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Christians Must not React to Mysterious Jesus Banners Outside Penang Churches (UPDATED)

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. spnadmin

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    Christians must not react to mysterious Jesus banners outside Penang churches, priest says

    BY LOOI SUE-CHERN

    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/...ysterious-jesus-banners-outside-penang-church


    The controversial banner which was put up outside a few churches of different denominations in Penang today. - Pic courtesy of anilnetto.com, January 26, 2014.The controversial banner which was put up outside a few churches of different denominations in Penang today. - Pic courtesy of anilnetto.com, January 26, 2014.A Catholic priest has advised Christians not to react to a number of banners which read "Allah is Great, Jesus is the son of Allah" that appeared outside churches in Penang to prevent religious tension from rising.

    The banners were hung outside the Victory Lutheran Church, St John Britto Catholic Church, The Church of the Immaculate Conception and the Church of the Assumption on the island and the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Butterworth on the mainland.

    Nobody claims to know who is behind the banners.

    Father Victor Louis from the Church of the Nativity has denied that the church was responsible for it.

    "There is no point reacting to this. We also do not want to play up this issue," he said.

    Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng tweeted about it, saying that the banners were intended to increase tensions between Muslims and Christians.

    He said several churches were upset that unknown parties had put up the banners and one of them had lodged a police report.

    He also tweeted that he had spoken to the state police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi about the matter and was told that there will be more police patrols around churches.

    It is learnt that Penang Umno Youth and the Jelutong Umno division have lodged police reports on the matter this evening.

    Northeast district police chief assistant commissioner Gan Kong Meng said the matter is being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948.

    State Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman also declined to address the matter as police reports have been lodged, but condemned the "irresponsible act".

    "We do not wish to comment further. Let the police investigate thorougly and take stern action on the culprits.

    "We suspect those mischief makers are trying to stroke racial and religious tension in the country," he said.

    Tensions between Muslims and Christians have been on a high since 2009, when the Home Ministry tried to ban Catholic weekly Herald from using the word Allah in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

    The Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed Herald usage but the decision was overturned last year in October by the Court of Appeal.

    As the Herald is seeking to overturn the decision, non-Muslims are also finding more Arabic words prohibited to them.

    In Selangor, 25 words, including "Allah", are banned to non-Muslims under the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment.

    In Penang, the state mufti decreed in 2004 that 40 words including "Allah", "masjid", "surau" and "haji" cannot be used by non-Muslims. The ban on the words, enforced in 2010, are provided under sub section 48 (3) and (4) of the Penang Islamic Religious Administration Enactment 2004 as exclusive to Muslims.

    Earlier this month, the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) seized 320 copies of Malay and Iban Bibles from the Bible Society of Malaysia. – January 26, 2014.
     

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  3. spnadmin

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    Malaysia no longer land of peace and tolerance, says Pakistan website


    http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/...-of-peace-and-tolerance-says-pakistan-website

    BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH
    January 28, 2014

    The Molotov cocktail attack on a church in Penang was widely reported by the international media. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 28, 2014.The Molotov cocktail attack on a church in Penang was widely reported by the international media. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 28, 2014.Malaysia's global image as a moderate and progressive Muslim country is being tarnished by increasing racial and religious intolerance, and more recently, the attack on a church in Penang, a Pakistan online news website reported today.

    Despite the millions of ringgit spent by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to promote this moderate image through his anti-extremist Global Movement of Moderates, the Allah row and incidents stemming from it show that this may not be the case anymore, Pakistan Today said.

    The writer, Masood Khan, said for the rest of the Muslim world, Malaysia used to be an "island of peace and tolerance".

    "Sadly, it’s no more as an evil eye has cast its bad shadow on a moderate and progressive country," he wrote.

    Warning that Malaysia could end up like Pakistan should religious intolerance continue to escalate as seen in the past few weeks, Masood said: "Regardless of any falsified justification, it’s a regrettable action and shall be condemned. Malaysians shall learn from Pakistan what successive governments over there gained by pitching various religious and sectarian groups against each other.

    "Such narrow-mindedness created monsters of ignorance and death. Today, no one in Pakistan knows how to put this controlled genie back in the bottle," he said.

    Masood's comments came following the firebombing of a church in Penang early yesterday morning when two Molotov cocktails were thrown into the compound of the Church of the Assumption in Lebuh Farquhar.

    Tension had already heightened in Penang when banners bearing the words "Allah is Great, Jesus is the son of Allah" were found on Sunday outside five churches – the Victory Lutheran Church, St John Britto Catholic Church, The Church of the Immaculate Conception and the Church of the Assumption on the island and the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Butterworth.

    Najib ended his long silence over the Allah row on Friday to say that the 10-point solution still stands in Sabah and Sarawak but in the peninsula, it was subjected to the respective state enactments. His comments drew more criticisms.

    Before the Sarawak state election in 2011, the Najib administration crafted a 10-point solution, which among others, allowed for the import and use of Bibles in all languages.

    "I really felt sad about Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak's statement in which he supported the court's judgment banning non-Muslims (read Malaysian Christians) from using the word Allah in the Bible text and in church services," Masood said.

    "What do you call this – the authorities' attempt to distract Malay Muslims, who constitute 60% of the population, from subsidy cuts and rising cost of living, or it’s a simple case of narrow-mindedness to put various religious groups against each other to perpetuate the grip over power," he added.

    Monday's church attack was reported by the international media including Washington Post, BBC and International Business Times.

    This comes about a month before the Catholic Church's leave application to the Federal Court to appeal the Court of Appeal ruling which last October overturned a High Court decision allowing Catholic weekly, Herald, to use the word Allah. – January 28, 2014.
     
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