Friday, 8 January 2010

Rising Tensions in Malaysia

Tensions are rising in Malaysia particularly in KL when 4 churches were attacked as a protest. The controversy stems from a ban on a Catholic newspaper, The Herald, using the word 'Allah' in its Malay-language edition. The Kuala Lumpur High Court struck down the three-year old ban on non-Muslims using of the word 'Allah'.
Whilst the main Islamic Polictical party, PAS, agrees with the ruling, there are others who do not, including one main Islamic Youth movement, Abim.
As the article points out Christians in the middle East have been using the word ‘Allah’ for God for centuries - before the coming of Islam in fact.

Inivitably as well as the official and more formal communications through the media, the world of social networking comes into its own at times like this....

Some of my Facebook friends are from Malaysia. So they and other Twitterers have been pointing to articles and making comments through their updates:

Church & Christians showed dignity, restraint, compassion. Contrast with t/ arsonists & protestors. Such excellent PR.

Eddie in his Kouya Chronicle explores some of these complexities from a translators perspective in his article 'what's in a name'

But I'll let the Bishop of West Malaysia Moon H. Ng have the last word
KL situation is not too good. Three churches are torched. One more not sure how bad. Cars with Christian stickers are smashed. ...... We are meeting the PM to talk. Pray for peace and harmony. It is a sad episode.

Pray we will and pray we must .....

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