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    Monday, November 06, 2006

    For many Muslims, Malaysia offers a model of how Islam and modernity can
    co-exist. Many Westerners also automatically bring up Malaysia as an example
    of a possibly peaceful spot of islam.

    Another thing we Westerners do is make excuses for them, but this does not give them the respect they are due. We think perhaps they are emerging from a tiny rural mentality, or perhaps the lure of Capitalism will change them. But this is pure bias and too superior an attitude.

    They are free intelligent humans deserving of respect. And thereby let's judge them as equals. And if so, let's not let this Text Messaging response slide as we would with children in a High School cafeteria.

    I think it's the influence of their religion. Period.

    And with that religion it seems something as little as a Text Message about Christians can upset the supposed peacefulness.

    For as Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says:

    "He said when the Malays and Islam could be accepted as one, only then the
    role of the party in achieving independence and continued peace and harmony
    without diluting the Malays and Islam as the "core of the nation" could be


    Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants firm action taken against those who spread short messaging service (SMS) information and e-mail that a group of Malays would be "embracing Christianity" in Ipoh yesterday.

    "Firm action must be taken against those responsible because the SMS message is dangerous as it can lead to racial conflict and create a tense situation in the country," he told reporters after closing the Johor Umno Convention here Monday.

    Najib who touched on the SMS in his speech earlier, regarding the message as an incitement, said: "We must find out who is behind the SMS message."

    The SMS and e-mail said that "several Malays will be baptised by Datuk Azhar Mansor" at a church in Ipoh.The SMS was so widespread that more than 1,000 Muslims throughout the state gathered in protest outside the church yesterday.


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