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Attack against one faith is attack against all faiths

Joint statement of civil society on 22nd January 2010

We the undersigned Malaysian civil society groups from different spiritual, cultural and ideological backgrounds condemn unreservedly in the strongest possible terms the latest arson attacks against two suraus in Muar in the early morning of January 21.

Any attack on any faith in Malaysia is an attack on all faiths in Malaysia. We express our solidarity with the Sirratulrahim Surau in Kampung Sabak Awor and Parit Beting surau, and to the Malaysian Muslim community at large.

The attacks on the suraus seem to be a deliberate and desperate move to provoke Malaysians into sectarian conflicts. The earlier attacks on nine churches, a mosque, a surau, a gurdwara and a convent school, have failed to trigger even distrust as Malaysians of all faiths and creeds stand united in the wake of violence.

While the Police must act swiftly in investigation and defeat any act of violence and terrorism, we call upon all Malaysians to have faith in peace, freedom and reason.

After all, these attacks are at most a crisis of law and order caused by a failure of the Malaysian state, not a crisis of religious harmony indicating a failure of the Malaysian society.

Let us stay calm and support each other. Let our spirit of fraternity defeat any unscrupulous conspiracy to tear Malaysian society apart, to censor media, to compromise on rule of law or to justify draconian measures like ISA.

As Malaysians stand united, violence and authoritarianism shall have no place in this blessed country.