Muslim - Islamic - Islam Terrorism
Islamic elements are very active in Malaysia and the country is becoming dangerous day by day for people to live.
Malaysian Muslims practise a moderate version of Sunni Islam, but in recent years the country has seen the rise of vocal Islamist groups.
Abductions are not unheard of in Malaysia, but kidnappers usually make contact quickly with victims’ families for a ransom.
Two months on, however, Mr Koh’s family has not heard a single word from him or his alleged abductors.
They believe it is no ordinary kidnapping, and that “religious elements” took the pastor in an act of “vigilantism or terrorism”.
Mr Koh runs a non-government organisation called Harapan Komuniti (Hope Community) in Kuala Lumpur, which helps the poor, single mothers, and drug addicts.
“He’s passionate, he loves people, he loves God,” says the younger Mr Koh.
In 2011, Raymond Koh’s organisation was investigated by Malaysia’s Islamic authorities.
His group was accused of attempting to convert Muslims when they hosted a party with Muslim attendees at a church. Apostasy is an offence in Muslim-majority Malaysia.
The allegations were later dropped. But he remained a target of online rumours and even received two bullets in the post shortly afterwards, his family claims.
Such accusations have resurfaced with Mr Koh’s disappearance.
Last week, it emerged that several people had lodged a police report against Mr Koh, alleging that he tried to convert Muslim youths to Christianity in January.
“He would never ask anyone to leave Islam,” says his son, Jonathan Koh.
“His alleged proselytism is not an excuse for kidnapping. If he did anything wrong, he should have the right as any citizen to trial.”
Malaysian police have given few updates, other than they were pursuing three angles: that Mr Koh had “personal issues”, extremist groups were involved, or that he was kidnapped for ransom.
Peter Chong: Social activist and former city councillor who disappeared last weekend near Kuala Lumpur. Police have since said he was seen crossing the border into Thailand.
Joshua and Ruth Hilmy: Pastor and his wife who were last seen near Kuala Lumpur in November.
Amri Che Mat: Muslim social activist allegedly snatched from his car in November, in the northern state of Perlis. His wife has denied allegations that he was spreading Shia Islam, which is banned by religious authorities.
There is no evidence these are in any way linked but in the absence of concrete information, many have come up with their own theories – including that the authorities may have had a hand in all this.
The “unprecedented mysterious” vanishings has led to “public perception and speculation… of forced disappearances”, says the Malaysian Bar, using a term which usually refers to state-sponsored abductions.
“It is shocking and outrageous that a growing number of Malaysians could inexplicably disappear and not be found for days, weeks and months.”
The police has not taken kindly to such rumours. Last month, the country’s top police officer told citizens to “please shut up”, and on Wednesday he told reporters there “was no connection”.
Others have taken up the Kohs’ theory and believe religious vigilante groups may be responsible.
Authorities have arrested dozens of suspected extremists, and last year the country saw its first attack by the so-called Islamic State.
Against this backdrop, the disappearances have unnerved many. The Malaysian Bar also said they raised “alarming doubts” about the country’s security.
Mr Koh’s disappearance in particular has sent a “worrying signal” to Christians, says Hermen Shastri, general secretary of the Council of Churches of Malaysia.
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