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…)
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…)
Al Jazeera handout photo shows Najib being interviewed by anchor Veronica Pedrosa (right). The interview will be aired today.
Christians will not stop calling their God “Allah” even if the courts stop them from doing so in Muslim-majority Malaysia, says UPKO president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, whose party is part of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition government.
The Sabah Christian and caretaker plantation industries and commodities minister dismissed Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s support of a government appeal against the 2009 High Court ruling allowing the community to use the Arabic word “Allah” as that would affect the coalition’s Christian vote in Sabah in the May 5 general election. (more…)
Al Jazeera handout photo shows Najib being interviewed by Pedrosa (right). The interview will be aired tomorrow.
Datuk Seri Najib Razak has expressed support for the appeal to overturn a High Court ruling which allows the use of the Arabic term “Allah” for God by non-Muslim groups in Malaysia, according to an interview with global news station Al Jazeera.
The caretaker prime minister also told Al Jazeera English’s Veronica Pedrosa in the interview, to be aired tomorrow, that he did not intend to have a public election debate with Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim before the May 5 polls. (more…)
The “Allah” row remains unresolved more than three years after the Catholic Church’s High Court victory.
An evangelical church group has urged Christians to call on Election 2013 candidates to support legislating the freedom for all Malaysians to profess their religion of choice.
The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship Malaysia (NECF) also said in its GE13 booklet titled “Christians & The Ballot Box” that those elected should table in Parliament draft proposals on child conversion and inter-religious custody disputes. (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…)
Wan Hilmi (loyarburok.com)
When a religious controversy arises, there will be a lot of hoo-ha among Malaysians — no matter how unproductive it is to debate about it.
While Primer Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his Cabinet members are trying so hard to promote unity through their 1 Malaysia concept, there is, arguably, zero tolerance among Malaysians when it comes to religious and/or racial issues despite the fact that we have been living together for more than 50 years. Does this show that the 1 Malaysia concept has failed to achieve its objective?
The most recent controversy is the usage of the word “Allah” in Bahasa Malaysia bibles. In my humble opinion, this so-called controversy is a non-issue provided you have fairness, justice, rationality and reasonableness in mind. (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…)
Bishop Paul Tan
The reason why I write this short article is to dispel all doubts about facts, truths and rationality in the use of the word Allah, a non-issue really. It becomes an issue when it is being politicised which is the case in Malaysia. This article is not intended to be polemical.
First, allow me to make a few introductory remarks.
(1) I do not pretend to speak for every Christian, less still for everyone. I speak for many people who do not profess the Islamic faith in Malaysia and perhaps for a number of Muslims in and out of Malaysia. (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…)
A non-Muslim interfaith group chided today the Selangor Islamic Council (MAIS) and a former top judge for trying to control the rights of Malaysia’s religious minorities in the tussle over “Allah”, which they said was against the country’s highest law.
The Malaysian Consultative Council Of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) was weighing in on recent statements issued by MAIS and ex-Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheik Abdul Halim, barring non-Muslims from calling their gods “Allah”.
“This is tantamount to imposition of restrictions by an lslamic Council or body against non-Muslims. It could also be seen as an attempt to control the religious practice of a non-Muslim religion by an lslamic body or organisation,” it said in a statement today. (more…)
This must be the craziest statement of the century! It is preposterous for Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria to declare that “Muslims in the country will become infidels if they allow non-Muslims to use the word ‘Allah’.”
How on earth can Muslims stop being Muslims because others use the word “Allah”? If there was a grain of truth to this absurd claim, then there will be no Muslims in the world!
Is he suggesting that non-Muslims have the power to turn all the Muslims into infidels? Is he proclaiming that Muslims can only be Muslims when non-Muslims stop using the word “Allah”? Otherwise they become infidels? (more…)
The authorities must speed up action against Datuk Ibrahim Ali over his Bible-burning threat, says retired Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, adding any further delay in acting against the veteran politician could be held against the establishment ahead of Election 2013.
The vocal Ibrahim, who heads right-wing Malay group Perkasa, had sparked a firestorm last week when he reportedly called on Muslims to torch Malay-language copies of the Christian holy book that describes the Christian god as “Allah”, an Arabic word many Muslims here believe to be exclusive to their community.
“The issue is not the burning of the Bible. What is in the issue is, did he utter those words?” Abu Talib told The Malaysian Insider in an interview. (more…)
Perkasa has lighted a fire of religious intolerance which is burning slowly but will grow bigger if not doused.
Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali wants to make a bonfire of the Malay version of the Bible that uses the word “Allah” and is written in Jawi. But a Bible is a Bible, whether it is in English or Malay or Jawi. It is still a sacred book and to throw it into the fire is an act of sacrilege. He is encouraging a course of action which is likely to lead to dire consequences. He has forgotten that Malaysia is a land shared by many races and faiths. (more…)
The priest said Ibrahim and Perkasa’s provocations were not the model behaviour needed by Malaysia.
Catholic Bishop Sebastian Francis paid an unscheduled visit to Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat on the PAS leader’s 82nd birthday yesterday in Penang, Harakah Daily reported today, in what is seen as a bid to douse potential religious fires between Muslims and Christians amid the “Allah” storm.
The senior clergyman in charge of Penang was reported by the PAS news site to have said that the country needed to emulate the example set by the Islamist party’s spiritual advisor and not the provocative sentiment shown by right-wing Malay lawmaker Datuk Ibrahim Ali or the latter’s supporters. (more…)
Amid the cacophony that followed hard upon Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali’s call to Muslims to burn bibles that use the ‘Allah’ term for God, one was hard put to find a reaction and a reminder more bracing than what emerged from the Penang state minister for religion.
Abdul Malik Abul Kassim, the PKR state assemblyperson who has been holding the sensitive religious portfolio in the DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat state government since 2008, was quoted earlier this week as saying:
“We are told not to kick, throw or burn any holy book. Those who want to do these acts are discrediting Islam in the eyes of the world.” (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…)
He said these are the notion and role of an Islamic state currently being promoted by BN/Umno and PAS but both ways are “problematic” as there is no real debate on the issues here.Well-known sociologist Syed Farid Alatas says that one of the greatest dangers facing Malaysian society is the rise of Muslim extremism – Wahabism and Salafism – or legalistic thinking that reduces citizens to rules and regulation.
“There is not much difference between Umno and PAS, except that the former gives excuses that we can’t have an Islamic state because we are a multiracial society,” said Syed Farid (left), an expert in the area of the sociology of religion.
“The correct point I think is that we can’t have an Islamic state because an Islamic state is not good even for Muslims. (more…)
Federal Islamic authorities were accused of fuelling Muslim-Christian tensions with the latest Friday sermon.
A Buddhist group today urged the federal government to resolve the drawn-out dispute over the usage of “Allah”, which has caused division and anxiety between Muslims and Christians here.
In a press statement, the Malaysian Network of Engaged Buddhists (MNEB) said the National Unity and Integration Department (JPNIN), which comes under purview of the Prime Minister’s Department, should step into the fray and end the hostility once and for all. (more…)
Tay Tian Yan
While Ibrahim Ali is most definitely a sly fox, he is edging towards political bankruptcy. To someone like this, perhaps we should just watch how he is going to play up his show.
Quoting William Shakespeare in Hamlet: “To be, or not to be: that is the question.” Hamlet is torn between hatred and vulnerability deep inside his heart as if he is possessed by the demon, fighting a war with himself. His choice will very much determine his eventual survival or annihilation.
It’s exactly the same for the next course of action Ibrahim Ali will take. (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…)
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin urged today for calm even as non-Muslims nationwide fume over Malay rights group Perkasa’s recent threat to burn Malay-language Bible over its use of the word “Allah”.
A Sabah church group said yesterday that the religious freedom of Christian Bumiputeras was under attack, pointing out that most Christians in Malaysia come from East Malaysia and use the Malay language.
“Don’t blow up the issue,” said Muhyiddin (picture) at a press conference here today.
“But people must consider other people’s sensitivities,” the deputy prime minister added. (more…)
“It doesn’t matter if it is a Malay Bible, an English Bible, a Kadazan Bible or a Tamil Bible, the issue is he incited the burning of bibles,” she told Malaysiakini when contacted today.Human rights lawyer Siti Zabedah Kasim has rubbished Perkasa’s series of police reports against her for allegedly slandering Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali over his bible-burning remarks.
She was responding to Negeri Sembilan Perkasa chief Mohd Noor Nordin who was quoted in Utusan Malaysia today saying that the human rights lawyer had distorted Ibrahim’s (left) statement. (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…)
WHAT’s in a name, especially the name of God?
The debate in Malaysia over the word “Allah” in Malay-language Christian texts is a current case in point. No matter what changes occur after the next general election, the issue looks likely to continue bubbling over thanks to politicians who barter religious opinions for partisan gain.
Indeed, the “Allah” issue is likely to spark partisan jockeying and deep division until we build consensus on a fundamental question. Is our national language of Bahasa Melayu — or is it Bahasa Malaysia? — the language of all Malaysians or does it just belong to those who profess Islam and practice Malay customs?
While some Muslims may find the symbols ‘sensitive’, others don’t mind ‘haram’ advertising of beer.
I MUST admit I’ve not heard of it before. Apparently, there’s a group in Penang which is called Persatuan Mukabuku Pulau Pinang Pinang. In English that should be Penang Facebook Association.
Anyway, as we know recent media reports quoted the association president – a gentleman by the name of Salleh Ismail – as saying “two men were seen circulating bibles to students including Muslim students outside a school in Jelutong, Penang”.
And we also know Deputy Education Minister Dr Puad Zarkashi has asked police to investigate as, said the deputy minister, “proselytisation of Muslims is against the law in the country”. (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…)
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…)
DAP national chairman lodges a police report against Ibrahim Ali over his remarks that Bibles which contained the term “Allah” should be seized and burnt.
Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali’s call to burn Malay Bibles which use “Allah” is seditious and can incite religious discord.
This was the stance of Bukit Gelugor MP and DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who lodged a police report against Ibrahim Ali for asking Muslims to “seize and burn” Bibles which used the “Allah” term.
“Muslims must unite to protect their religion. They must seize those Bibles, including the Malay editions, which contain the term Allah and other Arabic religious words, and burn them,” Pasir MAS MP Ibrahim has said on Saturday. (more…)
Ng Kam Weng
Proposition 1: We respect the right of PAS to spell out clearly its theological position on Allah.
Proposition 2: We respect the right of people of different faiths to interpret their holy books and profess their faith in their mother tongues.
Proposition 3: We must go beyond polemics in addressing the Allah controversy.
Proposition 4: We invite Muslim leaders to engage in constructive dialogue with Christian leaders to resolve the Allah controversy
The official statement released by Pas Ulamak Syura Council (USC) on 13/1/2013 has caused confusion and concern. (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…)
Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing is appalled by Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali’s statement urging Muslims to burn Bibles that use the term ‘Allah’ for God, describing it as “an incendiary statement that far exceeds the bounds of civil discourse in Malaysia”.
The head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese, Bishop Paul Tan, said that now that Ibrahim’s “incendiary remarks are in the public domain, let’s wait and see what the authorities will do about it”.
“If there is going to be any point to that slogan ‘1Malaysia’ then this is the time when we can see for ourselves if the concept is mere sloganeering to win votes or an earnest of the government’s desire to unite the people in all their diversity,” argued the prelate. (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…)