Najib Plays a Strawman Again!

The government will engage with Christians groups here that love peace and respect the country’s Islamic leadership, the prime minister said today.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the Barisan Nasional (BN) government would work with Christians who wished to uphold world peace and harmony as it was committed to the “global movement of moderates”.

“We wish to tell our friends, the Malaysian Christians . . . if they respect us, we will also respect them,” he told some 200 BN supporters at Kompleks Bunga Raya here.

“This is our message. Islam is fair to all. Islam is beautiful, Islam is grand, Islam is pure, Islam is noble.”

(Read here)

After Najib’s visit to the Vatican to meet the Pope and establishing the beginnings of a possible diplomatic ties, he comes back to warn Malaysian Christians accusing them of not respecting the BN leadership or more specifically, the Umno leadership who are Muslims. He desperately tries to link Umno with Islam to imply not respecting Umno is disrespectful to Islam.

He creates yet another strawman to shake down when he can’t point to specific instances of his so-called disrespect of Islam by Christians.

Oh, that’s it. It is NOT about Christians being disrespectful of Islam as they never do that to other religions. They are people who love peace and are very tolerant to others including leaders who don’t respect them.

The issue Najib is shaking down here if we read closely has to do with respect for Umno and more specifically respect to Najib and Administration who had in recent days been taking a hard stand on the Malay bibles and the usage of some number of words including “Allah” by Christians in Malaysia. The recent Sarawak state election exposed the weaknesses of the BN government in handling issues regarding the Christian community.

Malaysians must realise by now that there are NO problems at all with Christians living with Muslims here in Malaysia. The Christian community has been subjected to various governmental actions including classifying the Malay Bible “Perjanjian Baru” under the ISA. The problem is with the government. The problem is not with Islam or Muslims. Never has!

Malaysians live in harmony regardless of race and religion. We are one without government rhetorics.

This time with Najib accusing the Christians of not respecting BN leaders may have basis which only he himself knows.

It was the Christian community through the Inter-Faith organization that has wanted to engage in productive dialogs with the government but claims like this by Najib seems to politicize the situation to put the Christians off.

One can’t imagine Najib’s intention but clearly it is a strawman argument stirring a storm out of his tea cup. If there is a single basis, then let the focus be on that issue to resolve and not make sweeping statements.

Meanwhile, the Christian community lives harmoniously with the Muslims and those of other faiths and await the government patiently to be sincere to dialog.

Such rhetorics only spell disaster to Najib and Umno and nobody knows why it keeps happening shooting themselves in the foot everytime. Meeting the Pope with the highlight on giving him the book entitled “Najib” does not make any Malaysians proud at all.

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