International news broadcaster CNN picked up on the story of the assault on two nuns in Seremban which happened on Wednesday.
CNN titled its report ‘Hate Crime on Christian Nun‘ (14 May 2104).
MSN News, another international news website similarly aggregated the same news.
The report quoted Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) general-secretary Reverend Hermen Shastri as saying in a statement:
“The voices of antagonism and hatred have been on the increase in the country and it would be no surprise if the attack on the nuns were not conspired by those out to cause inter-religious conflict in the country.
“The police must investigate this case of outright religious intimidation and fear creation and bring those responsible to justice”.
CCM’s earlier complaint last week:
The instance of the controversial seminar that was held at the Universiti Teknoloji Mara (UiTM) is a case in point.
The following are apparent and a matter of urgent concern.
1. The speakers at the forum apparently want to promote bigoted religious views and cast suspicion of the religious other.
2. The authorities at the UiTM have allowed for such seminars at their premises indicating that academic authorities are willing to tolerate and perhaps even promote a certain brand of religious teaching to promote a certain agenda.
3. That sadly, the government of the day has been consistently lethargic in countering interfaith discourse that fringe on extremism and bigotry.
4. And that certain quarters of the press wish to highlight and give prominence to views of some “controversial” scholars or teachers who do not enjoy mainstream support.
In order for the cause of inter-religious understanding and peaceful coexistence to prosper in this country, universal values shared by all religions should be taught and inculcated among students.
The fact that our country has reached an all time low in interfaith relations is not surprising given the almost weekly occurrence of some form of bigoted view of religion being given high prominence in the country.
Rev. Dr. Hermen Shastri