Playing with fire to spark riots with Allah banners

Churches and Penang Umno have lodged reports over this provocative banner found outside several churches in Penang. – Pic courtesy Anil Netto, January 27, 2014.

(TMI) – Christians went for Sunday mass in Penang yesterday and found banners which read “Allah is Great, Jesus is the son of Allah” outside several churches, at a time when the mercury is rising over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims.

In short, this was a most clumsy but dangerous attempt to spark riots between the majority Muslims and minority Christians in Malaysia.

Would any church display such banners openly when Islamic enforcement officers have seized Malay-language bibles containing the word Allah?

Yet, some people tried their luck at this in Penang over the weekend. No one knows who did it but it bears resemblance to orchestrated arson attacks on churches and the so-called reprisals against mosques in 2010.

But why are individuals and groups so brazenly lighting the fuse of religious and racial hatred?

Simple. Because they know that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is so weak and indecisive that he will stay silent on the sidelines.

Because they know that the police rarely, if ever, acts against individuals or groups aligned to the ruling coalition.

Remember the slap on the wrist for those arrested over the cow-head incident in Shah Alam in 2009? All they got was a paltry fine and a week in jail.

What do these groups expect to incite with their latest stunt? Angry Muslims and defensive Christians at war with each other over the banners? The Christians have been told not to react and leave it to the police.

Both Christians and Penang Umno have lodged reports, and now the police will have to investigate this stunt which makes all sides harden their stand on the word “Allah”.

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng rightly said yesterday that the banners were intended to increase tensions between Muslims and Christians, which spiked after the 2009 High Court ruling that allowed Catholic weekly Herald to use the word Allah in its Bahasa Malaysia section.