We appeal the Malaysian Government to reign in this immediately.
The 2nd Caliph had set and example of defending places of worship and Prophet Muhammad assured every one of his community freedom of religion. This is anti-Islamic activity and must be stopped at once. - Mike Ghouse
Ninth Church Vandalized in Malaysia as Tensions Rise
BANGKOK — A ninth church was vandalized Monday in Malaysia in a series of arson attacks that have raised religious tensions surrounding a dispute over the use of the word “Allah” by Christians in this mostly Muslim nation.
“Allah” is the common term for God in Malay-language Bibles, but the government and many Muslim groups insist that the word should be reserved for use in Islam.
The attacks, which began on Friday, came after a court ruling on Dec. 31 that overturned a government ban on the use of “Allah” by Christians. That ruling has been stayed while the government appeals.
Only one of the churches has been seriously damaged, and some of the attacks were minor. In Monday’s attack, the Sidang Injil Borneo Church in the central state of Negeri Sembilan was slightly damaged when its door was burned, according to local reports.
Government officials condemned the violence Monday but defended their position, saying conditions are different in Malaysia from those in neighboring Indonesia or in Arab nations where “Allah” is the common term for God.
“These outrageous incidents are acts of extremism and designed to weaken our diverse communities’ shared commitment to strengthen racial unity,” The Home Ministry secretary, Gen. Mahmood Adam, told reporters after briefing foreign diplomats on the situation.
“They don’t understand the situation here,” he said of the diplomats. “They just want to know why it can be allowed in other countries and not here.”
He said he told them: “Be fair, you have to compare apples to apples, oranges to oranges. Our landscape is different from other countries. Malays here are different from other countries. The landscape here is different from Indonesia so we can’t compare.”
The violence has strained relations among Malays, who are mostly Muslim and who make up 60 percent of the population, and the Chinese and Indian minorities, who are Christian, Hindu and Buddhist.
Indonesia is less divided, with Muslims making up 90 percent of its population of 240 million.
Some Muslims in Malaysia say they fear that Christians are trying to win converts by using the word “Allah.” They say Muslim believers could be confused by the use.
On her blog last week, Marina Mahathir, a commentator and columnist, disparaged this view as a “copyright issue.”
She said a confident Muslim “will not walk into a church, hear a liturgy in Malay or Arabic where they use the word ‘Allah’ and then think that he or she is in a mosque.”
Business leaders have voiced concern that further attacks could threaten trade and investment.
The tourism minister, Ng Yen Yen, said foreign visitors could be frightened away, although the ministry had not received any information on the effects so far.
“This is the communication era, so information travels fast,” she said. “Tourists will choose not to visit a country faced with conflicts, especially religious conflicts.”
In a sign of the country’s racial and religious complexity, a leading Hindu organization said it would hold a candlelight vigil at a church in solidarity with the Christian minority.
Church officials urged their parishioners not to participate in the vigil.
“It sends the wrong message as if the non-Muslims are going against the Muslims,” Father Phillips Muthu of Assumption Church told Malaysiakini.com, an independent online news service.
SUCCESSFUL NAATIA MUSHAERA ON 2.21.14
45 PICTURES AT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeghouse/sets/72157641382648224/
August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas
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Mirza A Beg
PLANNED MUSLIMS RESPONSE TO QUR'AN BURNING BY PASTOR JONES ON 9/11/13 IN MULBERRY, FLORIDA
We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.
Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”
God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.
We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration (www.UnitydayUSA.com) held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.
Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.
As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.
We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.
We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.
We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.
Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.
Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.
We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.
The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.