Thursday, September 6, 2007

Flaming Hatred: Malaysian style

Another article on the attempts to generate inter-racial hatred in Malaysia. Thankfully cooler heads prevail here. Maybe if religious freedom was a reality and not just a myth for the majority it would not be so easy to flame these hatreds?

Two detained for sending inflammatory SMSes on race riots

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian police have detained two men for allegedly sending mobile phone text messages about race riots, under an internal security law which allows them to be held without trial. The men, who are in their 20s, were arrested by police in Johor, where acting police chief Mohamad Mokhtar Mohamad Shariff said they were held under the Internal Security Act.
"I wish to stress that security in the state is under control and that the SMS messages being circulated are purely rumours and malicious," the police chief was quoted as saying by the Star newspaper. Some Singaporeans have also received text messages warning them not to go to Malaysia.

Police have boosted their presence in the state by increasing patrols and deployed some 200 anti-riot police officers to ensure security, according to the New Straits Times. Race relations have become an increasingly fraught issue in Malaysia.
A series of court cases — notably regarding conversions from Islam — has called that status into question.

Activists have been campaigning for greater religious freedoms in the country, where proselytising by other faiths is banned.
Last November, text messages carrying rumours that ethnic Muslim Malays would be baptised as Christians sparked a large Muslim protest in the northern state of Perak. It led to a government warning that the Internal Security Act could be used on anyone spreading texts, which could cause instability. — AFP

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