PETALING JAYA, Oct 12 – Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia has apologised for running a fake news item about a Catholic priest who had converted to Islam that was taken from a parody website, World News Daily Report (WNDR). The Bahasa Malaysia daily’s online edition published a two paragraphs public apology stating that the story on Priest Eduardo Vincenzo Maria Gomez, from the island of Java in Indonesia, who had woken up from a 17-month long coma and converted himself to Islam was untrue.
“Utusan apologises for any difficulties and confusion which resulted from the news based on that website report,” it said. The URL link to the news story has since been taken down. WNDR had “reported” on October 10 that the priest converted to Islam after claiming that “Allah had spoken to him” and showed him “the beauty of the heavens”.
It said that the 87-year old priest from Spain has lived and preached on the island for more then 43 years and is fluent in Javanese and various dialects of the different ethnic groups of the island. He is also said to be a well-known and respected figure amongst all religious groups in the area. The article said the priest suffered a cardiac arrest while helping local volunteers and fell into a come after falling off a two-storey building.
The article also said that his conversion to Islam took most of his church followers by surprise, but since his conversion, half of his Christian followers had showed interest in converting to Islam. According to the website, WNDR is an American Jewish Zionist newspaper based in Tel Aviv and dedicated to covering biblical archaeology news and other mysteries around the Globe.
The news team comprises award winning Christian, Muslim and Jewish journalists, retired Mossad agents and veterans of the Israeli Armed Forces. It added a disclaimer that WNDR is a news and political satire web publication and all news articles contained are fictitious, and presumably fake news.