Anwar, Guan Eng reject bible burning

Photo: Penang Monthly

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 January: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has called on Muslims to reject Malay rights NGO Perkasa’s call to burn bibles that contained the word “Allah”.

Anwar described the call made by Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali last weekend during the Perkasa convention as an “extreme” method of safeguarding the Arabic word for God.

“We can condemn and disagree all we want, but if there is proof of any Christian trying to proselytise to a Muslim, then we bring this to court.

“But to burn or threaten to burn that which those of another faith consider it to be their holy book, is an extreme act that should be rejected by all Malaysians, including Muslims,” he said.

Much controversy has been raging over the usage of the word “Allah” by non-muslims in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng today expressed grave concern over an incident involving a “Bible-burning Festival” in Penang.

“The Penang state government unreservedly condemns such provocative, irresponsible and dangerous attempts to burn the Malay version of the Bible, which would also burn down the country with hatred and religious intolerance,” Lim said.

Rev John Kennady of the St Marks Anglican Church at the Butterworth police station against an anonymous pamphlet notifying that there would be a “festival” to burn Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible this Sunday at 10 am.

The notice left in the church’s letterbox, had invited the public to burn the Malay version of the Bible in front of Dewan Ahmad Badawi at the Bagan Luar municipality field in Butterworth.

Lim urged Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein Onn to take stringent measures “to prevent such abhorrent and vile acts that would endanger national harmony and heighten religious tensions.”

The Penang Chief Minister also condemned Perkasa for the “inflammatory” call and called on the Federal Government to take stern action.

Yesterday, DAP national chairman Karpal Singh filed a police report seeking for the Attorney General Gani Patail to investigate Ibrahim Ali’s statement. A number of DAP leaders including Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo have also spoken out against the “bible burning” issue. -The Rocket

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