Subject: Sikh Temple Stoned in Malaysia
This is not the work of local Malays. It is the work of Israeli and CIA
agents to destabilise racial and religious harmony in Malaysia. The
Malaysian police, of course, does not know who is responsible for the
Stones thrown at Malaysian Sikh temple following religious row
Richard Lloyd Parry, Asia Editor
Malaysian Sikhs have become the latest group to be dragged into a violent
controversy about the use of the word Allah, with the stoning of Sikh temple
following a series of arson attacks on Christian churches.
Vandals damaged a mirror, but caused no injuries, when they threw stones
into the courtyard of the temple in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur late
last night. The attackers have not been identified, but they appear to be
Muslims angry at the use by other religions of the word Allah as the
Malaysian word for God.
The word has been used for centuries in Malaysia, as well as by Christians
in Egypt, Syria, Lebanon and Indonesia, as the equivalent of the English
word God. But many Malaysian Muslims, who make up 60 per cent of the
population, say that Allah should be reserved exclusively for Muslims, and
that use of it in a Biblical context encourages conversion to Christianity,
a crime under the country's sharia laws.
A fortnight ago the Herald, a Catholic newspaper which is published in
Malaysian, won an appeal against a ruling which banned use of the word by
non-Muslims. The judgement has been suspended in anticipation of a counter
appeal by the government, but it has already stirred up Muslim anger in a
country with a particular dread of ethnic and racial confrontation.
Malaysia's 120,000 Sikhs also use the word in their Malaysian language
scriptures, but have so far have escaped enforcement of the ban, which has
seen Bibles and CDs with Christian seized by the government for use of the
"Sikhs are not going to stop using Allah," the chief of the temple in Kuala
Lumpur's Sentul district said earlier today. "We cannot change our
scriptures. . As far as we are concerned we are doing our prayers (using
Allah). There is no way any law is stopping us."