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…)
The religious freedom of Christian Bumiputeras is under attack, a Sabah church group today said, following controversial calls by Malay-right wing group Perkasa and unknown individuals to burn the Alkitab, the Malay-language Bible, over the use of the word Allah.
“The increasingly provocative attacks by certain quarters against the Malay-language Bible, the Alkitab, is a direct attack on the rights of Bumiputera Christians to their religious freedom as enshrined in their agreements at the formation of Malaysia and in the Federal Constitution,” the National Fellowship (NECF) Commission on Sabah Affairs (COSA) wrote in a statement signed by its chairman Rev Datuk Jerry Dusing today. (more…)
Siva Sithraputhran, Reuters
The Bar Council said that Pasir Mas parliamentarian Ibrahim Ali should be prosecuted on grounds he called for the mass burning of bibles as religious tensions flare ahead of a tight election which must be held within months.
Ibrahim (left), the head of Perkasa, a right-wing group which has close links to the ruling coalition, was reported in media as advocating Muslims should seize and burn copies of bibles which use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God.
That statement should result in charges under various laws, including those governing sedition, Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee said in an e-mailed statement. (more…)
Pentecostal Churches of Malaysia representative Bishop Robert Judah Paul also expresses resentment against Perkasa chief’s Bible burning plan.
Perkasa’s plan to burn the Malay edition of the Bible, which carries the word “Allah” to refer to God, is equivalent to burning churches, the Pentecostal Churches of Malaysia representative Robert Judah Paul said today.
“Burning the Bible is equivalent to burning churches and the churches have every right to bring it to their highest authority. Churches which are linked to international non-governmental organisations will seek the international voices to air their grievances… and this would reflect badly on the country,” he told FMT in an interview. (more…)
Syed Jaymal Zahiid
Authorities may opt to charge Ibrahim under the Sedition Act or Penal Code over the remarks, said Lim.
Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali should be charged under the Sedition Act for his remarks advocating the burning of bibles, Bar Council president Lim Chee Wee said today, backing an similar call by an opposition lawmaker.
Lim said that although the Bar maintains the law deemed a political weapon to silence dissent, should be repealed, it must be impartially applied against Ibrahim given that authorities have charged opposition leaders under the same Act.
“If sedition charges were brought against Karpal Singh, equally charges should also be brought against Ibrahim Ali … Whilst the Bar calls for the repeal of the Sedition Act, if it were to be applied, it must be applied fairly and without discrimination. (more…)
Francis Y Manickam
I’m incensed when I read Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali urging Muslims in this country to seize and burn Malay Bibles. So where are they going to seize those bibles from? From our houses? Or from our churches? Or do you expect us to surrender the Bibles to them when they come knocking on our doors?
Where are you now, Bishop? You accompanied the Prime Minister and his wife to the Vatican to visit Pope Benedict XVI on July 18 2011 supposedly to foster cordial ties with the Christian community here.
” read here MNI 18/7/11 …The Malaysian Insider understands the Prime Minister’s personal visit is to help repair frayed ties arising from the Catholic Church’s legal suit to use ‘Allah’ to refer to the Christian God in its Bahasa Malaysia Publication. The case is pending in court of Appeals after the church won the right in the High Court on Dec 31 2009. Today Najib formalized ties between” Malaysia and the Vatican ” (more…)
Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has asked police to step up security after being alerted to the alleged Butterworth ‘bible-burning festival’ planned for this Sunday.
“We view this matter very seriously. We discussed it in the state executive councillor meeting today,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted late yesterday.
“I have informed Penang police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi (left) about the matter and have requested the force to step up security measures in case anything happens,” he said, adding he would issue a statement on the matter today.
The chief minister said that Seberang Perai Municipal Council had also been asked not to allow the purported event to take place at the Bagan Luar Municipal field in Butterworth. (more…)
A Christian church in Butterworth lodged a police report today after it received an anonymous notice stating that there would be a “festival” to burn Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible this Sunday at 10am.
The notice invited the public to attend the event in front of Dewan Ahmad Badawi at the Bagan Luar municipality field in Butterworth. The A4-size leaflet was left in the church’s letterbox.
Rev John Kennady of the St Marks Anglican Church, Butterworth, who lodged the report at the Butterworth station at 3pm, said he did it to alert the police.
It is not certain if the notice is a hoax as it was not signed and did not state who the organisers of the alleged event were. (more…)
The Penang police have taken 17 statements from various individuals in their investigation into allegations that bibles were distributed to Muslim children outside a school in Jelutong.
“Investigation papers have been referred to the state deputy prosecutor yesterday and further instructions have been received for the police to complete the probe,” said Penang police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi in a statement issued late last night.
Abdul Rahim said the bibles were openly distributed and several Malay students were given the holy book by unidentified individuals.
“The report was lodged for the police to probe the matter immediately to avoid untoward incidents as the action can undermine the security and peace of the country,” he said. (more…)
A Christian priest has lodged a police report after he found a notice purportedly by an Anti-Bahasa Melayu Bible Action Group calling all Muslims to join in a ‘Bahasa Melayu Bible burning pesta’.
Reverend John Kennady was shocked to find the notice typed on a plain piece of paper with the title ‘Jom Bakaq! Pesta Bakaq Bible Bahasa Melayu’ (Let’s burn! Bahasa Melayu Bible burning fest) in his post box this morning.
The notice, written in Bahasa Malaysia, invites all Muslims to join the ‘Anti-Bahasa Melayu Bible Action Group’ in a ‘pesta’ to burn the Malay version of the Bible ‘for the sake of the future generations’. (more…)
A flyer from a previously unknown group urges Muslims to torch Malay language Bibles this Sunday.
A Christian movement has come across a flyer in Penang calling on Muslims to burn Malay language Bibles at a gathering at the Bagan Luar Municipality field in Butterworth this Sunday.
Bishop Ng Moon Hing, executive secretary of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), said a copy of the flyer was found in the mailbox of a Christian priest residing in Butterworth.
The flyer, printed by a group called Pasukan Bertindak Anti Bible Bahasa Melayu (Anti-Malay-Bible Action Force), urges Muslims to join in the “Malay Bible burning festivities” scheduled at 10am. (more…)
PAS is ready to engage Christian leaders in an “intellectual discourse” to resolve the impasse on the “Allah” row, party deputy president Mohamad Sabu said tonight.
He said a dialogue would help the Muslim and Christian community to avoid falling into a “political trap” set by Umno, the ruling Malay party that he said was hell-bent on maintaining power through racial politicking.
“They are desperate,” the PAS leader (picture) popularly known as Mat Sabu told a predominantly Chinese crowd at a DAP fundraising event held here. (more…)
Many people do many things all in the name of God. The irony is the very things which they do in the name of God are abhorred by God. Or even prohibited by Him.
History will show us that human beings have tortured, maimed and killed each other, all in the name of God. Untold misery and cruelty have been inflicted all in the name of God. Yet, when they speak of God and their religion, they insist that God is most merciful, most compassionate and most forgiving. And their religion is a religion of peace, justice and fairness.
In Islam, for example, history would show us all that right after the passing of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., Muslims started arguing on who would be the right candidate to be the Caliph. Then they started killing each other. Until now that is. (more…)
Lee Way Loon
This is mainly because PAS will be contesting only a handful of seats in Sabah and Sarawak.While the PAS syura council stand on the use of ‘Allah’ was roundly condemned by many non-Muslims, analysts argued that it would not do much harm to Pakatan Rakyat at the looming general election.
As for the peninsula, the majority of voters have already made up their minds, and the about-turn by the Islamic party would not be a big enough factor to change their decisions.
Nevertheless, the support for PAS’ partners – PKR and DAP – may be affected in Sabah and Sarawak as the majority of the Christian population live there. (more…)
It is evident that the council is looking after its own interests, and not that of the people at large, and not even the party’s, in making a statement that saves its own Islamic credentials to the detriment of the party, Pakatan, and the people’s views in general.I think the latest move by the PAS syura council on the ‘Allah’ issue sums up the issue of political Islam nicely. It is an interesting idea, but it will never work.
It shows the council to be far from upright in its purported Islamic principles, but only as a body too ready to please the baying crowds instead. It has showed a complete lack of wisdom in issuing its statement, not to mention a complete show of disrespect to the party and the coalition of which it is a part of. (more…)
Mohd Asri (picture) highlighted that Jews and Christians in the Middle East have been using “Allah” from long ago and continue to do so without any confusion — an argument adopted by non-Muslims in Malaysia, particularly the churches.
Muslims who dispute the use of “Allah” by non-Muslims are those confused about their own faith, popular Islamic scholar Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said in a recent lecture as the religious row on the subject continues to hog headlines nationwide.
In a 14-minute video clip posted on YouTube last Saturday, the former Perlis mufti explained that while the government has a right to restrict usage of the Arabic word for God, it should not use religion as an excuse because Islam allows for followers of other faiths the right to call their gods “Allah” if they are referring to the Supreme Being. (more…)
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Not long after, Man messed it up. Somehow we managed to produce greed, pollution, bad music and value meals. We also started parties like Umno, which gave birth to bigger groups like Barisan Nasional ― and now even God is in trouble.
What’s the name of God if not the name for truth, love and power which over-shadows the pain of the world? What’s the on-going controversy over the name of God – ‘Allah’ ― if not a game of shadows?
East Malaysian Christians have been calling God ‘Allah’ since creation; therefore any suggestion that they should now be disallowed to do so is akin to cronies telling the Orang Asli their forest homes are now up for grabs. (more…)