Muslim Official Visits Church, Temples

April 2, 2008


Source: Lexington Herald-Leader

Wire Service: AP

A lawmaker from Malaysia's Islamic opposition party said Wednesday he made rare visits to a church and temples to help assure non-Muslim minorities about their religious rights.

Khalid Abdul Samad, a Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party lawmaker, said he wanted to ease suspicions among non-Muslims that his party seeks to curb their religious freedoms.

"It's time to set the record straight," Khalid told The Associated Press. "We respect the rights of non-Muslims. There's no plan to stifle other religions or create problems for them."

Non-Muslims have been upset in recent years about how the government has handled religious issues, including the demolition of Hindu temples, a ban on the word Allah from Malay-language Christian literature, and court judgments favoring Muslims in disputes with non-Muslims.