Thursday, December 23, 2010

Intolerance towards other religions

Under Islamic law, non-Muslims are not allowed to propagate their faith, as established in the Pact of Umar. Examples (for the situation of the Copts in Egypt see here; Christians in general here):
  • Indonesia Mar 2011: Indonesia, war on the Ahmadi considered blasphemous by government and Islamic leaders (AsiaNews).
  • Indonesia Mar 2011: New ban imposed on Ahmadiyah Islamic sect (adnkronos).
  • Pakistan Feb 2011: Pak's Hindu temples turned into picnic spots, hotels (rediff).
  • Malaysia Sep2009: a group of more than 50 Muslim men gathered outside a state mosque and marched to a government office proudly carrying a cow's head as a symbol of protest while chanting the world-famous praise "Allahu akbar." The Muslim group was against the construction of a Hindu temple in their district. "I challenge the state to go on with the temple construction. I guarantee bloodshed and the state will be held responsible. Allahu akbar!" said the group's spokesman (JPost).

    In November 2007, some 30,000 Hindus marched the streets of Kuala Lumpur to protest against discrimination and alleged systematic demolition of Hindu temples by the state. The protesters met the full force of the state's chemical-laced water cannons and tear gas canisters.  In stark contrast, the cow-head protest went ahead without any police intervention.
    In Malaysia, religious rows dominate national media: Students arrested for handing Christian pamphlets to Muslims; protests outside churches suspected of facilitating Muslim apostasy; a ban prohibiting non-Muslims from using the word "Allah"; Islamic rehabilitation centers "persuading" Muslims against conversion; a Muslim mother sentenced to be caned for consuming beer, with the woman's father urging the authorities to cane his daughter in public to make her an example. What might be deemed lunacy in the modern world pervades life in Malaysia, troubling its non-Muslim minorities as well as its liberal Muslims.

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