Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Malaysian Indians

by Sam Rajappa from The Statesman (India)

Many of Malaysia's Indian origin Muslims, in fact, have adopted the Wahabi form of Islam and merged with the Malays. They are known as Mamaks. Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who was in power from 1981 to 2003, wrote in his book titled Islam and the Muslim Ummah: “Today Islam has become different from the religion of peace and tolerance that was brought by Prophet Muhammad,” and that “Islam has become a rigid, intolerant and seemingly an unjust religion to the faithful and to others because of the fanaticism and misplaced orthodoxy of people with vested interest.” ... The present Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, makes no bones about Islam being the official religion of Malaysia and Bhumiputra the state policy. For Muslims, marriage, divorce and property are governed by Sharia courts. They are prohibited from converting to any other religion. But what is disturbing to India is news emanating from Malaysia in recent times. A Hindu was forcibly given a Muslim burial amidst protests by his family. A child was snatched from its Hindu mother for refusing to bring it up as a Muslim. Just before last Dipavali, the Sharia Department of the Malaysian government issued instructions to Muslims not to greet Hindus on the occasion of the festival of lights.

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