Muslim groups in Malaysia are offering their help to prevent any further attacks on Christian places of worship amid a spree of attacks on churches in the multi-ethnic, Muslim-majority Asian country, The Star reported on Sunday, January 10. “This is an offer of peace and goodwill,” Nadzim Johan, the executive secretary of the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM), told a news conference.
“We dont want our Christian brothers to be in danger.”
PPIM is one of 130 Muslim NGOs that vowed to become the “eyes and ears” of the government to shield churches against attacks.
Seven churches have been fire-bombed or vandalized since Friday in an escalating row over a court ruling allowing Christians to use the word “Allah” as a translation for God in their publications.
The High Court overturned two weeks ago a government ban on the use of the word “Allah,” stirring protests by many Malay Muslims.
The NGOs would be offer volunteers who would be on the look out for any suspicious behaviors and alert the authorities.
“What is important that these people know that they are watched,” insisted Nadzim.
“This has got to stop.”
Anwar Ibrahim’s January 10, 2010 Statement on Church Bombings
The initiative would begin in the capital Kuala Lumpur and the state of Selangor, but could be expanded to other states with the help of more NGOs.
Christians make up around 9.1 percent of the population in Muslim-majority Malaysia, including a Catholic population of nearly 800,000.
Seeking to quell the tensions, the government will be sponsoring an interfaith dialogue, reported the Malaysian Insider. [more]