Maybe the aides were indeed "paranoid," but they were directing the Christians to behave according to traditional strictures for dhimmis in Islamic law: dhimmis -- primarily Jews and Christians under the "protection" of the Islamic state -- are "forbidden to openly display wine or pork, (A: to ring church bells or display crosses,) recite the Torah or Evangel aloud, or make public display of their funerals and feastdays" ('Umdat al-Salik, o11.5(6)).
Sharia Alert from modern, moderate Malaysia: "'Paranoid' aides told church to remove crosses for Najib visit," by Debra Chong in the Malaysian Insider, December 29 (thanks to Yinyangsun):
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 29 - Catholic church officials were told to remove crucifixes and to avoid hymns being sung when Prime Minister Najib Razak attended the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur's Christmas tea party last Saturday.
The overzealous bid to protect the prime minister's Islamic credentials was described by sources familiar with what happened as "paranoid" and done without Najib's knowledge.
The sources also noted the actions of officials from the prime minister's office could have jeopardised warming religious ties.
No kidding, really?
The Malaysian Insider understands that Najib's men may have been spooked by the National Fatwa Council's recent repeated announcements over Muslims at non-Muslim celebrations and had tripped over themselves to ensure his attendance at the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur's Christmas Day high-tea passed without a hitch....
Among the directives given were:
. To remove any overt Christian symbol, such as crucifixes, from the party premises
. That carollers not belt out hymns
. Not to quote from Scriptures or say any Christian prayer during the visit.
Similar conditions have been laid in previous Christmas celebrations, including those graced by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong himself, said a member of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), the umbrella body representing the various denominations....