Cash and cars for Muslim missionaries

The government of a Malaysian state is offering money and cars to help spread Islam to indigenous tribal people.

    Kelatan's ruling party wants to spread Islam to Malaysia's tribes

    Officials in Kelantan, in the northeast of the country, hope to convert 10,000 people to Islam through a programme of incentives for missionaries.

    State-funded missionaries have encouraged more than 2,000 villagers to convert during the past decade.

    Hassan Mohamood, head of Kelantan's Islamic development and missionary panel, said: "We are increasing our efforts so that as many as possible will become Muslims."

    Kelantan authorities hope to train at least six missionaries this year to live in the state's tribal settlements, where they will preach and conduct classes on the Quran, Hassan said.

    Free housing

    The missionaries will get free housing, a monthly allowance of 1,000 ringgit ($280) and a four-wheel-drive vehicle, Hassan said. Those who marry tribal women will be given 10,000 ringgit ($2,800) to help them start a household.

    Dozens of ethnic tribes, known collectively as Orang Asli – the Original People - are scattered across the mostly Muslim country. Many live in or near rain forests, where they hunt, cultivate crops and practise animist beliefs.

    Kelantan has been ruled by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party since 1990.

    The party has shut betting shops, restricted alcohol sales and banned rock concerts in the state. It also wants to impose Islamic laws, including amputations and public lashings for criminals, but is prevented from doing so by federal law.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.