Three Christian churches were fire bombed in Kaula Lampur (Malaysia) after the court reversed the ban on the use of the word “Allah” for God by non-muslims, primarily Christians. Around 60% of the Malaysia’s population is Muslim and around 9% are Christians.
As the majority Muslims angered over the decision last week by the High Court to let Christians use the word “Allah” while referring to God were preparing to hold protest during Friday prayers, a church in the suburbs was fire bombed around midnight.
The entire ground floor office of the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati was gutted. Molotov cocktails were thrown into the compounds of two other churches, the Assumption Catholic Church and the Life Chapel Protestant Church in Petaling Jaya, causing damage to one of them.
Police said some motorcycle borne youths were seen throwing incendiary objects inside before fleeing.
The government did criticize the fire-bombing of the church but didn’t do anything to ban the unsanctioned rallies against the court’s change. The government did get a stay on reversal of the ban.
The government has appealed that ruling, insisting that the ban should remain in force, and made no move to bar the unsanctioned rallies, as it commonly does.
But a police helicopter hovered low over the front of the city’s central mosque, drowning out the words of the speakers on its balcony.
“Allah is only for us,” said Faedzah Fuad, 28, who participated in the rally. “The Christians can use any word, we don’t care, but please don’t use the word Allah.”
“Allah” normally refers to the Muslim God, but is used in Malay-language texts for God especially by the Christian indigenous tribes. The word is also used for God by Christians living in Arabic countries like Egypt, etc. It is more like any English speaking country banning the use of the word “God” for any religion other than Christianity.
There is a big need in third world countries to teach tolerance towards other religions and faiths.