Hornbill Unleashed

April 8, 2014

Selangor MCA breaks ranks with Barisan, says against Bible confiscation

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On January 2, a team of Jais officers and two policemen went to the Bible Society of Malaysia’s office in Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, and carted away more than 300 copies of the Alkitab and Bup Kudus. Selangor has informed BSM that it should write to the attorney general for the return of the Bibles. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 8, 2014.DIYANA IBRAHIM

On January 2, a team of Jais officers and two policemen went to the Bible Society of Malaysia’s office in Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, and carted away more than 300 copies of the Alkitab and Bup Kudus. Selangor has informed BSM that it should write to the attorney general for the return of the Bibles.

On January 2, a team of Jais officers and two policemen went to the Bible Society of Malaysia’s office in Damansara Kim, Petaling Jaya, and carted away more than 300 copies of the Alkitab and Bup Kudus. Selangor has informed BSM that it should write to the attorney general for the return of the Bibles.

Selangor MCA has reiterated its opposition to the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) seizing Bibles in the state, expressing shock that the state Barisan Nasional (BN) yesterday announced its support for the seizure of the Alkitab and Bup Kudus. (more…)

March 7, 2014

‘LYNCH THAT CHINESE’ : Show of racism to cow non-Muslims, while Dr M’s daughter offers ALLAH excuses

MC

Marina Mahathir holds a placard during the ‘Flashmob for Peace’ gathering in Kuala Lumpur today.

A stark contrast from the scene 35 kilometres away, a small group of people held up placards today with messages such as “God is one” and “We are brothers and sisters” in the centre of a shopping mall, and handed out purple balloons and flowers. All smiles, with no shouting at all.

The two groups, though with very different agendas, were expecting the Federal Court’s decision on whether the Catholic Church has grounds to appeal the Court of Appeal’s ruling, which overturned a High Court ruling from 2009 allowing the Catholic paper, Herald, to use the word “Allah” as a constitutional right. (more…)

Jihad in Malaysia: For Allah or Melayu?

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Hazlan Zakaria

While they have not declared “Jihad” yet , it may not be long for the many supposedly Muslim NGOs jostling to defend Islam and Allah over whatever insults they perceive are being heaped on their faith, to claim to be fighting a holy war in God’s name.

They include groups which gathered in Putrajaya today during the hearing of the appeal against the ban on Catholic weekly the Herald from using the word Allah.

Though with the groups being what they are and the sometimes unlikely methods they are using to defend their faith, like slaughtering chickens at protests, quite a few things are called to question. (more…)

March 6, 2014

CHICKEN FOREVER? Top judges, yet ALLAH decision can be postponed ‘INDEFINITELY’

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CHICKEN FOREVER? Top judges, yet ALLAH decision can be postponed 'INDEFINITELY'

MC

The Federal Court today postponed indefinitely a decision whether it will allow the Catholic Church to appeal a lower court ruling preventing a Catholic newspaper from using the word “Allah” to refer to God.

As an unruly crowd gathered outside the country’ highest court to await the decision, a seven-man panel headed by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria listened to arguments from both sides before postponing its ruling to a yet-to-be-determined date.

During the hearing, the lawyer for the Catholic Church said that the publication in question, Herald, had been circulating for 14 years without disrupting public order. (more…)

Church: ‘Allah’ has been used since 18th century

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Hafiz Yatim & Ahmad Fadli KC

While thousands of Christians in Malaysia pray and fast in the holy season of Lent which begins today, Ash Wednesday, they also wait with bated breath for the Federal Court hearing of the Catholic Church’s appeal over the use of the word ‘Allah’.

Likewise, Malay Muslim pressure groups such as Perkasa, Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) and Jalur Tiga (Jati) are expected to converge at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – the home of the country’s highest court – to call on the judges to uphold the appellate court decision.

Lawyers for the archbishop of the Catholic Church are hoping to gain leave (permission) to appeal the Court of Appeal’s controversialdecision last October barring the church from using ‘Allah’ in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its The Herald weekly. (more…)

Lawyer: Minister cannot bypass rulers over Allah

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Mkini

The Federal Court today heard that the home minister has to enforce the ban on Catholic weekly The Herald in order not to bypass the powers of the rulers.

The argument was put forth by lawyer Mubashir Mansor, who was representing the Selangor, Johor, Malacca, Federal Territory and Kedah religious councils.

He said this in explaining that the home minister cannot go against the Malay rulers, as some of the states have legislation barring use of the word ‘Allah’ among non-Muslims. (more…)

March 5, 2014

Ahead of Allah court case, support for Catholic church pours in

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The Catholic church in Malaysia has received overwhelming support from Christian groups around the world, with regards to the right to use 'Allah' in its weekly publication, Herald. - The Malaysian Insider pic, March 4, 2014.ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH

The Catholic church in Malaysia has received overwhelming support from Christian groups around the world, with regards to the right to use ‘Allah’ in its weekly publication, Herald.

Support for the Catholic church continues to pour in from all over the world as it faces the highest court in the country to ask for leave to appeal the ban of the word Allah in its weekly publication, Herald.

Several international groups of different church denominations have come together to express their solidarity and support for the Catholic Church as it prepares to continue its seven-year tussle over the Arabic word for God. (more…)

Allah issue hangs in the balance as Christians begin observing their most holy season

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The Federal Court will hear the Catholic Church's application for leave to appeal tomorrow. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 4, 2014.V. ANBALAGAN

The Federal Court will hear the Catholic Church’s application for leave to appeal tomorrow.

It could be all over for Malaysia’s Catholic Church tomorrow in its fight over the right to use the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its weekly publication, Herald.

The Federal Court will hear whether the church’s application for leave to appeal ought to be given, five months after the Court of Appeal had ruled that the home minister was right in prohibiting the use of the word in the Herald. (more…)

March 3, 2014

PAS MP Mujahid wins praise from bishop

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Terence Netto

Catholic Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing described MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s opinion that silence was not an option for PAS if Christians continue to be vilified in Malaysia as “remarkable by the standards of a Malaysian politician; extraordinary when you consider he’s a Muslim one.”

“Christian bashing has become a sport for miscreants from among the media and political class over the last few years, so Mujahid’s assurance that to his party silence is not an option is a pronouncement of historic moment,” remarked the head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese. (more…)

March 2, 2014

My take on 10-point solution

Nehali

I refer to the article that appeared in printed and online media by Datuk Seri Idris Jala on February 24, 2014 about his take on the ‘Allah’ issue.

Despite his assertion that the view expressed is in his personal capacity, there is little doubt that his view is that also of the present government, in which he is a Cabinet minister.

Compatibility

He strenuously explains that the 10-point solution is compatible with the state Islamic laws enacted in 1988, which prohibit the use of 34 words (as in the case of Selangor) including the word Allah. (more…)

PAS won’t keep silent as Christians bashed

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 2:23 AM
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Susan Loone 

PAS leaders will continue to reach out to Christians because silence is not an option when the country is faced with ongoing religious controversies, said the party’s ambassador of peace Mujahid Yusof Rawa.

Mujahid explained he has been continuously visiting churches because he refuses to keep silent when certain quarters are creating chaos and disharmony in society.

“We in PAS do not want to keep silent in a situation where the country is being destroyed by those who do not have knowledge,” said Mujahid (left) at a dialogue with non-Muslims at the Christ of the King Catholic Church in Sungai Petani yesterday. (more…)

Support pours in for Catholic church as ‘Allah’ appeal date nears

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The World Council of Churches has thrown its supports behind the Catholic church as it heads to the Federal Court on March 5, to defend its use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Malay section of Herald. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 1, 2014.ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH

The World Council of Churches has thrown its supports behind the Catholic church as it heads to the Federal Court on March 5, to defend its use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Malay section of Herald.

Just days before the Catholic church resumes it battle to use the word “Allah” at the Federal Court, the World Council of Churches (WCC) has thrown its support behind the Malaysian church, and described its resolution as an important milestone in interfaith relations.

The WCC, which represents more than 345 churches in 110 countries, said it stood in solidarity and in support of the church as it prepared to face the court on March 5. (more…)

February 28, 2014

Malaysia’s Allah Issue Seen from Afar

Filed under: Politics,religion — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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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…)

February 27, 2014

Catholic church debunks Putrajaya’s explanation on Allah ban

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Reverend Father Andrew says the Herald's circulation is controlled and sent only to Catholic churches. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 25, 2014.ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH

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…)

February 26, 2014

Does God speak a different language in M’sia?

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JOHN 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…)

For some, it is the pursuit of destroying Malaysia

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Malaysia's multicultural fabric seems fraying but ordinary folk are not raising to the bait of some people who appear to want this country to go up in smoke. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 25, 2014.JAHABAR SADIQ

Malaysia’s multicultural fabric seems fraying but ordinary folk are not raising to the bait of some people who appear to want this country to go up in smoke. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 25, 2014.It appears to be no coincidence.

Since the severed head of a cow was paraded through the streets in August 2009 to protest against the relocation of a Hindu temple in Shah Alam, Selangor, there has been a constant attempt to spark race and religious clashes in Malaysia.

That did not work. This year, it was a banner that was mysteriously hung outside churches in Penang that proclaimed Jesus Christ was the son of Allah. (more…)

February 25, 2014

After Ongkili, IDRIS JALA NEXT CHRISTIAN MINISTER TO SELL OUT, tries to justify Allan ban in Herald

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After Ongkili, IDRIS JALA NEXT CHRISTIAN MINISTER TO SELL OUT, tries to justify Allan ban in HeraldTMI

The Home Minister has exercised his discretion to prohibit the use of the word “Allah” on grounds of public order and security, although Putrajaya’s 10-point solution allows the Malay-language Bible containing the word, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Idris Jala.

Writing in the Star today, Idris, referring to the court case involving Catholid weekly Herald, said many people feared that the newsletter, given its “potentially wide circulation”, had a greater propensity to be a tool of Christian propagation.

Propagating any religion other than Islam to Muslims in the country is an offence under Malaysian laws. (more…)

‘Why Christians giving out BM leaflets in Selangor?’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:25 AM
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Mkini

Christian missionaries have been spotted in Pinggiran USJ in Subang Jaya distributing Bahasa Malaysia leaflets on the religion, says a blogger who is questioning their motives.

Abdul Karim Omar, who is also Muafakat Malaysia secretary-general, makes this claim in two different postings dated Jan 17 and Feb 21 in his blog akarimomar.wordpress.com.

In the Feb 21 posting, Karim says two foreigners were spotted distributing the BM leaflets in USJ, Selangor. (more…)

Idris: 10-point fix not against state Islamic laws

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:21 AM
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Mkini

The 10-point solution outlined by the cabinet in 2011 does not contradict various state enactments outlawing use of the Bible for propagation, and the Court of Appeal’s decision on the ‘Allah’ ban, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Idris Jala.

While noting that the issue is highly sensitive, Idris (left), in his opinion piece published by Kinibiz today, explained that the 10-point fix does not condone non-Muslims propagating non-Islamic faiths to Muslims. (more…)

February 17, 2014

Lessons of faith, harmony and provocation over the weekend

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Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim greeting members of the congregation at the Holy Family church in Kajang yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, February 17, 2014.THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim greeting members of the congregation at the Holy Family church in Kajang yesterday.

Malaysians learnt a few things over a rather hot weekend, from opposition leaders who reached out to all, to ordinary Malaysians preaching harmony and the few troublemakers who appear to incite trouble.

Some might still think opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is a political chameleon but his visit to a Kajang church yesterday proved one thing – he was willing to take the bull by the horns and reach out to all Malaysians irrespective of their faith. (more…)

February 15, 2014

Much ado about ‘Allah’, but where is God?

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Tan Jooi Long

Is God on vacation?

Now, now, before any pious soul wags his finger at me, I’m meekly suggesting that sometimes it does feel as if God is taking a break.

In the comedy film Bruce Almighty, the main character complains to God that the Almighty is not doing his job correctly, and is offered the chance to try being God himself for one week.

As God was about to make his exit, their conversation went like this: (more…)

February 14, 2014

Churches worldwide lend support to Catholics over ‘Allah’ row as court appeal looms

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The Catholic Church's appeal against the ban on the use of 'Allah' will be heard on March 5. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 12, 2014. JENNIFER GOMEZ

The Catholic Church’s appeal against the ban on the use of ‘Allah’ will be heard on March 5. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 12, 2014.More churches worldwide are lending their support to Christian leaders in Malaysia as the court date to hear the Catholic church’s appeal against the ban on the use of the word Allah draws nearer.

The latest to join the chorus of criticism is the World Methodist Council (WMC) which expressed shock and consternation over the Court of Appeal ruling in October which bar the Catholic weekly, Herald, from using the Arabic word. (more…)

Why religious police are a thumbs down

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Dr Abdul Aziz Bari

Many people have questioned the rationale for the setting up of the Syariah or religious police. Some like former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad doubted its necessity, saying doing religious duties and rituals should be a matter of faith rather than due to compulsion.

Some others, such as former IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan, have raised the issue of the competence of the police force to deal with Syariah law, saying that they should first be trained in that law and this was just too much. Therefore, Musa argued, the police should focus on combating crime. (more…)

Catholic Church asks chief justice for full panel in ‘Allah’ appeal

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The Federal Court will hear the Catholic Church's leave application for the 'Allah' case on March 5 and the church has requested a full bench comprising of Muslim and non-Muslim judges. The church has also notified six religious councils about its request to the court, given the public concern oer the issue. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 12, 2014.V. ANBALAGAN

The Federal Court will hear the Catholic Church’s leave application for the ‘Allah’ case on March 5 and the church has requested a full bench comprising of Muslim and non-Muslim judges. The church has also notified six religious councils about its request to the court, given the public concern oer the issue.

Keeping in mind that the leave application for the “Allah” case on March 5 involves the interpretation of key constitutional provisions, the Catholic Church has asked Malaysia’s chief justice for a full panel comprising of Muslim and non-Muslim judges to hear its arguments. (more…)

February 13, 2014

Sabah Herald seizure a test case for Borneo

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Luke Rintod

Two activists are set on testing the parameters of the law in relation to last October’s seizure of The Herald publications in Kota Kinabalu

Sabah activist Daniel John Jambun and senior lawyer Marcel Jude Joseph will have their day on March 6 when the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak meets here to consider their application for leave and judicial review against the Home Minister for seizing 2,000 copies of the Catholic weekly, The Herald, last October.

The case management for the public interest litigation was held yesterday morning before Judicial Commissioner Ravinthran Paramaguru. (more…)

February 12, 2014

Christians ‘divided’ over Allah?

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allah issueLuke Rintod

Federal Minister Maximus Ongkili, who is an SIB follower appears to have riled Sabah Catholics with his comments supporting the government action to ban the use of the “Allah” term

Federal Minister Maximus Ongkili’s sudden statement distancing himself from The Herald’s court action to reclaim its right to use the “Allah” word in its Catholic bulletin appears to be irking Sabah Christians.

Sabah PKR assemblyman Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing said he was totally taken aback by Kota Marudu MP, Ongkili’s pronouncement that the Catholic bulletin’s action in challenging in court a government ruling on the matter as “something wrong” and should have not been taken. (more…)

Sarawak’s Anglican Church praises Taib for ‘bold stand’ on Allah issue

JENNIFER GOMEZ

As Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud (pic) prepares to step down after 33 years at the helm, the Anglican Church in the state has come out to commend him for his bold stand on the Allah controversy and hoped his successor will do the same.

Southeast Asia’s Anglican Archbishop Datuk Bolly Lapok today expressed hope that Taib’s successor will maintain the spirit of inclusiveness which Sarawak has enjoyed under Taib.

“The Anglican church in Sarawak commends Taib for his bold and unambiguous stand on the Allah controversy. (more…)

Malaysians must form ‘peaceful resistance’ against racial and religious strife, says Ambiga

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EILEEN NG

Malaysians must band together for a “peaceful resistance” against ongoing racial and religious strife facing the country, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan (pic) said last night when recalling founding prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s legacy for Malaysia.

The former co-chair of electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 said those who want to fight racism and bigotry must unite and stand together with the oppressed. Malaysia’s political mercury spiked in the past few months with a church attacked with a firebomb over the Allah issue and threats against an opposition lawmaker over a satirical video clip. (more…)

Seized bibles: AG’s decision in two weeks

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P Ramani

Confiscated Malay and Iban bibles will be returned once the AG has given the go-ahead, says Selangor exco

The Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) will return bibles seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) once the Attorney General (AG) has cleared the case.

Selangor executive councilor for religious affairs Sallehen Mukhyi, said the police’s investigation papers have been passed on to AG’s office for further action. (more…)

Uphill task to resolve ‘Allah’ issue in states: Nancy

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Lee Choon Fai

The process of harmonising state Islamic laws with the federal government’s 10-point solution to the “Allah” issue requires the concurrence of the Rulers, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri (pix) said today.

The de facto law minister said the Rulers are the head of Islamic affairs in their respective states and have the ultimate authority to amend state religious laws. (more…)

February 9, 2014

American church joins list of international critics of ‘Allah’ issue in Malaysia

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Some Muslim groups insist that the word 'Allah' is exclusive to Muslims in Malaysia. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 8, 2014. JENNIFER GOMEZ

Some Muslim groups insist that the word ‘Allah’ is exclusive to Muslims in Malaysia.

As Malaysia’s Islamic authorities continue to preach in their Friday sermons that the word “Allah” is exclusive to Islam, a church in the United States has joined other international critics to express concern over this exclusivity claim which is “unique to Malaysia”.

In a letter from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM), it noted that Christian communities in the Muslim world and in countries where Arabic words permeate local languages, God has always been referred to as “Allah”. (more…)

February 8, 2014

Interfaith week: Sermon stresses ‘Allah’ only for Islam

Aidila Razak

Although named ‘Harmony Among Religions’ to comply with the Global Interfaith Harmony Week, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim)’s Friday sermon text today mostly stressed that the word ‘Allah’ can only be used by Muslims.

The sermon – which is to be read out to the congregation in mosques later today – said that while religious tolerance is encouraged in Islam, there are limits to tolerance.

This includes allowing the word ‘Allah’ to be used by non-Muslims, the sermon – which has been uploaded by Jakim on its website – read. (more…)

‘Allah’ exclusivity stressed for interfaith week

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Aidila Razak

Although named ‘Harmony Among Religions’ to comply with the Global Interfaith Harmony Week, the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim)’s Friday sermon text today mostly stressed that the word ‘Allah’ can only be used by Muslims.

The sermon – to be read out to the congregation in mosques later today – said that while religious tolerance is encouraged in Islam, there are limits to tolerance.

This includes allowing the word ‘Allah’ to be used by non-Muslims, states the sermon that was uploaded by Jakim on its website. (more…)

Friday sermon once again stresses that ‘Allah’ is only for Muslims

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TMI

The Department of Islamic Development Malaysia, or Jakim, has once again declared that the term “Allah” is exclusive to Muslims, according to the text in the Friday sermon, published on the department’s website.

In the sermon, Jakim said that the ban on the use of “Allah” by non-Muslims is based on a National Fatwa Council ruling that the word was specific to Islam and Muslims, and cannot be used or equated to terms in other religions.

The sermon also called on Muslims to prevent the term from being used by non-Muslims.
Jakim’s Friday sermon is usually read out in mosques under its purview in the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan. (more…)

February 7, 2014

Allah is at home in Borneo

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Amde Sidik

Hissing at each other over religion isn’t bringing any good to anyone, nor does it indicate a healthy future for Malaysia.

We don’t live in isolation. In fact what goes around comes around.

I’m talking about the raging debates on Islam, God, Allah, edicts, rulings, King and parliament.

Hissing at each other over religion isn’t bringing any good to anyone, nor does it indicate a healthy future for Malaysia. (more…)

Interfaith forum blames education system, national schools for racial polarisation

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Proham secretary-general Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria agreed (left) and GMM chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah at the forum organised in conjunction with the World Interfaith Harmony Week in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, February 6, 2014.    JENNIFER GOMEZ AND SYAHIRAH RASHID

Proham secretary-general Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria agreed (left) and GMM chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah at the forum organised in conjunction with the World Interfaith Harmony Week in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

National schools are the breeding ground for racial polarisation and the education system is the root cause of the problem plaguing the country now, an interfaith forum was told yesterday.

Parents Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim told an audience of about 65 at the interfaith forum titled “A dialogue for harmony”, that it was all about Malay supremacy in schools now. (more…)

Schools not only cause of racial polarisation

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Proham secretary-general Datuk Dr Denison Jayasooria (left) and GMM chief executive officer Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah at the forum organised in conjunction with the World Interfaith Harmony Week in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, February 6, 2014.    Ravinder Singh

The forum in conjunction with the World Interfaith Harmony Week in Kuala Lumpur yesterday (February 5) is reported to have agreed that national schools are the breeding ground for racial polarisation and the education system is the root cause of the problem plaguing the country now.

Parents Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim told an audience of about 65 at the interfaith forum titled “A dialogue for harmony” that it was all about Malay supremacy in schools now.

The rot is not just in the schools. (more…)

Malaysia’s ‘Allah’ row

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Despite a Molotov cocktail attack against a church in Penang and a Court of Appeal ruling against using the word 'Allah', Christians from Sabah and Sarawak who live in the peninsula are sticking to the word 'Allah'. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 2, 2014.

Karim Raslan

Malaysia’s intra-religious harmony is being severely roiled by a row over the use of the Arabic word “Allah” by non-Muslims. This issue may seem strange here in Indonesia, where “Allah” is used openly by everyone in their religious practices.

I’d like to share my perspective on this complex issue – if only to show how countries in Southeast Asia have developed differently. Perhaps some lessons can be drawn from this unhappy saga.

To start with, many Malaysian Muslims are unhappy with the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims. Some even feel it’s a subtle attempt to proselytise – which is an offence in Malaysia. (more…)

February 6, 2014

Church lawyers studying Putrajaya’s ‘advisory’ on Allah ban

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ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH

Lawyers for Catholic weekly Herald are currently studying the notice sent by the Home Ministry, “advising” it not to publish articles on the Allah issue, said Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew.

Andrew told The Malaysian Insider today that the lawyers were in the midst of discussing the terms of the notice.

“We want to get a clearer picture of the matter,” he said. (more…)

Let Christians get back to basics

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Patricia A Martinez

I refer to Rozhan Othman’s letter “The battle for Allah, confusing the chaff and the wheat?”.

I appreciate the points Rozhan makes, and his courage in asking critical questions and pointing out fallacies among his own community.

The author also asks some critical questions of Christians and he deserves an answer. I also appreciate the courtesy of asking questions instead of throwing baseless accusations and challenges.

This sort of dynamic may indeed help us to come to an understanding over this unnecessarily contentious issue. (more…)

The Herald ‘asked’ to stop articles on ‘Allah’ issue

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Aidila Razak

The government has “requested” that Catholic weekly the Herald stops publishing articles about its court case on the use of the word ‘Allah’ and the dispute over the use of the word by non-Muslims.

This would include articles on the matter sourced from and published by external parties, such as news portal Malaysiakini, which the weekly publishes on a regular basis.

The Home Ministry in a letter dated Jan 20 requests the weekly to do so in the interest of “public safety” and “harmony”. (more…)

The battle for Allah, confusing the chaff and the wheat?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Rozhan Othman

In the end, the battle over the use of the word Allah by Christians is becoming a legal battle.

It has become about which side is able to win the case in Malaysian court.

Often, the impression one gets is that Muslims in Malaysia are under siege. In spite of being less than 10% of the population, the impression created is that Christians in Malaysia are circling Muslims and are about to pounce on them.

Unfortunately, the debate on this issue obscures the fundamental question of what are the ailments afflicting Muslims in Malaysia. (more…)

Only a sane and sincere executive, not the courts, can solve ‘Allah’ row

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Ng Kee Seng

Much has been written and arguments presented by legal experts over the controversial use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims in Malaysia.

It is clear that multi-religious Malaysians can continue to argue till the cows come home, so to speak (no pun intended on any individual), the rabid row will not end.

Of course the issue will end with the federal court’s decision but it may or may not douse the raging religious flames being fanned by certain religious fanatics, namely Perkasa and its likes. (more…)

Putrajaya’s hollow call for calm

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Ravinder Singh

Putrajaya’s call for calm after the church firebombing in Penang rings hollow. It also sounds hypocritical as persons threatening another May 13 and asking for bibles to be burnt are walking free as the law cannot touch them from what we see.

This firebombing did not happen spontaneously and without any warning. Umno and its lackeys have been going around asking whether people want another May 13. They are going around preaching hatred over the “Allah” issue, an action derogatory to Islam itself as the Prophet preached living in peace and harmony with people of all faiths and beliefs. Even a state mufti called for the blood of those protesting the upward spiral of prices of daily necessities. All this has been happening for months and months with total impunity, as if Malaysia is a lawless country. (more…)

Putrajaya now advises Herald not to use ‘Allah’ word at all

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH

Putrajaya has told the Catholic weekly Herald that it should refrain from using any articles, or even letters, containing the word “Allah”, months after the Court of Appeal affirmed the home minister’s right to ban the word from its Bahasa publications.

The advisory, dated January 20, in effect serves to restrict the use of the word in the entire publication.

The Home Ministry’s publications and Quranic text division head Hashimah Nik Jaafar confirmed that a notice to this effect was served to Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew last week. (more…)

February 5, 2014

‘Keep Umno out of Sarawak’ warning rings louder

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Anna Chidambar

It’s no secret that Sarawakians have always been wary of Umno and they dread the idea of the party spreading its wings to their state.

Calls are now getting louder for political parties in Sarawak to stand united in order to keep Umno out.

The latest ‘warning’ to Sarawakians came from a Sabah leader – Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, chairman of the State Reform Party (Star), Sabah chapter.

Of all people, Jeffrey should know what he is talking about as he has been in the forefront of opposing Umno for years. He is from the Land Below the Wind – the state many Sabahans claimed had been ‘destroyed’ by Umno. (more…)

Dayaks’ dilemma after Taib

Winston Way

For all his perceived shortcomings, Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and his uncle before him understood the Dayak community and was protective of them.

Speculations are rife that Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud will retire this month.

Several political observers here believe that Sarawak Governor Abang Mohammad Salahuddin’s tenure which was extended only until Feb 28 is an indication that Taib will replace him soon.

Reports quoting sources claimed that Taib had attended a high level meeting with a delegation from his ruling party Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) in December, and indications were that he would be stepping down after 32 years as CM, and assuming the role of Head of State. (more…)

Federal Constitution, Malaysia Agreement and the citizen

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Darell Leiking

There are those in this country who are tempting fate and isolating reason in order to benefit from potential discord rather than overcoming real problems engulfing the everyday Malaysian. If goodwill is in deficit in Malaysia presently, so is leadership.

This is not a violent country, and there is only one reason for it, its people love peace above any petty or substantive differences. Peace is non-negotiable to the Malaysian.

I rather if our leaders reminded themselves this before they lead everyone willing to follow them down dark alleys of hate. (more…)

The importance of “Allah”

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Assumption01Jacqueline Ann Surin

Church of the Assumption in Penang, with the area where the Molotov cocktail was thrown cordoned off

WITH the attack of molotov cocktails on the Church of the Assumption in Penang last two week, it’s not difficult to imagine that violence between Muslim and non-Muslims may just break out in Malaysia. And with such a scenario seemingly becoming more and more likely, it’s easy to believe that Christians should back down from contesting the ban on “Allah”.

Turning the other cheek and giving in, the argument goes, is the best way to avert worsening tensions. Really, who could be faulted for thinking that the swiftest way to placate those who want exclusive use of “Allah” is to give in to their demands? In the interest of cooling tempers and easing strained relations, throwing in the towel can seem tempting and logical. (more…)

A doubtful prospect for an alternative government

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Ahmad Mustapha Hassan

Malaysia can be said to be under the clutches of the devil that has caused the country to face a very bleak future from the early 80s. Since the death of the second Prime Minister, Tun Haji Abdul Razak Hussein, the country had gone wayward and the goal was only to hold on to power. Power had become the sole and only goal.

The people and the country had become mere tools in the holding on to this power. Events recently had shown that the country is moving aimlessly towards disaster. The Umno Baru/BN government seems very reluctant to arrest the menace posed by the ultras with their very neo-fascist agenda. (more…)

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