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January 12, 2010
Churches set ablaze as religious strife rages in Malaysia

Since Friday, tensions between Muslims and Christians have escalated with attacks on nine Christan churches.

The attacks were apparently triggered by a recent court decision that lifted a ban on the use of “Allah” for God in a Catholic newspaper.

The ruling had also permitted the use of “Allah” in the Bible. The government argues that “Allah” is only for Muslims and says it will appeal the ruling.

Jamie Metzl, executive vice president of the Asia Society, speaks to Daljit Dhaliwal about the rising religious tensions in Malaysia. They discuss Malaysia’s ethnic mix and how the conflict might be resolved.

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5 comments

#5

I would like to quote “Al” from the post of 01/12/2010 :: 07:40:36 PM – “I believe that the Christians of Malaysia do not need to use the word “Allah” to describe “God” in their own texts. There are plenty of other words from Christian history to chose from to account for “God.”

The reason why they want to use Allah in text is for the local Malaysian language, which is the Bahasa Malaysia (BM), Christians of Malaysia reach out to what we called the “Orang Asli”, which are the origin people of Malaysia, which only speaks this langauge of (BM). Therefore a Bible with BM text is required and the most reasonable word to use is “Allah”. Because “Allah” means “God”. It says that “Allah” is used by Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews, in reference to “God”. Referenced from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allah

#4

If WE could All have a glimps at GOD looking down from Heaven and seeing Earth and see his chilren
that HE made from dust & breath the breath of life in to.. US ALL !
WE CRY GOD THIS ….WHY THAT ???
TOLERANT’S IS …BUT GONE OUT THE WINDOW !!!
I’m sure GOD must cry a tear at us now & then ! Just be a LIGHT in this dark-world.
KNOW THIS GOD IS THE ALPHA & OMEGA..HE’S IS IN CHARGE OF US ALL !!

#3

I would think that those of the Muslim faith would feel that Allah heard his name being said by a Christian that he would answer the prayers of the Christian before that of a Muslim. I wonder how many Mosques have gone up in smoke this week, month, or even last year? It might only prove to Allah and the rest of the world that his fellowers are not worthy of entering a Mosque in the first place or worthy to even bow or mention the name of the Prophet or Allah. Would I be wrong to say that possible that Satan has now aquired some new converts by those who burn Christian Churches. Maybe Allah should send another earthquark to that region to show his wrath on evil doers.

#2

First, let me say that no one should be attacked based on their religion, anywhere. The actual point of this controversy is being overlooked, however. The Muslims of Malaysia don’t want Christian associations to use the word “Allah” because they fear these groups, in using this word for their own religious texts (i.e. Bible), are in effect trying to confuse, lure, proselytize, and eventually convert Muslims to Christianity. There is a history of proselytization by Christian missionaries all over the world, and this is the sensitivity over the issue, right or wrong. In my own opinion, I believe that the Christians of Malaysia do not need to use the word “Allah” to describe “God” in their own texts. There are plenty of other words from Christian history to chose from to account for “God.”
Jamie Metzl completely misses the point in this interview, and unfortunately Daljit focused on the “what happened” (terribly unfortunate, and most likely very unpopular by the majority of Malaysians) instead of the “why did it happen.”

#1

Worldfocus usually does a good job of going to the source, but: I know a hundred Malaysian journalists, some of them a stone’s throw from the Worldfocus studio, who would better understand and explain the situation. I’m a Malaysian expat writer resident in the US, and I found this ‘expert’ interview under-informed, and the choice of ‘expert’ patronizing.

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