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Malaysia: Islamic leaders question non-Muslims’ rights

Catholic World News - May 24, 2011

Following rumors that Christian leaders are lobbying to have Malaysia declared a Christian state, Muslim leaders are questioning whether the government of the Islamic state has been too generous in granting non-Christians rights.

“In attempts to get vote and support of non-Muslims, we have been very gracious in giving them their civil rights,” said Datuk Nakhaie Ahmad, former president of Islamic Da’wah Foundation Malaysia. “Civil rights given to them include the rights to vote, participation in politics, hold office, involvement in the military and so forth but we cannot just willingly give them everything.”

“If the agreement is broken then actions must be taken against them,” he added in a likely reference to Malaysian law, which declares the nation an Islamic state but recognizes the rights of non-Muslims. “If they break our agreement then they are our enemy and must be expelled from the country. We must not compromise with them. We must be stern with them when it comes to the social contract agreed.”

60% of the nation’s 28 million people are Muslim; 19% are Buddhist, 6% Hindu, 6% Protestant, and 3% Catholic.

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