THE G25, like all right-thinking Muslims and Malaysians in general, are appalled by the mindless act of hatred and intolerance on the part of the protesters in Taman Medan who had demanded that the church there take down the cross from its wall, “50 stage protest against cross on new church” (The Star, April 20).
This abhorrent act of intolerance and bigotry against another religion’s place of worship has no place in Islam and deserves the strongest condemnation. The protesters are obviously ignorant of the tenets of their faith and need to deepen their knowledge of Islam and of Islamic history.
The history of Islam is replete with examples of tolerance and respect for other faiths and their places of worship. To take one example, the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, himself allowed a visiting Christian delegation from Yemen who was led by their bishop to pray in his mosque in Madinah.
There are many other examples of the Caliphs of Islam who protected the religious freedom of non-Muslim communities living under their rule and the sanctity of their places of worship.
The Taman Medan protesters, by their crude, disrespectful and unreasonable behaviour, have tarnished the image of Islam, the very religion they claim to “protect”.
Islam is a religion of peace, mercy and compassion and there is no place in Islam for intolerance towards other faiths and their places of worship.
We call upon the authorities to take firm action against the protesters. Failure to do so will embolden the religious extremists in our society and encourage them to believe that they can trample on the rights of Malaysian citizens of other faiths with impunity.
It will also provide damning evidence to the international community that Malaysia is no longer a country where racial harmony reigns and religious freedom is practised.
This unfortunate incident, happening so close to the questionable guidelines issued by Jakim on entertainers, will have serious implications on our economy as it may well frighten away foreign investors as well as tourists.
G25 GROUP OF CONCERNED MUSLIM CITIZENS