Friday, January 4, 2008

Oh for Goddess' Sake!

01/04/2008 13:34 MALAYSIA Taoist statue deemed “offensive” to Islam raises new controversy over religious freedom. Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The construction of the world’s tallest Taoist Goddess of the Sea statue has set off the latest row over religious freedom in Malaysia. The 36-metre (108-foot) statue of Mazu, known as Tin Hau in Hong Kong, should be erected in the fishing village of Kudat on Borneo Island. So far only the platform has been set; the statue itself is waiting some 200 km away in the port town of Kota Kinabalu. Local authorities had approved construction in December 2005 but Sabah state authorities stopped construction saying that the statue was “offensive to Muslim sensitivities.” Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang, who heads the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party, warned that if the row was not resolved it could hurt multiracial and inter-faith harmony in the hitherto tolerant Malaysia. “The insensitive controversy objecting to the building of the Mazu statue is created by a small group of Muslims with ulterior political objectives, which sets a dangerous precedent in undermining inter-religious goodwill in Malaysia,” he said. “All we want is for Mazu Goddess to protect us when we are at sea and our Muslim countrymen have nothing against,” said a local fisherman. After the state government halted construction Sabah’s mufti issued a fatwa saying the statue was “offensive to Islam” because it was too close to a mosque. Sabah’s deputy chief minister Chong Kah Kiat, an ethnic Chinese, resigned in protest and in early December took legal action challenging the order to stop construction. About 60 percent of Malaysia’s 27 million people are ethnic Malay Muslims; 25 per cent are Chinese and 10 per cent, Indians, mostly Hindu or Christian. Malaysian commentators and minority leaders have sounded the alarm over the growing ‘Islamisation’ of the country and the increasing polarisation of the three main ethnic communities, which mix much less than in the past. In recent weeks there have been other controversies, including a ban issued by the Ministry of Internal Security on the use of the word ‘Allah’ for God by the Herald, a Catholic weekly. Catholics and Protestants have also had their right to build places of worship severely restricted. ******************************************************************************* Does anyone else see a parallel to what's described in this article to what happened in the 1930's in Nazi Germany?


Morgaine said...

The Abrahamic religions have been oppressing worship of the Goddess in Her many forms for 6,000 years. Yes, I think all of them - Christians, Jews and Muslims, are fascist in their insistence that they be given special treatment. These are dangerous times for anyone who doesn't follow Yahweh - it's important that all of us stand up for our Goddess symbols and imagery. We can't expect them to be reasonable, because they simply won't, so we must insist they deal with us whether they like it or not.

The fanatic Christians in our country are as bad as the fanatic Muslims in this story and elsewhere. They're thugs, and they'll completely take over and force their ways on everyone else if they aren't stopped cold. We can't afford to let them push us back into the Dark Ages.

Jan said...

Hi Morgaine,

Yes, the fundy Christians in this country are just as bad as the fundy Islamists in other countries - both groups want to force their warpmed minority agenda and belief systems on everyone else. A long long time ago when I was in college and taking a political science course, we had a class exercise - the "Communist" takeover of the USA. Would we fight or would we accomodate ("better Red than dead")? I was one for fighting all the way. Thank Goddess for the internet - it makes fighting for one's beliefs and freedoms so much easier!

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