Rum Bottle Thrown At Malaysia Mosque Amid Tension

January 16, 2010

Author: Staff Writer

Source: The Washington Post

Wire Service: AP

Vandals threw a rum bottle at a mosque in the first attack on a Muslim house of worship after almost a dozen similar assaults on churches in Malaysia the past week, police said Saturday.

Police have dismissed the attacks as vandalism, but they have caused disquiet in multiracial Malaysia and raised fears of more widespread religious tensions.

One Sikh temple and 11 churches have been hit - most of them with molotov cocktails - since Jan. 8. One church was partially gutted, though the others sustained only minor damages. No arrests have been made.

The unrest follows a Dec. 31 court ruling that allowed non-Muslims to use the word "Allah" to refer to God. The verdict upset Muslims who make up 60 percent of Malaysia's 28 million people. The government has argued allowing Christians to use the word will confuse Muslims and entice them to convert.