A Jesuit bishop is warning that the Malaysian government’s effort to forbid non-Muslims to use the word “Allah” is merely part of the effort to turn Malaysia into an Islamic state. Only 60% of the nation’s 26.6 million residents are Muslim, while 19% are Buddhist and 9% are Christian, a third of them Catholic.
“This Islamization process has now begun to penetrate our Federal Constitution, which is rooted in British common law,” said Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing of the southern Malaysian diocese of Melaka-Johor. “Using their own words, the federal law should be made ‘compliant with Islamic Law.’”
“Our mission schools have all but lost their character, with non-Christian headmasters and headmistresses,” he continued. “The conversion of children under the age of maturity, which is 18 years old in Malaysia, becomes automatic when one of the parents converts.”
The Church “should have the fortitude to continue standing up for the rights of non-Muslims and, at the same time, push for equality in dialogue with all parties,” he added. “The Church, in spite of everything, must be open to dialogue with others, especially with Muslims, without allowing herself to be trampled upon.”
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