In recent years, Putrajaya and the Church have been at loggerheads over several issues, the most contentious of this being the right to use the term ‘Allah’.
The issue, which saw the fire-bombing of several churches, was later brought before the court, which eventually decided in favour of the government.
In a statement released today, Sabah Council of Churches president Bishop Thomas Tsen urged Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to urgently rein in extremism. (more…)
The statement by Selangor Royal Council secretary Hanafisah Jais yesterday that the use of the word Allah in the Bible and in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of the Catholic Herald be stopped immediately needs urgent clarification as it raises concern over the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.
Hanafisah is reported to have said the statement was released after the Selangor Sultan consulted the Selangor Royal Council on Monday. (more…)
HASBULLAH AWANG CHIK
National laureate Datuk A. Samad Said (pic) has been attending Friday prayers at Masjid India and is not bothered by the fact that the sermons are preached in Tamil. For him, not understanding them provides respite as sermons have turned too political for his liking.
Islam’s holiest day Friday is where Muslims perform a weekly communal prayer and listen to sermons to guide their life. But for the past two weeks, national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said has been attending the Friday prayers at Masjid India in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur where the sermon is preached in Tamil. (more…)
The Association of Churches Sarawak has urged Putrajaya to show more commitment to recognising religious freedom in Sabah and Sarawak.
The group’s chairperson Archbishop Bolly Lapok said thus far, Putrajaya hads only displayed “ad hoc benevolence” whenever religious freedom cropped up.
“We need tangible commitments from the authorities to respect and uphold the freedom of religion, guaranteed by the federal Cconstitution as the supreme law of the nation,” Lapok said in a statement today. (more…)
The Catholic Church has filed an application for leave to appeal to the Federal Court the decision of the Court of Appeal which had allowed the government’s appeal to ban its weekly publication The Herald from using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God.
Benjamin Dawson, one of the counsels representing the church, said they had filed the application at the Federal Court registry yesterday.
“The church has raised 26 questions of law in the leave application to appeal to the Federal Court,” he told Bernama when contacted today. (more…)
The name of God is like desire. If someone has a bad case of Horny, demanding that he becomes a purity angel will only make him grow horns. Try to tell people they’re not allowed to love in a certain manner and you may as well try to put out a fire by drowsing it with Ron 95. Police the erotic and you’ll end up eroticizing the policing.
Isn’t this why virtually all attempts to stamp out the gay “problem” tend to back-fire? If you judge my sex you’ll not only generate more heat than light, you’ll get me and my partner in heat faster than you can say LGBTQ.
On the Sunday right after the Court of Appeal’s unappealing decision on October 14, most non-Malay speaking churches in PJ/KL proudly defied the law and used the word ‘Allah’ for (probably) the first time in their worship services. (more…)
As Christians, we often say, “do not follow other Christians”, just learn to follow Jesus Christ; which is the reason we are called Christian. In the book, ‘The Knights Templar & the Protestant Reformation’, it states that when Stanley Jones, a missionary, met Mahatma Gandhi he asked him:
Mr Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?
Gandhi replied: Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ. (more…)
Reza Aslan says Christians using the word Allah do not pose a threat to Islam. – Pic courtesy Wikimedia Commons / Roanoke College, October 22, 2013.A well-known American Muslim theologian has joined a long list of critics over the recent Court of Appeal ruling on the use of the word Allah, saying it was a “political decision more than anything else”.
“This notion that Malaysian Muslims need to be protected by the court because you can’t think for yourself, you can’t make decisions on your own. We are laughing at you,” said Reza Aslan, speaking on BFM Radio’s Evening Edition programme yesterday.
“That you can control people’s ideas, their behaviour, their faith and their minds simply by trying to control the words that they use, is absurd. It is an embarassment to a modern, constitutional, democratic and deeply Muslim state like Malaysia,” he added. (more…)
The head of the Malaysian Catholic Church today said that the decision of the Court of Appeal on the Allah issue was tantamount to persecuting Christians in Malaysia.
Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam (pic) noted that the three judges were grossly misinformed in arriving at the decision to ban Catholic weekly Herald from using the word Allah.
He said Christians in Malaysia have been using the word peacefully for centuries and “we do not accept the statement of these judges”.
“As president of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Malaysia, I want to say that the three judges were grossly misinformed in their finding that the word Allah is not essential or an integral part of Christianity,” said the archbishop in a statement today. (more…)
Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has said that Pakatan Rakyat would announce its stand on the ‘Allah’ issue after its leadership council meets today.
Further, and more significantly, Anwar revealed that coalition component PAS would craft the Pakatan stand which its partners PKR and DAP would support.
Carping critics of Pakatan’s ideological cohesion ought to take note of the nuances: the opposition coalition is not as incoherent as they like to contend, and difficult questions pertaining to Islamic religion are ceded the partner best equipped to finesse them. (more…)
Umno has political, and not religious, reasons for its ban on the use of the word “Allah” by the Catholic newspaper The Herald. Therefore, the only solution to such a ban is political. The ban should be met with a thoughtful response by our society, rather than religious fervour or rage.
PAS MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa gave a rebuttal of the ban that was intelligent and measured (and obviously prepared in advance). “Interfaith dialogue is the way forward.”
Language used as a weapon
Language is perhaps our most beautiful human trait. Our Creator has bestowed on us a gift of language that sets us apart from other species. (more…)
V. ANBALAGAN AND DESMOND DAVIDSON
“Why do we have one country with two interpretations of the use of the word Allah?” Sarawak Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic) asked this when commenting on the Cabinet decision yesterday that the Court of Appeal ruling, which banned the word Allah in the Catholic weekly, Herald, does not apply to Sabah and Sarawak.
“I’m not comfortable with this interpretation. The assurance by the Cabinet that Sabah and Sarawak can use the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia or native language bibles, and other religious publications and in worship, but not in West Malaysia, is not satisfactory,” Masing told The Malaysian Insider, adding that he still thinks that the court ruling is faulty. “It means one nation with two religious definitions of what is acceptable. I feel awkward.” (more…)
The various religious faiths in Malaysia have lived side-by-side for hundreds of years without anyone being confused by the teachings of a religion other than their own. So why all the confusion today?
History, it is said is important. Let’s go back to the pre-Merdeka (Independence) days and see the Islam of that era in Malaysia. Malay-Muslim parents who wanted their children to get an English education sent their children to English medium schools.
Almost all government English medium schools were in the big towns. These towns also had missionary schools like the convents, La Salle Brothers’ schools and Methodist schools. The mission schools were also found in semi-rural and rural areas. (more…)
UPKO party president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 15, 2013.The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) could lose its solid vote bank in both Sabah and Sarawak with yesterday’s Court of Appeal ruling which banned the use of the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia section of the Catholic weekly, the Herald.
Sabahans and Sarawakians, who form most of Malaysia’s 2.8 million Christians, have continued to support BN despite the coalition continuing to lose ground heavily in the past two general elections. But they are spooked with the interpretation of the ruling which suggested there is a blanket ban on the use of the word Allah in Bahasa Malaysia or native language Christian publications. Other minorities such as the Sikhs have also expressed concern about the decision. (more…)
THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
Muslim groups outside the court building Putrajaya today. The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, October 14, 2013.So the Court of Appeal has ruled that the Catholic Church cannot use the word Allah in its weekly publication, Herald. Understandably, there is widespread disappointment, even anger among Christians, especially those in East Malaysia who have used Allah in Christian prayers and worship services for more than 100 years. Yes, far longer than the birth of this nation or for that matter, the age of the chief protagonist, Umno.
This case has been an eye-opener and a learning experience for many.
Lesson Number 1: (more…)
The Court of Appeal ruling on the Allah issue yesterday has given wide-ranging discretionary powers to the Home Minister to make pre-emptive executive decisions, says Tony Pua.
The Court of Appeal decision yesterday which ruled in favour of the government on the use of the term ‘Allah’ has also given wide-ranging discretionary powers to the Home Minister to make pre-emptive executive decisions.
The judgment read by Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali stated that the Home Minister had sufficient material before him to ban Catholic weekly The Herald from using the ‘Allah’ word as “such usage if allowed will inevitably cause confusion within the community”. (more…)
Lord Bobo, I’m a Chinese man. 10 years ago, I married a Malay woman and converted to Islam. We have 2 kids but have now divorced. I have recently come to know the Christian faith, and want to know how to convert out of Islam. Also, can my kids convert out of Islam, and if so how? (Lord Help Me, via email)
Oh, my dear Lord Help Me. Love makes us do silly things. Fortunately, most of these silly things are reversible, or forgettable, and fade away with time. Unfortunately, in the Model Islamic Country that is Malaysia, converting to Islam is not one of those easily reversible things. There are great consequences.
The short answer is this: You can probably convert out of Islam. However, your kids will not be able to. And as a bonus, by opting to convert out of Islam, you are likely to lose the right to see or take care of your kids. Lord Bobo has great sympathy for those in your situation. It is quite difficult being on a dark desert highway, cool wind in your hair, with the warm smell of colitas rising up through the air. (more…)
Ahmad Farouk Musa
Whether we realise or not, there has been a significant shift in the political approach of many Islamist movements especially in the dynamics of their normative framework throughout the world. It probably started with the transformation of Islamist parties in Turkey, namely Refah (the Welfare Party) and the Fazilet (the Virtue Party) to Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (Justice and Development Party, hereinafter referred as AKP) that has a more tolerant normative framework and eventually relinquished their Islamism.
If we were to trace this transformation, it started long ago even before the reformist movement of Jamaluddin al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh, who are widely known as first Islamists. Perhaps the movement in Turkey was the first to respond to Western hegemony by formulating Islamic answers derived from Islamic sources. This movement is known as the Young Ottomans and could be seen as predecessors of Jamaluddin al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh. (more…)
The Christian Federation of Malaysia
As the hearing date of 10 September 2013 ( Today ) for the appeal by the Government of Malaysia against the decision of the High Court of Malaya to allow The Herald newspaper to use the word “Allah” fast approaches, the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) notes with grave concern the calls by various groups to “defend” Islam from being insulted and threatened.
In particular, we refer to a television programme in which untrue and unsubstantiated accusations were made about so-called Christian plots to convert Muslims, and to the official Friday sermon (khutbah) written by JAKIM (the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia or Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia) and delivered on 6 September 2013, which called for “action” (“tindakan”) in defence of Islam by Muslims over the use of the word “Allah” for God by Christians, and that such defence was a “holy struggle” (“perjuangan suci”). (more…)
Catholic Archbishop Murphy Pakiam has lost his bid to strike out the Home Ministry and government’s appeal over the Allah matter.
The Court of Appeal’s three-member panel led by Justice Abu Samah Nordin unanimously dismissed the archbishop’s notice of motion to strike out the appeal.
They ruled that the matter was not academic and was still “a live issue”.
“We now dismiss the applicant’s (Archbishop Murphy’s) application,” Justice Abu Samah said.
The other judges on the panel are Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim and Justice Rohana Yusof. (more…)
Patricia Anne Martinez
As an ordinary Malaysian Christian, specifically a Catholic, I want to place on record that I am deeply INSULTED.
I just watched the program “Pope from the end of the world” on the Astro History channel. It is a biography (and nothing else) of Pope Francis. Perhaps it was featured before, but it was the first time I watched it.
Before the program was aired, the following appeared on the screen: “THIS PROGRAM PORTRAYS DEPICTION OF RELIGIOUS FIGURES AND REPRESENTS VIEWS OTHER THAN MUSLIMS’. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.”
The disclaimer – if it can be called that, was shown FOUR TIMES throughout the program. (more…)
Less than two years’ after the 2009 landmark Kuala Lumpur High Court judgment that declared the ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by the Catholics as unconstitutional, the government came up with a 10 point solution to resolve the issue once and for all.
Based on it, Catholic Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, is questioning the continuation of the Home Ministry and government’s appeal on the Herald which is pending at the Court of Appeal.
The 10 point solution, signed by Premier Najib Abdul Razak on April 11, 2011, had the agreement of the cabinet and was addressed to the Christian Federation of Malaysia chairperson, Ng Moon Hing. (more…)
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Joseph Kurup said the federal government will leave it up to the courts to decide on whether non-Muslim can use the word ‘Allah’ or not.
“This is now before the courts, so let the courts decide,” he told journalists after the attending the Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) 30th anniversary dinner in Kuala Lumpur last night.
Kurup was responding to a query on whether the federal government will allow non-Muslims to use the word ‘Allah’ based on the 10-point solution endorsed by the cabinet in 2011. (more…)
Papal nuncio to Malaysia Archbishop Joseph Marino, in his first public remarks following the recent controversy ignited by comments he made on the ‘Allah’ issue, said the “very essence of our humanity is defined by the heart that cares and has compassion.”
Speaking to an overflow crowd at the annual Feast of St Anne celebrations at Bukit Mertajam, in Penang, last Saturday, Marino said that “so important is our common work for the good of others, which in itself is a true inter-religious dialogue of action,” that it becomes a means by which Christianity expresses its search for the divine. (more…)
Ahmad Farouk Musa & Ahmad Fuad Rahmat
We at the Islamic Renaissance Front were dismayed and horrified by the statement made by a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom that there was no violation of human rights in the banning of Shia teaching.
Coming from a minister of a government that holds a chair at the United Nation Human Rights Council, this statement is clearly inept and inane. It depicts a clear blunder in understanding the language of human rights.
Human rights are inalienable fundamental rights to which any human being is inherently entitled. And a very important value of our society is that all people have certain rights that are so important that they cannot be taken away. (more…)
The occurrence of the word ‘Allah’ in the Malay Bible is not an error, and a minister’s claim that it was all right to urge its burning as such was “offensive and unacceptable”, said a Christian group.
“It is offensive and unacceptable for the honourable minister to attempt to justify the urging by Ibrahim Ali to burn our holy scripture by saying that our holy scripture contains errors in printing.
“The use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Alkitab is not and has never been an error of printing as claimed by the minister.
“Such a suggestion is insensitive, insulting and inflammatory. We reiterate that it is the express right of the Christian community to use the word,” said reverend Eu Hong Seng (left), chairperson of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM). (more…)
Religious rights are enshrined in the constitution
People who make a great deal of fuss about religious rituals and words are often seeking to draw attention away from the issue of whether they are actually practicing the religion itself.
They hope that by making a lot of noise about such outward matters they will convince people they are religious, when in fact they may be stealing and lying and a lot of other things utterly forbidden by the prophets, who were largely unconcerned by form and ceremony.
All religions are intended to civilise us, which makes it all the more of an affront when people do the most uncivilised things in the name of religion, like attacking other people or indeed attempting to deny them their legitimate rights to their own form of faith. (more…)
J. D. Lovrenciear
In Australia a global, fast-food franchise owner-operator did not hesitate to apologize and even try to compensate a victim of sexism who suffered from insult and an invasion of what we can qualify as a womanhood’s personal privacy or ‘maruah wanita’ as we would term it here in Malaysia.
But here in Malaysia that ‘maruah’ principle is long lost. Even demeaning an elected Member of Parliament with outrageous insult and vulgarity gets away without any principle-centered reaction, honorable response or justified rebuttal.
In all likelihood it would have drawn muffled chuckles within the halls of infamy.
That is the difference between democratic governance and arrogant tyranny. (more…)
In his first interview with the Malaysian media, the first resident diplomat sent by the Vatican to live and work in this country responded to the controversial issue of the use of the Arabic word, Allah, to describe god in any religion, as well as the very current hot button topic of religious conversions.
Archbishop Joseph Marino (pic) said he supports the stand of the Catholic Church in Malaysia.
He applauded the arguments made by the Christian Federation of Malaysia to use “Allah” in its texts to refer to God as very well done.
Archbishop Marino qualified that although the ongoing court case was an internal matter for Malaysia, he was in support of the Christian federation’s arguments for the term, saying they were “quite logical and acceptable”. (more…)
The Catholic Church will argue that the Najib administration’s appeal against a High Court decision allowing a church newspaper to use the word “Allah” should be struck out because it is irrational and illogical.
A source familiar with the case told The Malaysian Insider that the appeal was an academic and futile exercise by the government.
The reason: a list of promises given by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in April 2011 just before the Sarawak state elections explicitly allowed Catholics to use the word “Allah”.
With one eye on the Christian vote in the East Malaysian state, Najib offered a 10-point solution to the problems faced by Christians in practising their religion freely as provided under the Federal Constitution. (more…)
There was marked silence from Malay Muslim MPs on the proposed amendment that would see a child converted into Islam if either parent consents to it. Save for some dissenting voices, most of them see no problem with it.
Being Muslims themselves, I guess they are secure in the fact that their children will never ever get converted.
The ones who will get converted are the Christian, Buddhist, Hindu and irreligious kids. Never precious Muslims.
It is illegal for anybody to even try to convert a Muslim to another religion. Proselytising to Muslims is prohibited under syarie law in most states, under the threat of whipping and long stints in jail. (more…)
The Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association (PPMM) has urged for action to be taken against the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) for using the word ‘Allah’ in one of its programmes.
“PPMM calls on Muslim NGOs or any Muslim individuals to come forward and lodge police reports for investigations to commence.
“State Islamic religious authorities can also lodge police reports for investigations and appropriate action to be taken against those who breached the enactment (on prohibition for use of the word ‘Allah’),” said PPMM president Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar.
Zainul (left) pointed out that a court case on whether non-Muslims could use the world ‘Allah’ was still ongoing and until then, enactments in several states preventing non-Muslims from using the word ‘Allah’ still stands. (more…)
Political parties in Sarawak have also been urged to state their stand on the seizure of bibles from the Sibu prison.
The issue of “Allah” and the Malay Bible is far from over. It has cropped up again when prison authorities seized hundreds of Malay and Iban-language Bibles with the word “Allah” from a prison in Sibu over the past few weeks.
This has not gone down well with the Christians who make up 44% of the state’s population. (more…)
The federal government does not want to resolve the Allah issue in the case of Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, a Melanau Christian, whose religious items, including compact discs bearing the term ‘Allah’, were seized by the Customs Department on May 11, 2008.Her lawyer Annou Xavier said this when the matter came up for case management before deputy registrar N Arun today.”I asked the senior federal counsel whether the federal government wanted to resolve the matter by backing down. However, the federal government does not want to, I was told,” Xavier (left) said.
Following this, he said, the Kuala Lumpur High Court fixed July 2 for further case management, pending the decision of the Court of Appeal on the appeal by the federal government against the High Court ruling that the government’s ban on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by the Catholic magazine Herald is illegal.
William de Cruz
Christians are getting a bad name for themselves in Malaysia, and some of us may only have ourselves to blame as fence-sitters, fear-mongers and fantasists.
Case in point – hudud, which might as well be a four-letter word for the obscenity of fear and paranoia it has ingrained among some followers of the faith.
In spite of history showing the system has not been imposed on two east coast states that have been under the rule of PAS for years, Christians continue to question the credentials of the opposition coalition on one, logic-defying notion: that a vote for Pakatan Rakyat will transmogrify Malaysia into an Islamist state where, like an advocate for change recently said, armless men will walk the streets in Putrajaya. (more…)
With the Perkasa duo, Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Noordin, entering the fray as Umno-sponsored parliamentary candidates, racism and religious bigotry is set to rear its ugly head again, especially over the ‘Allah’ controversy.
A manifestation of such extremism is the extent to which fringe Malay groups like Perkasa would go to advance their agenda. Cause for concern is their incendiary speeches over the controversy of the use of the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God by non-Muslims. Ibrahim even suggested recently an open season for burning bibles (pesta membakar Alkitab). Nothing can be more seditious and incendiary. Yet this was tolerated by the authorities. (more…)
The exterior of the 600,000-square-foot Calvary Convention Centre (CCC).
Southeast Asia’s largest church opened its doors today against a backdrop of debate about freedom of religion in Malaysia and allegations of subtle discrimination against non-Muslims.
The Pentecostal church Calvary Church brushed off fears of a potential backlash from Muslims, even as it celebrated Easter today at its newly opened building here that is touted to be the largest in the region.
The RM200 million 600,000-square-feet building dubbed the Calvary Convention Centre (CCC) in Bukit Jalil boasts a 5,000-seat auditorium, as well as a multi-purpose hall, classrooms, lecture halls, a nursery and other spaces that will be converted into retail stores and cafes. (more…)
Parti Bersatu Sabah must explain why it allowed the Sabah State Assembly in 1992 to pass an enactment barring use of the term “Allah” and several related words.
Pressure is piling on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to speak plainly on his government’s stand on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak.
The word has become so politically loaded in the peninsula that failing to acquiesce to native Christians insistence in the two Borneo states that they be allowed to continue to use it in their worship threatens to strip away any electoral support his Barisan Nasional government may enjoy among them. (more…)
SYED JAYMAL ZAHIID
Speaking to Sinar Harian, Nik Abdul Aziz (picture) said this was a non-issue.
There is no issue for non-Muslims to use “Allah”, PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat has said, in the face of Malay-Muslim confusion over a controversy that had ignited religious tension in recent months.
The Kelantan mentri besar, however, maintained that the term cannot be translated to mean “God” or “Lord”, saying this was consistent with the PAS syura council’s view that “Allah” cannot be used in religious texts of the non-Muslims.
But critics felt the decision from the council, the Islamist party’s highest decision-making body, was “contradictory”, with one suggesting that if “Allah” can be used by non-Muslims orally, why the prohibition against its usage in religious texts. (more…)
Bishop Paul Tan criticises Ridhuan Tee Abdullah over his article which belittles Hindus and calls on the Muslim scholar to apologise.
After more than five decades of independence, this nation which once celebrated the harmonious existence of its diverse racial composition is now mourning the regression of race and religious ties.
And this lamentable state of affairs is unravelling under the watch of a prime minister, whose clarion call of 1Malaysia is premised on cementing such relations. (more…)
Anna Lee, via e-mail
This letter is written as a partial response to ‘Allah’ is for the whole of Mankind” by Zulaika. Zulaika wrote, “Now, the controversy arises as a result of the doctrine of Trinity held by the Christians, whereby God is referred to as The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost, which will not be accepted by the Believers of the Quran as the truth.”
Contrary to what Zulaika wrote, the trinity that the Quran finds unacceptable is not the Christian Trinity of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. (Christians today prefer to use the word “Holy Spirit” in place of the word “Holy Ghost” as the latter is an old English usage.) (more…)
It’s hard to find a Christian in Malaysia nowadays who dares to say (out loud) that the church should have nothing to do with politics. The tide has shifted way too much for that. Still, a nagging problem remains: it’s the almost universally held idea that the church cannot be apolitical yet it must remain non-partisan.
Sure, we can preach and speak up against oppression, non-democracy, injustice, etc. but churches should remain outwardly neutral when it comes to election time. The pulpit is a space to say “Yes” to Jesus, Paul and Peter but never to say “No” to Najib, Muhyiddin or Hishammuddin. (more…)
Disputation in Malaysia over the kalimah Allah, the name of God, has not abated.
On the contrary, it continues to become ever more acrimonious and worrying.
These days we now even have some enthusiastic “idealists” who give advance notice of their readiness for a virtually premeditated amok — or to excuse others who might resort to that kind of intimidatory violence — in order, paradoxically, to uphold their notions of moderation, mutual acceptance and tolerance in interfaith relations.
A question of many parts
There are many aspects to this dispute, all of them requiring close and serious consideration. (more…)
Catholics stumped by Murphy Pakiam’s conspicuous silence and his failure to come out and defend the faithful over the burn-the-Bible issue
The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Murphy Pakiam, has received a barrage of criticisms from Catholics for keeping mum on Perkasa’s call to Muslims to seize and burn Bibles.
Pakiam has yet to make a statement regarding Ibrahim Ali’s call to burn Bibles which contained the term “Allah” and other religious Arabic terms, leading some from his flock to label him as a weak leader. (more…)
Qasim A. Moini
It can be argued that the biggest dilemma confronting the Muslim world currently is a moral and ethical one. The root cause of all the major ills that plague Muslims — ignorance, poverty, intolerance, etc — is the fact that many of us have failed to apply the practical ethics taught by Islam in our everyday lives.
The Quran and Sunnah contain very clear guidelines regarding the construction of an ethical personality. The Almighty desires that each individual reach the exalted station of ashraf al-makhluqat, the pinnacle of creation. Yet most Muslims are content — out of either lack of direction or lack of effort — to be counted amongst the asfala safileen, or the lowest of the low. The disastrous results of such a course of action are clear for all to see. (more…)
BN has changed tack as the 13th general election looms, and the new strategies appear to pay off.
Ever since Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak took office in 2009, speculation on the date of the 13th general election (GE13) has been rife and constant. As we enter the fourth year of Najib’s term in office, the polls have still not been called. However, with March the most likely polling month, a macro overview of Barisan Nasional’s strategies over the past three years – analysing their effectiveness and BN’s final tactics these two months – is in order.
When Najib took over in 2009, BN’s political rhetoric has been one based on moderation. He started the 1Malaysia slogan that has since been incorporated in numerous government programmes. He promised political change which he did fulfil albeit very reservedly. (more…)
Vidal Yudin Wei
The raging ‘Allah” issue has left this writer wondering if Jakim and National Fatwah Council clerics who can both “see and read” are “blind”.
When I was young, my teacher told me that if I want to study facts I should take up archaeology, but if I want to find out what truth is all about I should choose philosophy.
I ended up somewhere in the middle and discovered that between scientific evidence and logic, there are matters that require a 3rd element called faith – to believe and accept in the absence of facts and figures. And religion is one such matter. (more…)
This is an appeal to the Christian community in Malaysia to drop the use of “Allah” in the Alkitab. Before you become defensive and/or offensive please read through my reasons.
The first reason is a biblical one. Christians are called upon to live in peace with all men (Rom. 12:18; 1 Tim. 2:2; Titus 3:2).
The unabated provocations against the minority Christians in this country call for restraint and calm on our part.
We are to repay no one evil for evil. We are not to avenge ourselves. We are to overcome evil with good (Rom. 12:17-21). We have already won the legal battle for the use of ‘Allah’. (more…)
JAKIM cited “scientific” research to back its assertion that Christians have no legitimate claim to the word “Allah”.
Federal religious authorities warned Muslims nationwide today of attempts by “enemies of Islam” to confuse them into believing that all religions are the same, prolonging the debate over the usage of “Allah” by Christians even as it drives a deeper wedge between the country’s two most dominant religions.
In today’s Friday sermon prepared by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) here, Muslims were told that being too open-minded and allowing Islamic rights to be abused by other religions was a “dangerous” act. (more…)