Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Malaysia Censors Christian Kids' Books

Officials of the Publications and Al-Quran Texts Control Department, part of Malaysia's Internal Security Ministry, raided bookstores in mid-December and confiscated English-language Christian children's books. The authorities claimed that the illustrations of Biblical prophets such as Moses and Abraham violate Islamic Shariah law.

In a January 17th statement, the head of the Council of Churches-Malaysia, Rev. Dr. Hermen Shastri, questioned how the books could be offensive to Muslims when they were not meant for them. In the strongly worded statement about the seizures, Rev. Shastri said government officials “have no right and have overstepped their bounds by confiscating Christian literature.”

Article 11 of the Malaysian Constitution 11 protects the right to religious freedom. However, the prime minister, Abdullah Badawi, is an Islamic scholar who promotes the concept of "Islam Hadhari" or "Islamic Civilization."

Rev. Shastri accused the government of persecuting Christians and of ceding jurisdiction over civil matters to Shariah courts.

This type of censorship is absolutely outrageous! The Islamofascist thought police have no right to impose their rules on non-Muslims. Moses, Abraham, and the other prophets were part of the Bible thousands of years before Muhammad founded Islam. Christians have every right to portray these figures in books aimed at educating their own children about their own faith.

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