Worse Than Grave Robbers

Horrors! The Body Snatchers Strike Again!

Everybody instinctively recoils with disgust at the thought of grave robbers desecrating graves in the hope of finding some precious items buried alongside the body of the deceased. Grave robbers are naturally punished should they be caught. Still, at least these grave robbers (or grave burglars,since they carry out the crime secretly) leave the dead bodies alone. How much more disgust we all should feel when Islamic officials arrogantly carry out their robbery of dead bodies in broad daylight.

Let’s not miss their real agenda. Such callous and insensitive acts are not carried out because these officials simply want to provide a free burial for some alleged converts to Islam. Their blatant action is actually a calculated act of projection of power. These officials simply want to impress people of other faiths that they are the real bosses in town.

By the same token, Islam is projected as the religion with the most power and therefore most truth (since power in their minds defines truth). Power and truth in turn confer legitimacy. Hence the repeated chant from these officials that non-Islamic religions cannot be accorded the same same rights in the public arena and that it should be made clear in public that there can be no parity between Islam and other religions in Malaysia. In turn, the elevation of Islam makes the religion more attractive to opportunists from other religions to convert to Islam for ulterior motives. The result – a steady assimilation of people of other faiths to Islam in the process of Islamization.

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June 25, 2008
M’sian family in new ‘body-snatching’ case
New Straits Times June 25, 2008

PENANG (Malaysia) – A NEW dispute over Islamic conversion has erupted in Malaysia, with the family of a Hindu man who committed suicide battling Islamic authorities over the rights to the body.
Religious authorities said Elangesvaran Benedict, who died Sunday, was a Muslim convert and should be buried according to the rites of the religion.

However, his brother Selvam said the family had no knowledge of the conversion and that Elangesvaran died as a practising Hindu. His body was being held at a hospital while the dispute is resolved.

The case is the latest in a series of allegations of ‘body-snatching’ by Islamic authorities, who have seized remains against the objections of non-Muslim family members.

Malaysia’s government has proposed new rules on converting to Islam, in a bid to prevent the wrangles that have split families and incited racial tensions in this multicultural country.

In the latest case, Mr Selvam has asked the Penang High Court to resolve the dispute over the conversion, which the authorities said took place in Penang.

‘As far as the family is concerned, Elangesvaran has never informed us of any intention to convert,’ he told reporters on Wednesday.

‘We are hoping to get this matter resolved as quickly as possible so that we can reclaim my brother’s body and bury him according to Hindu rites,’ he said.

Mr Selvam said that after a report of his brother’s death was lodged with police, the family was informed they could not claim the body since he was a convert and would be buried according to Muslim rites.

He said the family was only given a scribbled note allegedly written by Elangesvaran about his conversion,but it did not bear any signature or thumbprint of the deceased or any witnesses. — AFP

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Jobless man challenges dead kin’s alleged conversion
The Star Thursday, 26 June 2008

GEORGE TOWN: An unemployed man has filed a summons at a High Court here challenging the conversion of his deceased stepbrother to Islam.

S. Selvam, 48, a former mee goreng seller, filed the summons at the High Court registry here yesterday, naming the state Islamic Religious Affairs Department, the Perak Islamic Religious Department and the Parit Buntar Hospital director as defendants.

He is seeking a declaration that B. Elangesvaran, 34, was a Hindu. Elangesvaran allegedly committed suicide four days ago.

He is asking the court for an injunction to restrain the defendants, their workers or agents, from claiming Elangesvaran’s body.

Selvam also wants an injunction to stop the first and second defendants from interfering with the release of the deceased’s body to him to perform Hindu funeral rites.

In his statement of claim, Selvam said Elangesvaran had committed suicide by hanging himself at a house in Bagan Serai, Perak on June 22.

He claimed that after the post-mortem, a hospital staff informed the deceased’s family that the body could not be released to them as the deceased had converted to Islam.

Selvam said he contacted the Perak Islamic Religious Department for confirmation and proof of his brother’s conversion but the department had failed to provide him with any official documents with the deceased’s signature or thumbprint as proof of his conversion.

“I was only served with a police report alleging that my brother had embraced Islam at the Penang Islamic Religious Deparment in Lebuh Pantai and a letter with some scribbling allegedly done by Elangesvaran that he had converted.

“The letter, however, did not contain my brother’s signature or thumbprint or the signatures of any witnesses to indicate he had embraced Islam as required under the tenets of Islam,” he said.

Selvam claimed that since the religious authorities could not provide him with the necessary documents to show that Elangesvaran had legally and rightfully embraced Islam, the defendants had no right to claim his brother’s body, which is currently being kept at the Parit Buntar Hospital mortuary.

He is also seeking damages, costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

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