KOTA KINABALU: The SIB Sabah Church wants the Attorney-General (A-G) and de-facto law minister to stop defending religious extremism and instead take immediate action against those wanting to burn Bibles.
Rev Jerry Dusing, President of the Sidang Injil Borneo or the Evangelical Church of Sabah, said the failure to act against religious bigotry and extremism can only serve to embolden such extremists to become more incendiary in their posture against non-Muslims.
"The views of both the A-G and the law minister are both obnoxious and unacceptable. It is clear that under Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution, all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law," said Dusing.
"Even Muslim leaders in the Government reject such extremism. We welcome the statement by Sabah Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak that telling Malaysians that it is right for Ibrahim Ali (Perkasa President) to call for the burning of the Bible is not something that Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak will endorse," he added.
"We are indeed very encouraged that the Sabah Speaker pointed out that even if Christians do not protest such statements, Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak would still feel uncomfortable with something like that and that Tun Dr Mahathir should speak out with a voice of moderation and not with a voice of extremism (in defending Ibrahim Ali)."
Dusing said: "Both the A-G and the law minister should understand this very well as their oaths of office demand that they uphold and defend the constitution as the supreme law of the land.
"The A-G cannot choose to keep silent on this issue when the whole nation is waiting for a response from him. On such an important issue, it is only fair for all Malaysians to know that justice and fairness is not only done but seen to be done. The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land. The supremacy of racism and religious bigotry cannot be seen to be condoned and defended by our government," he added.
We have come a long way since the formation of Malaysia, he said, adding the formation of Malaysia was based on the understanding that this nation would be multi-cultural and multi-religious.
"In our pursuit of building this nation, there must be mutual tolerance and respect for one another's background and beliefs. Religious extremism must not be tolerated and we must nip this in the bud," said Dusing.
In January last year, Ibrahim had on record called on Muslims to seize and burn copies of Bibles which contain the term "Allah" or other Arabic religious words and that it was the only way to stop non-Muslims from stirring the sensitivities and sentiments of the majority of population in the country.