KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Perkasa insisted today seminars warning against “the threat of Christianisation” must go on to fend off “organised efforts to convert Muslims.”
The Malay rights organisation also questioned whether Christians outraged at such a seminar for 110 national school teachers in Johor this weekend were, in fact, alarmed that their efforts to proselytise were being obstructed.
Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) youth moderator Chrisanne Chin told The Malaysian Insider yesterday she was “shocked and in disbelief” over “the fact... the state department is lending support to this thinking that there is a threat against Islam.”
But Perkasa secretary-general Syed Hassan Syed Ali asked if “Chin knows that without determined and organised efforts by certain parties to convert Muslims, Islamic bodies won’t be holding such seminars.”
“Why is Chin so alarmed? Is it because the seminar will actually make it difficult for certain parties to Christianise Muslims?” he added.
Chin had slammed yesterday the Johor Education and Mufti Departments for organising the seminar that requires the attendance of two religious teachers from each of the 55 national schools across the state.
The event is themed “Pemantapan Aqidah, Bahaya Liberalisme dan Pluralism Serta Ancaman Kristianisasi Terhadap Umat Islam. Apa Peranan Guru?” (Strengthening the Faith, the Dangers of Liberalism and Pluralism and the Threat of Christianity towards Muslims. What is the Role of Teachers?).
Syed Hassan also said if the seminar was cancelled due to political pressure, “then Perkasa regards the organisers as cowardly Muslims.”
Christians form 9.2 per cent of Malaysia’s 28.3 million-strong population.
In recent years, the Christian and Muslim religious communities have been engaged in a tug-of-war over the word “Allah”, with the latter group arguing that its use should be exclusive to them on the grounds that Islam is monotheistic and the word “Allah” denotes the Muslim God.
Christians, however, have argued that “Allah” is an Arabic word that has been used by those of other religious beliefs, including the Jews, in reference to God in many other parts of the world, notably in Arab nations and Indonesia.
On December 31, 2009, the High Court here allowed the Catholic Church to use the term Allah. Several places of worship, mainly churches, were subsequently firebombed.
Over the past year, Malay media such as Utusan Malaysia and conservative Muslim groups have also accused Christians of attempting to convert Muslims, resulting in heightened tension between followers of the two religions.