PETALING JAYA: The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) and the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) are refusing to return the bibles seized from Bible Society of Malaysia's (BSM) office on Jan 2.
In a statement on Saturday, Mais said that the Selangor state government did not have the right to order the return of items confiscated in the course of an investigation. As such, both the council and Jais would not abide by the instruction, the statement said.
Earlier on Saturday, Mais had made a statement insisting that action be taken against the BSM for distributing Malay and Iban language bibles, maintaining that the faith of Muslims would be confused otherwise.
In the statement following a special meeting held Friday, Mais chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said they believed there was a case against the society under the Non-Islamic Religion (Selangor) Enactment 1988.
"The excuse made by Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail not to charge BSM with distributing those Bibles and the copies by saying it was not a threat to national security would only confuse faith of Muslims," he said in the statement.
He also said the state government had no standing to instruct the Jais to return the 321 bibles seized from BSM's office on Jan 2.
"Mais does not agree with the state government, which instructed Jais to return the bibles to BSM. We believe it is not within their discretion to make such an instruction," said Mohamad Adzib.
Mais' statement came three days after the A-G declared that there was no case against BSM.
Following the A-G's statement, the state government ordered its religious authority to return the seized bibles to BSM.
It was also reported that Jais had intended to abide with the state government's instructions to return the bibles.
However, Muhammad Adzib insisted that as religious authorities in the state, both Mais and Jais were responsible for protecting the sanctity of Islam, especially in Selangor.
"We are very concerned at any attempt to tarnish the sanctity of Islam by misusing Quranic terms or names, a move we believe could be used for proselytisation," he said.
He said Mais also urged the state Deputy Public Prosecutor to get a court order for the disposal of the seized material as provided for under Section 407A of the Criminal Procedure Code.