Monday, April 17, 2017

Religious Controls Rife in Malaysia

Islam is politicized by the Malaysian government. Image credit:
Malaysia continues to strictly control religious practices, with an annual study grouping it together with other Muslim-majority countries practicing “very high” restrictions, such as Saudi Arabia, Brunei, and Turkey.
The study, published on Tuesday by US-based think tank Pew Research Center, found that Malaysia’s religious controls worsened in 2015, scoring 8.0 out of 10 points on the Government Restriction Index compared to 7.0 the previous year.
Topping the 2015 list was Egypt, China, Iran and Russia, followed by Uzbekistan and Malaysia which shared the same score. A total of 198 countries were surveyed in the study.
Pew said government restrictions on religion and social hostilities involving religion increased in 2015; the first time it has done so in three years.
“The increase in government restrictions was linked to a surge in government harassment and use of force against religious groups, two of the specific indicators used to measure government restrictions on religion in the analysis”, said the report, referring to the global situation.
The GRI comprises 20 measures of restrictions, including efforts by government to ban particular faiths, prohibit conversion, limit preaching or giving preferential treatment to one or more religious groups.
Malaysia was also placed in the “high” group on the Social Hostilities Index, which measures acts of religious hostility by private individuals, organizations or groups in society.
The two indices were based on international reports on religious freedom from the United States, European and UN bodies, and independent NGOs across the world.
In the Scottish Premiership game on Sunday, Celtic drew 2-2 with Ross County. The former are now unbeaten in 40 domestic games this season.
And on the same day too, this EPL match between Liverpool and West Brom saw the Reds beat the Baggies 1-0.
Roberto Firmino headed in the only goal (45+1) and Liverpool return to third place with this win in an uneventful game.


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