SWC Announces Travel Advisory to Malaysia after Officially-Sanctioned Anti-Jewish and Anti-Christian Initiatives

April 2, 2012

Official Friday Sermon: Jews are #1 Enemy; 'Educational' Seminar on 'Christian Threat'

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO is declaring a travel advisory to Malaysia in wake of recent officially-sanctioned hate attacks on Jews and Christians.

The Friday sermon, delivered at lunchtime in mosques across the capital city, declared “Muslims must understand Jews are the main enemy to Muslims as proven by their egotistical behaviour and murders performed by them.”

"This sermon, which was prepared and distributed by the Federal Territory Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI), makes a mockery of Malaysia’s Constitution which promises that religions other than Islam ‘may be practiced in peace and harmony in any part of the Federation.’ Further, it puts to the lie the repeated calls in international bodies by Malaysia’s Prime Minister Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib, for religions to forsake intimidation and violence. It threatens the few Jews in Malaysia and millions beyond its borders," charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

"This vicious canard wrapped in the veneer of theology deploys virulent anti-Semitic rhetoric usually associated with the Mullahs in Iran, Al Qaeda, and Hamas terrorists, not officially-sanctioned bodies in respected states," Cooper said.

"Our concerns extend beyond the Jewish community. Just one day after the hate-filled official sermon, an officially-sanctioned state seminar entitled, ‘Strengthening the Faith, the Dangers of Liberalism and Pluralism and the Threat of Christianity towards Muslims. What is the Role of Teachers?’ was convened by the Johor Education Department and the Johor Mufti Department which required 55 schools to send two religious teachers to deal with the "threat" of Christians to Malaysian Muslims. "With British imperialism a thing of the past, what then is the nature of the threat that Christians--who form only 9.2 per cent of Malaysia’s 28.3 million population -- pose to the majority of Malaysian citizens?" Cooper asked.

"In such an environment, where religious intolerance is being paid for with taxpayer’s money and promoted by various official organs, it is time to raise the basic question as to whether Jewish and Christian travelers to Malaysia will be safe."

"The repeated threats to Christians and Jews leads the Simon Wiesenthal Center to urge our 400,000 constituent families along with all Jews and Christians to reevaluate any travel plans to Malaysia, whether on business or as tourists.”
"The Wiesenthal Center will also ask the US State Department to launch its own investigation of state-sponsored religious bigotry in Malaysia", Cooper concluded.

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact the Center's Public Relations Department, 310-553-9036, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent direct to your Twitter page or mobile device.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).