Teen Allegedly Told By Teacher To Join Islam If He Wants A Spot In National Football Team

The 15-year-old boy was told that only Muslims are allowed to enter stadiums in Malaysia and therefore, was encouraged to convert to Islam.

Cover image via Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

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A teacher has been accused of telling his 15-year-old student to convert to Islam if he would like a spot in the national football team

According to Malaysiakini, the boy's mother, who only wished to be known as Vasan, was first informed of the incident last week, 3 February, when her son showed her messages that were exchanged in a WhatsApp group created by his teacher.

The teacher had allegedly encouraged the teenager to become a Muslim and rallied the other students in the messaging group to suggest Islamic names for him.

"When I looked through the messages, I noticed that the teacher told my son that if he wanted to join the national team, he had to be a Muslim," Vasan told reporters during a press conference that was held in Petaling Jaya yesterday, 8 February.

"What baffled me the most was that the teacher said that only Muslims are allowed to enter stadiums in Malaysia."

The teacher was reportedly actively preaching about the religion to Vasan's son for the past six months.

Hindu Agamam Ani Malaysia Association chairperson Arun Dorasamy holding up printed copies of the WhatsApp conversations.

Image via Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

The teenager's parents have since lodged a police report against the teacher

However, the Form Three student was reportedly worried that his parents filing a police report may affect his grades at school and potentially get him removed from his school's football team.

In support of the parents' decision to launch an investigation pertaining the case is Hindu Agamam Ani Malaysia Association chairperson Arun Dorasamy.

Arun made a statement to the press saying that since the boy was a minor, attempts to convert him to another religion without the consent of his guardians is unconstitutional and illegal.

"I don't know what the teacher's intentions were but whatever it was, whatever he has said or done to the student, was against Article 11 of the Federal Constitution (which guarantees freedom of religion)," Arun was quoted saying.

Previous attempts by the teenager's parents to call the teacher about the messages have been unsuccessful as he has blocked their numbers.

Arun (middle) speaking at the press conference alongside the parents of the teenager.

Image via Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

Cheras police chief ACP Zam Halim Jamaluddin confirmed that investigations are underway and statements from witnesses are currently being taken

"An investigation was opened under Section 298A of the Penal Code for causing disharmony using religious sentiments and Section 505(b) of the Penal Code for causing panic and fear to the public," Zam said in a statement.

He has advised the public to refrain from making unfounded claims and to contact authorities if they have any information concerning the case.

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