It is better to give than to receive, goes the hoary adage, and Malaysia’s ruling Muslims are giving to the Christians in spades — namely a lot of fear and anxiety. Now, how could Malaysia’s modern, moderate Muslim government be so motivated or inspired to cause fear in Malaysia’s comparatively small (~10% of the total population) Christian community?
One Malaysian has ascribed such fear and loathing to ‘immature’ Muslims. In true dhimmi fashion, this writer does not examine Islamic doctrine that causes Muslims everywhere, not just those in Malaysia, to consistently oppress and marginalize non Muslims. This Malaysian writer is almost certainly ignorant of the founder of Islam’s own teachings in regards to Christians and Jews that have guided Muslims for the past 14 centuries. So, does that make Mohammed and his own ideology ‘immature’? Well, we can’t go there, of course — that sort of thinking would be Islamophobic, xenophobic, bigoted, and probably racist.
So for this Christmas, let us at Jihad Watch give the gift of knowledge. At least a few of Malaysia’s beleaguered Christian community should know why at least a few Muslims always seem to be ‘immature’. In short, it’s not Muslims per se — it’s Islam. From “Season to be jolly ““ and afraid for [Malaysian] Christians”, by Julia Yeow, Free Malaysia Today, 22 December 2011:
For the minority religious group, there is a sense of unease in the wake of rising tensions with Muslims authorities.
KUALA LUMPUR: In every mall and along every main street in Malaysia”s
capital, elaborate decorations and loud, blaring carols bring about
festive reminders of the season to be jolly.
But beneath the blinking lights and merry making, many Christians
will be celebrating Christmas with an undeniable sense of unease due to
rising tensions with Muslim authorities.
Malaysia is a secular state as defined in its constitution, but Islam
is the official religion and is embraced by 60 percent of the
population. Minority Christians make up about 10 percent, followed by Buddhists, Hindus and people of other faiths.
Religious violence is rare in the multicultural society, but minority
religious groups have complained that their right to practise freely is
increasingly threatened by a Muslim-dominated government.
Christians have always had to be “cautious” in dealing with the
government, said Sam Ang, secretary-general of the National Evangelical
Christian Fellowship, the country”s largest evangelical group.
“I think there is definitely a sense of Christians feeling threatened much more now, although not so much physically.”
He said the authorities often misinterpret the law according to their own convenience.
“There is always a risk. That is why churches would be wise to always exercise caution,” he said.
An emotional thing
But one major church apparently threw caution to the wind on Aug 3
when it allowed an organisation with Muslim members to use its premises
for a celebration.
Throwing ‘caution to the wind’? Isn’t that just blaming the victims (i.e. Christians) for the aggressive acts of the Muslim religious police?
Islamic religious officers raided the church during the dinner, and
later claimed efforts were being made to convert the Muslims who were
The Damansara Utama Methodist Church (DUMC) denied the allegations
and called the raid illegal. It said accusations of conversion attempts
were false and malicious.
Christian leaders condemned the raid, saying the authorities showed no proof or warrant to enter the church premises.
The incident also sparked outrage among Muslim groups that
demonstarted against what they claimed were aggressive conversion
efforts by Christians. They called on Muslims to “take all necessary
actions” to protect the sanctity of Islam.
Outrage seems to be the default Muslim response to every slight, either real or imagined.
In response, the Christian community was placed on alert for fears of
a repeat of violent attacks on at least eight churches last year,
including one that was gutted by a firebomb.
“Religion is such an emotional thing that I find it hard to be at
ease during this season,” said Vivienne Pal, a 33-year-old Christian.
“I”m constantly aware that things can get out of hand in a blink of an eye.”
Following the August incident, many major churches around Selangor
and Kuala Lumpur re-evaluated their activities, for fear of drawing
“We”ve had to be very careful about whom we help, and how we go about
doing it because authorities are paying more attention to church
activities,” said a pastor who requested anonymity due to his work among
the poor and homeless of Kuala Lumpur.
“It”s sad because we don”t care about a person”s race or religion
when we offer help, but now we need to be wise and cautious, so that our
work doesn”t bring about unwanted attention and negative repercussions to the entire church,” he said.
“Our situation in Malaysia is not new, and Christians have been
facing this although over the past three years, it”s become worse,”
evangelical leader Ang said.
In spite of the increasing tension between the church and state,
there are many who believe the maturity of believers from both religions
will be able to mend the rift.
Mazran Nordin, an ethnic Malay Muslim, said he often visited churches
in Europe and had no problem attending weddings in churches.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the maturity of a Muslim
believer. If you are confident in your beliefs, why would you be afraid
of being converted?” Mazran said.
“Everywhere you go, you can see normal Malaysians of all religions
celebrating Christmas together,” said Thomas Philips, president of
Malaysia”s Council of Churches.
“I don”t believe there is a distrust, and a feeling of any one
religion being threatened. Those are just games the politicians and
“From what we have seen, there is still much hope for people of all religions to live peacefully here,” he said.
Hope is great for lines from Hollywood movies, Mr. Philips, but it is not a viable strategy for the real world.