Malaysia charges 12 Muslims for anti-Hindu protest
Religious extremism in one form or the other is creating problem for Humans. In a latest incident Malaysian court charged 12 Muslims for provoking Hindu community. The court's stand is no doubt secularistic, but the question is why this kind of reaction, why Muslim mass tried to provoke the peace loving Hindu's of Malayasia.
A Malaysian court charged 12 Muslims with criminal offenses Wednesday for parading a severed cow head to protest the construction of a Hindu temple in a case that stoked religious tensions in this multiethnic country.
The 12 were among a large group of people who had marched from a mosque in Shah Alam, the capital of Selangor state, to the state chief minister's office on Aug. 28 with the bloodied cow head. The cow is the most sacred animal in Hinduism.
They stopped at the gates of the office where they stomped and spat on the head after listening to fiery speeches by their leader. Their actions were recorded on video, and the footage was uploaded onto the Internet.
Twelve of the protesters were charged with illegal assembly and six of them were also charged with sedition, which is punishable by up to three years in jail and a fine. Illegal assembly is punishable by one year in jail and a fine.
Sedition is defined as promoting ill will and hostility between different races.
"It is not a serious offense. If you look at the Malay culture, the cow is synonymous to stupidity and not meant to insult other religions," Defence lawer said.
P. Uthayakumar, a prominent Hindu activist, dismissed the argument as laughable.
"It is a lame excuse and completely unacceptable. They are clearly inciting the Hindus," said Uthayakumar.
Many Malaysians, including Muslims, have criticized police for failing to halt the protesters and the government for failing to crack down swiftly on them as they have with other anti-government demonstrators.
The protesters insist the temple could generate excessive noise and traffic, disrupting their concentration during prayers.