Malaysian Muslims rally against proselytizing

AP , Saturday 22 Oct 2011

Thousands of Malaysian Muslims protest against alleged proselytizing by Christians, reflects a growing radical tension between the Muslims and Christians minority

Malaysian Muslims protest against what they say were attempts to evangelise Muslims, in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur October 22, 2011. About 2,000 slogan-shouting Malaysian Muslims gathered near the capital on Saturday to denounce alleged Christian attempts to convert Muslims, widening a religious rift that could cost Prime Minister Najib Razak minority votes in upcoming polls. (Photo: Reuters)

A rally of several thousand Malaysians Saturday reflects growing racial tensions in Muslim-majority Malaysia ahead of elections expected next year.

Organizing chairman Yusri Mohamed says the rally, backed by about two dozen Islamic groups, was aimed at uniting Muslims to defend their faith.

Muslims are not legally permitted to change their religion in Malaysia. Attempts to convert Muslims are punishable by prison terms.

Islamic officials in August inspected a dinner at a Methodist church attended by Muslims, sparking concerns of proselytizing that were denied by the church.

Malaysia's non-Muslims are mainly Christians, Buddhists and Hindus. Some accuse officials of discrimination.

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