Nun’s murder, rising religious extremism worrying

Thursday, 22 May 2014

A Sabah political observer challenges religious leaders to speak up on the issue of forcing Christians to convert.

KOTA KINABALU: The death of a 69-year-old nun, who suffered head injuries after being attacked outside the Church of Visitation in Seremban, must not go unnoticed and be left to the police who have since classified the incident as murder.

The more worrying and real issue is the increasing bigotry and religious extremism in the country particularly in West Malaysia, where along with the local non-Muslim community, a sizeable Borneo-Christian native population work and reside.

Progressive Institute of Public Policy Analysis director and political observer Amde Sidik finds the deafening silence of national and religious leaders appalling.

He blamed this silence for the fear, which he claims, is gripping Peninsular Malaysia.

Amdee, who has family and friends in the peninsular, said: “People don’t feel safe. If indeed her (nun) attack and death was a religious issue, then it’s considered a stupid and frightening event.

“Such a thing will never happen in Borneo. All religion and races live together in harmony, some families here, and even in Peninsular have siblings that are from totally different religions.

“It is not only the silence of the leaders that are encouraging this, where are the voices of the Muftis and the Imams? Islam does not allow this.

“They should stand up and condemn such acts.”

Amde also cited a recent University Teknology Mara (UiTM) forum which derided Christianity and allegedly ‘persuaded’ conversions among native Sabahan students as well as similar incident in during a student camp in SMK Balai Ringin.

“As good Muslims, we are confident in our own religion and should not resort to forcing other people to convert.”

“Unlike in the peninsular, the Muslims of Borneo have a higher tolerance for other religions, which is still very much in practice until today.”

“Race and religious intimidation must not be tolerated, ” he said.

Extremists under Putrajaya’s noses

Amdee demanded that the authorities act against ‘sponsored’ groups instigating race and religious discord in the country.

“It is no point prosecuting ordinary people like you and I if we say something against it (religion)

“These people (sponsored-groups) are given the power to openly say anything they want without being penalised by any party.

“These people must be prosecuted otherwise people will always live in fear ,” he said.

Earlier this week, Amdee questioned the federal government’s strategy of sending students to pursue Islamic studies in Egypt and in nations neighbouring it.

He said if the recent surge in religious-extremism-linked incidents in Peninsular Malaysia seemed to indicate that Malaysia was turning into a breeding ground for Islamists.

He noted that what was most worrying are indications that such acts of extremism appear to be a subtly planned and strategised move by groups, many of which were offshoots of Umno, based in Peninsular Malaysia and under the noses of Putrajaya.


Post a Comment

Important - The views expressed and the links provided on our comment pages are the personal views of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sabah Report.