Molotov attacks on Malaysian stores over ‘Allah’ socks spark religious tensions

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In an unexpected turn of events, three outlets of the Malaysian minimart chain, KK Super Mart, have been targeted with molotov cocktails in response to the sale of socks featuring the word “Allah.” These incidents, occurring in different locations across Malaysia, have sparked concerns about religious sensitivities and the potential for escalating tensions.

The controversy began when images of the socks circulated on social media, causing outrage among some Muslims who found the use of the word “Allah” in connection with feet offensive. Malaysia, with its diverse population of predominantly Muslim Malays, along with significant Chinese and Indian minorities, is no stranger to religious and ethnic sensitivities.

The CEO of KK Super Mart, Chai Kee Kan, and his wife, along with three officials from the sock supplier, have been charged with hurting religious feelings. Both companies have issued apologies, with Chai Kee Kan blaming the supplier for the offensive product.

While the use of “Allah” has been a contentious issue in Malaysia, typically debated in the courtroom, this incident has brought tensions to the forefront. Political figures, including the youth chief of the Umno party, have been accused of stoking anger by calling for a boycott of the stores.

In response to the attacks, Sultan Ibrahim, the king of Malaysia, has called for unity, emphasizing the need for community leaders to act responsibly. Police have also warned against further escalation, referencing past racial riots.

Despite these concerns, experts believe that the current tensions are unlikely to reach the levels seen in previous incidents. However, they caution that the recent attacks serve as a reminder to not take Malaysia’s racial harmony for granted. The incident highlights the importance of respectful dialogue and understanding in a diverse society like Malaysia.

(Source: Associated Press | Al Jazeera | The Guardian)

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