01/15/2010, 00.00
PHILIPPINES - MALAYSIA
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Muslim leaders condemn attacks on Christians in Malaysia

by Santosh Digal
The attacks against churches are against the teachings of Islam. Also condemned by the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). 8 January, 9 houses of worship targeted by Islamic fundamentalists after the decision of the High Court of Malaysia to allow Christians to use the word Allah in books and newspapers. Also yesterday the office of the Catholics lawyers attacked.

Manila (AsiaNews) - "The attacks against churches and buildings of worship of any religion are against the teachings of Islam." Ustadhz Abdulhadi Daguit, Muslim and head of the Philippine Center for Halal Awareness (Pcha), condemns the recent attacks on Christian places of worship in Malaysia and invites Christians and Muslims to dialogue. Meanwhile, yesterday in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) unknown assailants broke into the office of the lawyers who defend the Catholics in the ongoing controversy on the use of the word Allah. According to the lawyers it is intimidation carried out by Muslims. There was nothing of value in the office.

8 January Malaysian Islamic fundamentalists stormed nine Christian buildings. The violence was provoked by the decision of the High Court on 31 December last to authorize the weekly Catholic Herald to use the word "Allah" as a reference to God in its Malay language edition.

These days in addition to Muslim Filipinos the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and the Council of American-Islamic Relations (Cair) have condemned the assaults. In a statement the OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu stressed the importance of peaceful coexistence between ethnic groups in Malaysia, consisting of different faiths and cultures. The head of Cair has instead called on Muslims to protect places of worship of other religions. "American Muslims - he says - are a symbol of peaceful dialogue and coexistence between different faiths. We can not remain silent before the onslaught on churches or other places of worship." Muslims in America, Malaysia and the rest the world - he adds - must protect all places of worship, so they will show the true spirit of Islam. "" In the Arab world – he concludes - Christians have always used the word Allah to refer to God. "

Meanwhile, the Malaysian police have arrested Mohamad Tasyrif Tajudin, a Muslim of 25 years. He declared on Facebook that he had helped to manufacture the material used for the assaults. He risks a year in prison.

 

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