Hadi flays church arson, says dialogue key to ‘Allah’ issue

By Neville Spykerman

SHAH ALAM, Jan 9 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang did not mince his words today when calling the Klang Valley church firebombings as “uncivilised” and against Islam.

“Why did they burn and attack the churches? Where did they learn this from?” Hadi asked while briefing PAS members on national issues at the Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) auditorium here.

Three churches were attacked yesterday while others received threats following the Dec 31 High Court ruling allowing the Catholic weekly Herald to use “Allah” in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

The Islamist party leader pointed out that the perpetrators were ignorant of Islam.

“Islam respects the rights of other to practise their own religion, have their own places of worship, including churches.”

He added that this freedom extended even during the times of war between Muslims and non-Muslims.

“Even when Muslims lands were invaded, churches were protected,” he said, noting ironically that Friday’s attacks happened during a time of peace.

He called for a fair investigation to be carried out and for the culprits to be brought to justice according to the law.

Hadi said PAS was ready to dialogue and explain the issue to the people and urged the media to give it fair coverage for that purpose.
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He said Malaysia should maintain its culture of tolerance, pointing out that non-Muslim shops exist peacefully in Malay kampungs.

He said the issue of the use of Allah can be solved with dialogue but said certain parties wanted to exploit the issue for political gain.

“PAS is not concern with gaining support or winning elections but about upholding the truth and what is right.” he said, adding that PAS would speak the truth even though it may be bitter.

Hadi hoped non-Muslims who were previously in the dark about PAS would now see the Islam which the party stood for.

He also gave his guarantee that PAS would take disciplinary action against any members found guilty of attacking churches.

However, he said, there was little the party could do against those who took part in Friday’s demonstrations, except to advise them because it was their right, if they wanted to protest.

Hadi along with other PAS leaders are planning to visit the Metro Tabernacle church in Desa Melawati in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.

Sources : The Malaysia Insider

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