01/27/2010, 00.00
MALAYSIA
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Kuala Lumpur, mosques desecrated with pig's head

In at least three Islamic places of worship the remains of abandoned animals found, considered "impure" by the followers of Muhammad. AsiaNews sources denounce the attempt to politically “destabilize” the country. University professor: it is a ethnic and political issue, not religious.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) - Some mosques in Kuala Lumpur have been desecrated with pig's heads. The remains of the animal - which is considered "unclean" by Muslims - were scattered in fields adjacent the places of worship. The police speak of a link between this incident and recent attacks on Christian churches, which broke out following the controversy over the use of the word "Allah". AsiaNews sources confirm that there is an ongoing in Malaysia attempt to " politically destabilize the country".

In the last few weeks 11 Christian churches and Protestants, a Sikh temple and Muslim places of worship have been affected. Inter-religious tensions in Malaysia exploded after the court ruling last December 31, which authorized Christians to use the word "Allah" to refer to God in the Malay language. Musa Hassan, chief of police, points a finger at "a group" that aims to stoke sectarian hatred in a country with a Muslim majority, but that is also home to large Chinese and Indian communities.  

Hazelaihi Abdullah, imam of the mosque in Taman Dato Harun, confirmed the discovery of a severed pig's head near the place of worship. A similar episode occurred in the nearby mosque of Al Imam al Tirmizi and the mosque of Sri Sentosa, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister for Foreign Affairs, condemned the attempt to "create chaos in the country." The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism - a body that promotes interfaith dialogue - has issued a statement stressing that "all violence against places of worship and prayer is a very serious sin" and has invited civil society "not to give in to provocation".

AsiaNews sources in Kuala Lumpur confirm ongoing attempts to " politically destabilize the country." "Some people – they explain - are unhappy about the political situation and foment the clashes for personal purposes." They want to push the government "to attack the minorities", to "gain consensus" within the fundamentalist wing in Malaysia.   A theory that is also supported by Azmi Sharom, professor at the University of Malaya, for who it is "an ethnic and political issue rather than religious," because the notice of the ban of the use of  Allah for non-Muslims "has no basis at a theological level” . The scholar points the finger at the United Malays National Organization (Umno), the majority party, which promotes nationalism for political purposes after the decline in support in recent months.

In recent days, the Wall Street Journal published the responses Najib Razak, Malaysian Prime Minister, and Anwar Ibrahim, leader of the opposition. The Prime Minister stressed the initiative of "Muslim civil society groups" that support Christians, Hindus and Buddhists in the fight for “religious freedom "in the country. He also appreciates "the call for calm" launched by leaders in the aftermath of the attack on Christian churches, because "they know that these acts do not represent the Muslim majority in Malaysia."  

Anwar Ibrahim, opposition leader and former deputy prime minister, accuses Umno of "having inflamed the feelings of Muslims", by blaming minorities of "desecrating the name of the Muslim God, and Christians of  conspiracy" to overthrow a nation with a Muslim majority "through conversions". “This attitude - he says - was exacerbated when the governing party lost control of the two-thirds in Parliament: the Umno is now struggling to regain the lost consensus." (DS)

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