actions and instead pray that these ignorant will be forgiven by Allah," they said.
The two lodged a police report on July8 2009 at the Patani Road police station in Penang over the article "Tinjauan Al Islam Dalam Gereja: Mencari Kesahihan Remaja Murtad" ("Al Islam Investigation in Churches: Seeking Proof of Teen Apostates") which was published in the May 2009 issue of Al Islam. The magazine is published by Utusan Karya Sdn Bhd.
In the article, the Muslim journalist, accompanied by another person, went to two Catholic churches in Kuala Lumpur on an investigative mission to find out if allegations that young Muslims were being converted to Christianity were true, The Nutgraph says.
The journalist, whose byline in the article was Muhd Ridhwan Abdul Jalil, described the holy communion ritual as "upacara makan roti putih" ("white bread eating ceremony") and wrote about how he was given the wafer by the priest. The article also carried a photograph of the wafer with a caption that identified it as the wafer that was placed in his mouth.
Xavier and Stanley in a press statement said they were "outraged that these Muslim men consumed it (the communion) only to spit it out later, have it photographed, and have its image published."
The two Catholics said it was "total disrespect" for what Catholics regard as sacred. "It strikes deeps into our hearts and invokes much anger," they said. Catholics believe that the wafer is the actual flesh of Christ who, according to doctrine, died to remove the sins of people.
Police told The Sun newspaper they were "interviewing witnesses", but have not called in the journalist for questioning.
The report cites Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, in whose diocese the Al Islam magazine journalist said he attended Mass, saying the matter should be left to the police.
Catholics lodge report against Al Islam (The Nutgraph)
Muslim men spying in Catholic parishes (Malaysia Today)
Police probe Al-Islam over report offensive to Catholics (The Sun)