Religious fundamentalism is not a rarity; it is overflowing with visible proofs of oppression suspended in it. Think of Malaysia – the country where Christians on the whole face a dark side of Islamist mindset.
The latest case making news from this Asian country of mainly Muslims and Christians is that of a court ruling by Muslims judges, banning Christians from using the word “Allah”. The story on Reuters tells that the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak pursued this case against a Christian newspaper. Razak’s government is said to be anti-liberal and sees liberal ideologies as enemies of Islam, irrespective of how it widens the religious-social gap between the two main groups of the society.
Yet, banning Christians from using the word Muslims use for the “supreme” entity is a kind of fundamentalism only the insanely fanatic would enforce. Maybe Mr. Razak doesn’t remember or perhaps conveniently ignores the historical account of Islam’s first batch of migrants to Christian-ruled Ethiopia, seeking refuge, there, under Mohammad’s advice and testifying there that Christianity and Islam were just two expressions of the same reality.
Not surprising, however, despite the absurdity of oppression and dictatorship seen in Razak’s Islamist policies. Even historically when those “zealots” (let me not specify names here) felt like needing support, they would speak mellifluously of their religious counterparts; and when they got power, they lived by the sword.