Muslim residents protest against Hindu temple in Malaysia, severe cow head, stamp and spit on it
Posted by jagoindia on August 30, 2009
“Before dispersing, several protesters spat and stomped on the cow head. The cow is considered sacred among Hindus.”
Some 50 residents enraged with the proposed relocation of a Hindu temple to their area staged a noisy protest with a severed cow’s head this afternoon.
The residents – from Section 23 in Shah Alam – who gathered after the Friday prayers, placed the head outside the gates of the state secretariat building for a short period before removing it.
Before dispersing, several protesters spat and stomped on the cow head. The cow is considered sacred among Hindus. malaysiakini.com
For video, click here: Residents march with cow’s head
For photos, click here Protesters threaten bloodshed over Hindu temple
Cow killed in Malaysian temple row
Venkatesan Vembu / DNA August 28, 2009
Hong Kong: Muslim fanatics in Malaysia on Friday severed a cow’s head and warned of “bloodshed” unless a provincial government halted construction of a relocated Hindu temple that the protesters said “disturbed” their own praying.
The group of about 50 protesters left the cow’s head outside the entrance of the Selangor State Secretariat as a warning to local leaders, eyewitnesses told DNA.
The group gathered after Friday prayers at the Shah Alam state mosque in Selangor, near Kuala Lumpur, and marched to the secretariat. Ibrahim Haji Sabri, deputy chairman of the local resident’s committee that is opposed to the Maha Mariamman temple, warned of “bloodshed and racial tension” if local leaders did not halt the temple construction.
Sabri demanded that the state government relocate the temple to a neighbouring district as “as originally scheduled”. In particular, he branded Selangor minister Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim a “traitor to the Malay race and to Islam”. Ibrahim had visited the temple site on Thursday, one of the eyewitnesses told DNA.
The controversy began with the proposed relocation of a 150-year-old Mariamman temple in a plantation area in Section 19 neighbourhood; since that area is being redeveloped as a residential area, authorities proposed that it be relocated to Section 22, but since it was an industrial area, it was later assigned to Section 23.
The protest could whip up racial and religious tension, and PM Najib Razak has ordered the police to take action against the protesters. Malaysian Indian Congress president S Samy Vellu, who represents Indian interests in the ruling coalition at the centre, condemned the beheading of the cow.
Malaysian Muslim ‘cow head’ demo criticised
(AFP) – 5 hours ago
KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian lawmakers have condemned a group of Muslim protesters who trampled on a severed cow’s head in protest at the building of a Hindu temple, and remained defiant on Sunday over the act.
In the latest religious dispute to erupt in multi-cultural Malaysia, local media said 50 Muslims on Friday took the head of the cow — a sacred animal for Hindus — to the central Selangor state government office and stamped on it.
The protest was against the relocation of a Hindu temple to a Muslim-majority neighbourhood in the state. News websites Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insider published pictures of the bloodied cow head.
Around 60 percent of Malaysia’s 27 million people are Muslim Malays, but the country is also home to large Chinese and Indian minorities, variously practising Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism, among others.
Lawmaker Khairy Jamaluddin, leader of the youth wing of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), criticised the protest as “emotional and insulting”.
“(This) act did not consider the sensitivity and respect for other religions which is needed to maintain the country’s harmony,” he wrote on his blog.
“The act definitely will anger the Hindus and Malaysians,” Khairy added.
Veteran opposition legislator Lim Kit Siang said the act was “deplorable”.
“In a multi-religious society, the act of sacrilege to one religion must be regarded as an act of sacrilege to all other religions and the entire nation,” Lim said.
State police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said the protesters will be investigated for sedition, according to English daily Sunday Star, but the demonstration organiser told AFP they would not apologise and rejected responsibility for the incident.
“There is no point in us apologising as it was not our work. The cow head was brought in by an individual and we don’t know that person,” Mahyuddin Manaf, who led the group of local residents, said.
“Maybe that was just a way of expressing the anger. We just want the Hindu temple to be relocated to another area as this is a Muslim-majority area,” he told AFP.
Issues related to religion, language and race are sensitive matters in multi-racial Malaysia, which witnessed deadly riots in 1969.
A comprehensive report is available in this blog