In recent months, there has been an increase in the level hostility to non-Muslims living in Malaysia. Several incidents have occurred such as a mob gathering in front of a Church after hearing rumours spread by a top Muslim cleric, cemeteries being desecrated, the bodies of non-Muslims who were suspected to be Muslim snatched from their families upon death for a Muslim burial. Taoist temples being demolished, people being fined for dressing 'indecently'.
These are nothing new. The Church of the Divine Mercy in Shah Alam took 30 years (1977-2005) to complete after the state government moved the site multiple times citing the complaints of Muslims (they don't seem to realize that blaring loudspeakers 5 times a days starting at the crack of dawn is a major nuisance). The moves occurred after foundations were poured costing the Church a lot of money. Despite the design being scaled down, the belfry scaled down and finally omitted and the Church toned down to look nothing like a Church(click on the link to check out the photos), it still took that long. The Church, which is very vibrant, under the leadership of a dynamic parish priest, now looks like a factory from the outside, square and whitewashed, sits in the middle of an industrial zone with a Kentucky Fried Chicken packing plant as its neighbour.
Then there's the celebrated case of Lina Joy who converted to the Catholic Church and is asking the courts for a legal redress of her situation. This has been dragging on for years too, with Lina receiving death threats and the parish priest who baptized her no longer in the country.
All of these incidents were reported on this blog. Here's another incident.
|Malaysian family split by faith|
Several other news items related to this case can be found here;
From the International Herald Tribune :Malaysia's Islamic court extends detention of Muslim-born woman living as Hindu
From the Al-Jazeera English site.