ASIA/MALAYSIA - Two Muslim prayer rooms attacked: police investigate
Johor (Agenzia Fides) - Despite the arrest of eight young men made yesterday by the Malaysian Police, Malaysia continues to suffer small episodes of vandalism against places of worship. Today, as Fides learned from sources in Malaysia, in the early hours of the night two Muslim "Surauas" - typical of traditional sites of prayer for Malaysians - were attacked in the town of Muar, in Johor, on the southern Malaysian peninsula. The police found that the windows of its rooms had been broken and part of the walls and gates were burned with kerosene.
According to investigators, the attacks could still be tied to the controversy about using the name "Allah," which since January 8 this year has seen the same kind of attacks against places of worship: a total of 11 Christian churches, a mosque, two Muslim Surauas and a Sikh temple. One of the churches, the Catholic Church of Saint Elizabeth, attacked by vandals on January 14, is located in Johor.
The political forces have condemned the vandalism. In particular, Lim Guan Eng, Secretary of the Malaysian Democratic Action Party (DAP) - the coalition that was in opposition - said that "these irresponsible attacks clearly seek to cause suspicion and tensions among ethnic and religious communities of the Malaysian society. We ask the government to investigate and punish those responsible, to preserve the harmony of the country."
Meanwhile, Christian leaders and Muslim leaders are spreading calls for dialogue and harmony in the country, deploring the violence that, as sources of Fides claim, "are likely to be isolated individuals, often zealous and imprudent youth." The Christian Churches have launched a campaign of prayer and fasting for peace, while they also have organized, in collaboration with Muslim organizations, conferences and meetings for reflection to promote mutual understanding. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 21/01/2010)
- 2013-05-06 ASIA/MALAYSIA - After the election, a plan of "national reconciliation"
- 2013-01-10 ASIA/MALAYSIA - The Churches: "We will exercise our constitutional right on the use of the name of Allah"
- 2012-11-06 ASIA/MALAYSIA - Religious leaders "no" to hudud: "Do not exploit religion for political reasons"
- 2012-06-26 ASIA/MALAYSIA - More than 5,000 Bibles released by the government for the Christian communities of Borneo
- 2012-06-26 ASIA/MALAYSIA - The Church: yes to a Commission for truth and reconciliation
- 2012-05-25 ASIA/MALAYSIA - Compensation and intimidation: the government asks for damages to the civil society movement
- 2012-04-28 ASIA/MALAYSIA - The " Malaysian Spring ": civil society take to the streets, Catholics are present
- 2012-03-05 ASIA/MALAYSIA - The Bible in Malay language celebrates 400 years, but the use of the word "Allah" remains a challenge
- 2012-03-05 ASIA/MALAYSIA - Christians: in education reform, space to English, the Bible, rights
- 2011-12-15 ASIA/MALAYSIA - Christmas carols in homes only "if authorized by the police" Christians protest