August 13, 2010

Church arsonists jailed in Malaysia

by David Masters

Two Muslim brothers who set alight to a Christian church have been sentenced to five years in prison by a Malaysian court.

The brothers firebombed a church in Kuala Lumpur during a nationwide dispute over whether non-Muslims could use the word “Allah” to refer to God.

They sustained burn injuries during the bombing, which they claimed were from a barbecue.

The judge rejected their defense as a fabrication and charged them with “mischief by fire”.

During the dispute over the use of the word Allah across Malaysia in January this year, eleven churches, one Sikh temple, three mosques and two Muslim prayer rooms were targeted by arsonists and vandals.

The dispute arose after a court ruled that a Roman Catholic newspaper could not use the word “Allah” in its Malay language edition to describe the Christian God.

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