John R. Malott
Like other friends of Malaysia overseas, I have followed the controversy over the use of the word “Allah” with interest, but also with great concern. For I believe that this issue, if left unchecked, has the potential to tear Malaysia and the dream of “Bangsa Malaysia” apart.
While there are racial and religious issues in every society, what makes the situation in Malaysia different is that it is the government that has condoned and even provoked these tensions for its own political purposes.
For years, UMNO justified its existence by saying that the Malays are under threat, and that only UMNO could defend “the Malay race”. (more…)
Reverend Father Andrew says the Herald’s circulation is controlled and sent only to Catholic churches.
The Catholic Church has once again reiterated that its weekly newspaper, Herald, is a “controlled” publication, meant only for distribution in Catholic churches, dismissing Putrajaya’s allegation that it is widely circulated.
Herald editor Reverend Father Lawrence Andrew brushed aside Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Idris Jala’s claims that the newspaper’s “potentially wide circulation” could make it a tool of Christian propagation. (more…)
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian. says Thursday’s high-handed aggressive raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia’s premises is a confirmation of what he has been warning about all along – that the religious authorities would use The Herald judgment to extend their insidious and strangling tentacles on other aspects of Christian and non-Muslim practices.
“So much for the PM’s and other BN politicians’ assurances that the Court of Appeal’s flawed judgment would only apply to the contents of The Herald,” he said when commenting on the Selangor Islamic authorities’ the raid.
Sarawak’s Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic) today lambasted gutless federal leaders whom he said are tip-toeing around the Allah issue with an unsound policy apparently aiming “to appease everyone”.
“Leaders (in the federal cabinet) must be brave enough to take the bull by the horns and decide once and for all which set of religious laws Malaysians must abide by.
“We must take the bull by the horn and tell the bull who is boss,” Masing, an outspoken and fierce critic of the federal government’s stand on the Allah issue, said when reacting to the Selangor Islamic Religious department (Jais) raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) where 300 copies of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia and Iban were carted away. (more…)
Putrajaya has appealed for calm in light of increasing tension over the usage of the word Allah by Christians.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said he had contacted minister in charge of Islamic Affairs, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, who had assured that he would help cool down tensions.
“He will help look into the matter and help calm the situation,” Kurup told The Malaysian Insider.
Christians form about 9% of Malaysia’s 29 million population. (more…)
The Bible Society of Malaysia president Lee Min Choon appealed for calm.
The Selangor Islamic authorities do not have the authority to raid the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM), said the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM).
Saying they were alarmed by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s (Jais) raid today on BSM where they confiscated over 300 Bibles in Malay and Iban, CCM general-secretary Rev Dr Hermen Shastri said that the Federal Constitution guaranteed the right of religious communities in the country to freely profess and administer their affairs. (more…)
Ever since the government’s ban of the usage of the word “Allah” in the Malay section of the Herald in 2007, we have seen many arguments, both logical and illogical, for and against, the usage of the word by the Catholic Church in Malaysia. I think the controversy over whether the Church (or other religious minorities) has the “right” to use the word “Allah” is misplaced.
Here are some examples to illustrate my point. The Court of Appeal held that the word “Allah” is not an integral part of the Christian faith. In light of this judgement, Fr. Lawrence Andrew argued that “’Allah’ is a term in the Middle East and in Indonesia, it is a term both for Christians and Muslims. (more…)
The Selangor Islamic Affairs Department’s (Jais) heavy-handed approach against the Christian community in the country over the use of the word Allah is proof that its actions are politically motivated rather than driven by religion, said an opposition lawmaker.
PAS politician Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa said Putrajaya should immediately step in and stop Muslim religious bodies like Jais from conducting raids and attempting to enforce state laws on non-Muslim establishments as this only serves to further damage the already fractured interfaith relations in the country. (more…)
The Selangor Islamic Religious department (Jais) has raided the Bible Society of Malaysia and carted away 300 copies of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia and Iban this afternoon.
A council member for the society said its chairman, Lee Min Choon (pic), and general-secretary, Simon Wong, were detained and taken to the Damansara Utama police station.
The member said, as BSM was conducting a stock take today, they were told not to open the office when some 20 Jais officers accompanied by two policemen arrived about 2pm. (more…)
Police will record a statement from a senior Catholic priest over the use of the word “Allah” by Christians, reported Malay daily Berita Harian Online.
Selangor police chief Datuk Mohd Shukri Dahlan said they would call Catholic weekly Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew (pic) to facilitate investigations after numerous police reports were lodged over the matter.
Police are also in discussion with Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) on this. (more…)
Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam (pic) retired last week after reaching age 75, unable to see through another appeal to Malaysia’s highest court against a government ban on Catholics using the Arabic word Allah to describe God.
Pope Francis accepted Pakiam’s resignation as he had reached the age limit, the official Vatican website reported on Friday. But it did not name a successor for the priest who turned 75 on December 6.
In 2007, Pakiam filed for a judicial review after the church’s weekly, Herald, was ordered to stop using Allah in its Bahasa Malaysia edition by the Home Ministry. (more…)
A banner bearing the word ‘Allah’ was asked by police to be brought down at a gathering of some 6,000 Iban Christians at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) on Friday.
“The participants were surprised. We were embarrassed,” said Patrick Sibat organising secretary of the gathering which was put together by the Gempuru Besai Kristian Jaku Iban (GBKJI).
He added that they complied with the directive as it came, according to the police, ‘from the top’.
“It was even more embarrassing for us when observers from Christian natives groups from Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, India, Mongolia and Taiwan witnessed the whole thing”, he said. (more…)
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…)