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ICC Note:

Media reported a series of  controversial events taking place recently in Malaysia showing an escalating tension and mistrust between Muslims and Christians: the largest Malaysian public university hosted a seminar that claimed all Christians should convert to Islam; a church got attacked due to the dispute over the use of the Arabic word “Allah” by non-Muslims. The increasing tension can be seen also from the columnist’s suggestion to Malaysian Muslims reported in this article: Muslims to “infiltrate churches” to hear what Christian is said of Muslim.

‘Infiltrate Churches To See What Is Said Of You, Ridhuan Tee Urges Muslims

05/19/2014 Malaysia (MalaysianDigest)– Controversial columnist Ridhuan Tee Abdullah today suggested for Muslims to infiltrate churches in Malaysia to witness what he alleged to be Christian condemnation against them.

Writing in support today of a seminar at a Shah Alam university that questioned the divinity of Jesus Christ and the authenticity of the Christian Gospels, Tee also claimed this was held as a response to the alleged spread of Christianity in Malaysia.

He then urged Muslims to visit churches undercover to witness for themselves the condemnation he alleged was being aimed at them.

“I hope there are Muslims who can go enter churches in disguise to hear what is discussed,” Tee wrote in his Sinar Harian column today.

Earlier in his opinion piece, the senior lecturer with the National Defence University defended a May 6 event held at the Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) that has antagonised Christian and other faith groups with the claims made by speakers, arguing that it was academic in nature.

Multiple reports were lodged against the organisers of a closed-door seminar on the use of the word “Allah” and Christology at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) on May 6.

At the day-long seminar in its Shah Alam campus last week, UiTM had invited several Indonesian Muslims, academics and converts, to lecture on the use of the Arabic word for God, “Allah”, in the Malay archipelago and their interpretation on the life of Jesus Christ, whom Christians revere as God manifest on earth.

A speaker told the thousand-strong audience — which included former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi — that the New Testament gospels, which recount the life of Jesus, were hearsay and falsehoods as the prophet was only “a human slave to Allah” and not a divine being.

Another said that Christians should convert to Islam as they would be “betraying Jesus” and his principles otherwise.

The seminar also takes place against the backdrop of strained ties between Muslims and Christians over the use of the Arabic word “Allah”.

Last year, the Court of Appeal overturned a lower court’s decision to allow a Catholic newspaper to use the word. The appellate court ruled that “Allah” was not an integral part of Christianity.

The Catholic church is looking to appeal the decision at the country’s highest court.

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