Friday, January 8, 2010

Churches Fire Bombed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald out of Australia:

Firebomb attacks on Malaysian churches
January 9, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Four Malaysian churches have been firebombed, with one left badly damaged, in an escalating dispute over the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims.

As Muslim groups held protests yesterday, police increased security around churches after one in Kuala Lumpur was set ablaze in a midnight attack that left its ground floor gutted. Three other churches were attacked hours later, with one sustaining minor damage, while the others were not damaged. No arrests have been made.

The Home Minister, Hishammuddin Hussein, appealed for calm amid the conflict over the use of Allah as a translation for God by Christians, and assured minorities in Malay-dominated Malaysia that ''they are safe''.

''I take the events that happened last night very seriously,'' he told a press conference. ''We want to assure the public that this was not a co-ordinated and well-planned action.

''Let's hope for the best in a few hours' time,'' he said before the protests that took place at two main mosques in the capital after yesterday's prayers.

Police said officers had been deployed to protect churches around the country and to monitor the protests, following the attacks and also phone threats against churches.

In Kuala Lumpur, young worshippers carried banners and vowed to defend Islam.
''We will not allow the word Allah to be inscribed in your churches,'' a speaker shouted into a loudspeaker at the Kampung Bahru mosque. About 50 people carried posters reading ''Heresy arises from words wrongly used'' and ''Allah is only for us''.

The High Court this month ruled in favour of a Catholic newspaper which used Allah as a translation for God. The Government has said the word should be used only by Muslims. The ruling was suspended on Wednesday pending an appeal.

''Islam is above all. Every citizen must respect that,'' said Ahmad Johari, who attended prayers at the National Mosque. ''I hope the court will understand the feeling of the majority Muslims of Malaysia. We can fight to the death over this issue.''

The rallies were held inside the mosque compounds after police banned protests on the streets. Participants dispersed peacefully afterwards.

Pribumi Perkasa, one of the groups organising the demonstrations, condemned the fire-bombings but warned that Malays were deeply concerned.

Agence France-Presse, Associated Press

You may be wondering why I'm reprinting that here. My father-in-law lives in Kuala Lumpur. We received an e-mail from him this morning:

We are having some big problems out here. They burned down four churches last night and are now going after cars with anything that looks Christian. This is a result of a court case where the judge ruled that it was OK to use Allah in print but the local Muslims did not agree and now are ripping the town apart.

Will give you update later when more is known.

If necessary I will evacuate to Penang or Singapore.


My father-in-law is not a Christian. He's been living in KL for around 12 years. He is also not an alarmist in any shape or form so the fact that he's mentioned evacuating has me concerned. I would appreciate any prayers on his behalf.

In addition to that, the reason for this situation itself is alarming.


Andy said...

CB, thank you for bringing this to our attention. The religion of peace strikes once again.

Your family in Kuala Lumpur will be in our prayers. As will you and your husband, as you must be quite on edge over this.

We truly have an enemy...

Susanne said...

I hope your FIL will be fine. How scary. :(

Anonymous said...

I hope you father-in-law is well.

Stuff like this disappoints me a lot, especially when Malaysia is meant to be one of the more liberal Muslim countries.

Arabs Christians and Jews have used the word Allah before Islam even existed - so what?

Trudy said...

I will pray for your father-in-law....I will pray that his mind will be changed toward the Lord.

Coffee Bean said...

Thank you for all your prayers... for my father-in-law's saftety and for him spiritually.

He is safe. His being a "heathen", as he puts it, has its advantages right now. Things have settled down... although a lot more churches were attacked before that happened. Tensions remain high.