Claims that a Muslim cleric is an ex-Episcopal priest are lies, bishops declare

 

Claims that a Muslim cleric is an ex-Episcopal priest are lies, bishops declare

Author: 

George Conger

The Archbishop of South East Asia and the Bishops of Malaysia have asked the Malaysian government to investigate claims made by a Muslim preacher that he is a former priest of the Episcopal Church. In a joint statement issued last week the Most Rev. Ng Moon Hing, Archbishop of South East Asia and Bishop of West Malaysia, the Rt. Rev. Melter Tais, Bishop of Sabah, and the Rt. Rev. Bolly Lapok, Bishop of Kuching called upon “the relevant authorities to investigate this matter thoroughly in order to prevent the perpetration of such forms of fraud on unsuspecting members of the public.” At a series of Muslim revival meetings and rallies, Ustaz Ayub Abdul Rahman has claimed that he was once a priest of the Episcopal Church of the USA and served at St Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church in Wiesbaden Germany under the name of the Rev. Anthony Perumal Samy Viagulam. However, the records of the Episcopal Church and the Church of England record no such person by that name ever having been ordained, while the American parish near the US Army base in Wiesbaden has never employed any but American clergy at the church. The Malaysian bishops said: “While freedom of religion (including the freedom to change one’s religion) and freedom of speech are fundamental liberties under our Federal Constitution and ought to be respected, we reject the use of misrepresentation or deception in attributing to a speaker in such religious forums any semblance of authority and experience that he fraudulently claims and does not actually have. It also tarnishes the good name of the very religion in whose name he seeks to speak.  Such actions are mischievous and harmful in a multi-religious society,” the statement said. The Sabah Islamic Religious Affairs Department have removed Rahman’s name from the list of speakers at a forthcoming rally while they investigate the church’s claims.

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