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Malaysian police investigate anti-Christian threats

Hate-filled video pledges to 'destroy' Christians if they dare to use the word 'Allah' to mean God

UCA News reporter, Kuala Lumpur

UCA News reporter, Kuala Lumpur

Published: March 17, 2021 04:27 AM GMT

Updated: March 17, 2021 04:47 AM GMT

Malaysian police investigate anti-Christian threats

Puteri Mujahidah Wan Asshima Kamaruddin's video is being examined by police. (Photo: Facebook)

Malaysian police are investigating a Muslim woman for issuing threats of violence against the country’s Christians in a video posted online.

Dressed in a dun-colored hijab, the woman who called herself Puteri Mujahidah Wan Asshima Kamaruddin on Facebook, last week uploaded a 12-minute hate-filled rant pledging to “destroy” Christians if they dared use the word “Allah” to mean God.

Her video, which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times and widely shared, had been uploaded in response to a ruling on March 10 by Malaysia’s High Court, which made it legal for non-Muslim Malaysians to use the word “Allah” as a synonym for God.

The ruling was greeted with uproar by Muslim hardliners who have been engaged in a protracted legal tussle to ensure that only Muslims could refer to God by that name, which has traditionally been associated with Islamic usage.

“We don’t want to share the word ‘Allah’ with people from other religions,” the middle-aged woman said in her video while calling non-Muslims by the derogatory term of “heathens.”

She went on to say that by allowing non-Muslims to use the word “Allah” in their own utterances, Muslims like herself would lose their sole right to the term, which would make her feel “threatened.”

“Please don’t make me come and destroy the Christian community,” the woman added in what many people viewed as a call for violence against local Christians, who comprise slightly over 10 percent of the Muslim-majority nation’s 32 million citizens.

Many online commenters professed agreement with her views, although some others took issue with them and called for religious tolerance.

According to Huzir Mohamad, an official at the Federal Criminal Investigation Department, several elements in the women’s video may have violated Malaysian law as they served “to incite racial and religious hatred.”

Malaysia’s Christians are routinely the targets of vitriol from hardline Muslims, many of whom pronounce Christianity to be a corrupted religion that is not in accord with the teachings of the Koran.

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Last year Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh, a prominent Muslim politician, argued during a parliamentary session that the texts of the New Testament had been corrupted by Christians over the centuries and therefore no longer reflected the true teachings of Jesus.

In 2016, Abdul Hadi Awang, president of the Malaysian Islamic Party, used the platform of the party’s official mouthpiece to accuse Christian missionaries of exploiting the gullibility of poor and uneducated people in their bid to convert them to Christianity.

“They [Christian missionaries] have spread their religion not by using knowledge and reasoned argument but by baiting their targets with money and other forms of aid. This is transgression in the name of religion. It is a danger that must be fought,” Hadi wrote.

His comments caused outrage among many local Christians, two of whom called for the Muslim leader to be prosecuted under Section 3 of the Sedition Act in the Criminal Code for inciting religious discrimination.

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