I suppose that Malaysians already heard the news about few attacks on churches last few hours. It is suprsing indeed for such act, especially there case of “Allah”‘s name usage is still in proceeding… or is it not?
A commentator dropped by and gave me the news this morning. The news report from AFP is as follows:
A fire department official said all stations were on alert for more blazes at religious buildings, ahead of planned nationwide protests Friday by Muslim groups angry over the use of the word as a translation for “God” by Christians.
The three-storey Metro Tabernacle church in suburban Kuala Lumpur, part of the Assemblies of God movement, was set ablaze in the attack which took place around midnight, said church leader Peter Yeow, 62.
“Witnesses saw four people smash the glass and throw incendiaries into the church building. They came on two motorcycles,” he told AFP at the scene as fire department forensic officers picked through the wreckage.
There were no casualties in the attack on the church, which occupies the corner lot of a row of shop houses and which Yeow said draws some 1,500 people weekly.
“The fire destroyed the administrative part of the church. We do not know if the prayer hall on the third floor suffered any damage,” he said, warning all other churches to “double their guard” against any attacks.
Anuar Harun, who headed the fire department operation, said that forensic experts were working with the police and a canine unit to probe the blaze.
“We are investigating the cause of fire. We cannot provide any more details. It is a sensitive issue,” he said when asked if it was a case of arson.
“We have asked all our fire stations to be on alert for such fires on religious premises,” he told AFP.
The High Court last week ruled in favour of the Catholic “Herald” newspaper which has used “Allah” as a translation for “God” in its Malay-language section. The government has said the word should be used only by Muslims.
The ruling was suspended on Wednesday pending an appeal, after the government argued the decision could cause racial conflict in multicultural Malaysia, where Muslim Malays make up 60 percent of the population.
The security guard at the Metro Tabernacle church, 65-year-old V. Mariappan, said he had just walked away from the main entrance of the building to use the bathroom when the building erupted in flames.
“When I came back, there was a huge fire inside the church building. There was a few loud explosions like bombs exploding,” he said, adding he saw two motorcycle helmets lying on the road in flames.
The Herald’s editor Father Lawrence Andrew has warned of a campaign of intimidation including hacker attacks against the weekly’s website, protest plans and widespread criticism in the media over last week’s ruling.
“We believe these actions (are designed) to create a climate of fear and a perceived threat to national security so as to pressure the court in reversing its decision,” he said this week.
Religion and language are sensitive issues in multiracial Malaysia, which experienced deadly race riots in 1969.
The row over the use of “Allah” is among a string of religious disputes that have erupted in recent years, straining relations between Malays and minority ethnic Chinese and Indians who fear the country is being “Islamised.”
Malaysia’s population includes indigenous tribes as well as the large ethnic Chinese and Indian communities — practising Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism, among others.
More than half of Malaysia’s Catholics are from indigenous groups, most of whom live on the Borneo island states and who mainly speak Malay.
As highlighted in the comment, there are some excerpts from the report that disturbed me. I stated that:
“When I came back, there was a huge fire inside the church building. There was a few loud explosions like bombs exploding,” but just ““The fire destroyed the administrative part of the church. We do not know if the prayer hall on the third floor suffered any damage,”.. Explosions but just certain part was destroyed???
Interesting… sounded like a Hollywood movie report here… How come, if the fire was huge just destroying admin part only? If it is three story, corner lot.. surely it should bring far more damage?
And any evidence that shows that this is done by muslims? Or this is only a plot to sensationalize the issue? As I just don’t feel right about the news report… very theatrical indeed..
I cannot help but to think that this is a conspiracy and a provocation from chaos initiator. Why? Simple.. It has been made known in the net and across the country that there will be some rallies today to show displeasure and some efforts to collect petitions disagreeing with the High Court’s decision made on the last day of 2009. Even at some mosques/”masjid”s, the khutbah on this issue is delivered, like what was given at Masjid Negeri Shah Alam. Efforts to collect signings were done peacefully (except for a rally done at the the main gate of Masjid Negeri.. which sounds apolitical to me.. “nasib ko le Khalid Samad”).
So, why need to be hasty when there are efforts from muslims NGOs collecting signing for petitions, which were done beyond political agenda (because I do not know if religious organisation like Majlis Agama Islam Selangor is political too.. after all, Selangor is under admin of Pakatan.. and Pakatan agree with decision of allowing the usage of “Allah” by other religion)? Clearly, it contradicts with more conducive effort to show disagreement.
On the other hand, if really it is true done by those who are mad with the decision, should it be a suprise? The decision clearly ignores the sentiment of majority muslims in Malaysia. And by some who arrogantly saying why should muslims worry because “as long as I know Allah is one and it is your fault not to study Islam well”, should not this show us what “those stupid muslims” are capable of doing of when you just taking care of your own ass?
Muslims should be taking care of each other, not leaving others in the dark. IF THIS INCIDENT WAS DONE BY MUSLIMS, somehow, this is what you get for taking care of your own iman and ass and leave other muslims in the dark!!! What happened to “Sampaikanlah walaupun sepotong ayat”?
Whatever it is, either it was done by non-muslims or muslims, such act is not agreeable. I support to condemn the act.
DON’T TAKE ACTIONS INTO YOUR OWN HANDS!!!
To Malaysian Muslims: Think before you act. Don’t be driven by your anger.
“Sesungguhnya jihad yang paling utama adalah melawan hawa nafsu”
Discussion on the street: Who are the provocateurs?