Malaysian Religious Row Over Chinese Mosques

May 1, 2007

Source: Khaleej Times

KUALA LUMPUR - A top religious official dismissed a request from Malaysia’s Chinese community to build its own mosques fearing segregation of the country’s Muslims, a report said Tuesday.

Abdul Hamid Othman, the religious adviser to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, called on the government to disregard such requests as there were sufficient mosques in the country for all Muslims, the New Straits Times daily reported.

‘If this is allowed by the authorities, I am afraid it will lead to disunity and segregate Muslims in the country,’ he said.

Hamid said the request by Chinese Muslims for their own mosques was unthinkable and carried wide political connotations.

‘Now they want their own mosques, the next time around they will be asking for leaders to represent their ethnic groups,’ he said.