Chinese in Malaysia are getting a taste of what life is like in the Islamic society that radical Muslims want to impose upon the world. This from AP, with thanks to nevermindlv:
Malaysia’s Islamic party has rejected permission for a major Chinese New Year celebration in a state under its control, criticizing plans for women performers to sing and dance.
Organizers vowed Thursday to defy the ban, saying the state government’s refusal to grant a permit challenged traditions of tolerance between the Malay Muslim majority and the large ethnic Chinese minority.
The refusal put the state government of Terengganu, controlled by the Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party, on a collision course with the organizers, led by the national Culture, Arts and Tourism Ministry and the state chapters of two ethnic Chinese parties.
Abdul Hadi Awang, chief minister of Terengganu, was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times newspaper that permission had been denied because women would be performing during the time of Muslim evening prayers.
“We will not tolerate any activities with female performers dancing and singing, especially when Muslims are supposed to perform the evening prayers,” Abdul Hadi was quoted Thursday as saying.
“If they insist on holding the program, we will take action against them later,” said Abdul Hadi, who is also leader of the Islamic party.
But organizers vowed to go ahead with Friday’s celebration with or without a permit and invited state authorities to take the case to court, the national news agency Bernama reported.
Culture Minister Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir said the Malaysian constitution guaranteed ethnic minorities the right to hold traditional celebrations without interference.
The Islamic party controls two of Malaysia’s 13 states and is gearing up to make more gains in general elections that the government is expected to call in the next few months. Though the party is unlikely to win power at the national level, it could capture another state.
The party has vowed to turn this moderate Southeast Asian country into an Islamic state if it forms a national government. The party has tried to impose harsh Islamic laws – including amputating the hands of thieves and stoning adulterers to death – in the states in controls, but has consistently been overruled by the national government.