Hornbill Unleashed

November 21, 2013

The day Taib Mahmud SPOKE UP for Christians in Sarawak

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The day Taib Mahmud SPOKE UP for Christians in SarawakBorneo Post

WHENEVER the ‘Allah’ issue hogs the headlines, Sarawak and Sabah can also expect to be in the spotlight.

Over the past weeks, all of us must have had an overdose of ‘Allah’ – I mean the dispute over the usage of that almighty name. I find it seriously appalling how we, Malaysians, can really go overboard in our quarrels over the use of a term.

Don’t drag us into your ugliness

(more…)

November 19, 2013

UK parliament told of ‘Allah’ ban

Winston Way

MP Tom Greatrex voiced his concern for the East Malaysian Christians.

Malaysia’s perceived prejudice against Christians in the country was heard in UK Parliament recently.

The mover of the debate, MP Fiona Bruce voiced her profound alarm at the increasing level of persecution of Christians in a number of Muslim countries across the world mostly due to the whipping up of religious hatred by politically motivated groups. (more…)

November 17, 2013

World Christian leaders voice concern over Allah ruling

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) general secretary Reverend Dr Herman Shastri said Christian leaders at a world assemby in South Korea were concerned the Allah ruling and the inteference by the state in the decision-making process of religious groups. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 16, 2013.JENNIFER GOMEZ

Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) general secretary Reverend Dr Herman Shastri said Christian leaders at a world assemby in South Korea were concerned the Allah ruling and the inteference by the state in the decision-making process of religious groups.

Christian leaders from around the world, who congregated in South Korea last week, expressed concern over the controversial Allah ruling, saying the decision had increased religious tension in Malaysia.

(more…)

Concern rises Allah ban is Umno’s SINISTER PLOY but it may lead to a M’sia without Sarawak

Concern rises Allah ban is Umno's SINISTER PLOY but it may lead to a M'sia without S'wakChristopher Fernandez, Stan Lee

Now that the issue of restricting or prohibiting the Catholic weekly newspaper “The Herald” from using the word Allah is set to go to the apex court in the country, there are more puzzling questions that have arisen over what is seen as a “non-issue” that now threatens to disrupt and divide the fabric of the nation.

How on earth and for what good reason should this issue drag on and become a protracted crisis when it should not have erupted at all in the first place? While the home ministry has the right to impose restrictions and prohibitions on a publication if it is deemed necessary, in this event it appears to have gone overboard.

(more…)

November 13, 2013

Why the silence over actions of Islamic extremist groups?

Cecilia Jeyanthi Victor

Insensitive religious remarks made in the last few months have reignited racial hatred and threatened to tear apart the fabric of national unity.

Why is the government keeping silent over the actions of the Islamic extremist groups that could harm the feelings of the different races?

Academic and political scientist Dr Chandra Muzaffar believed the government was not keeping silent nor was it encouraging NGOs such as Perkasa and Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) to cast racial slurs at a time when the country’s peace is tested over the “Allah” controversy. (more…)

November 8, 2013

Words as weapons

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NONEEric Loo

“We fought the good fight; we just didn’t win,” Republican House speaker John A Boehner said on Oct 16 after the US Congress voted to end the government shutdown.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, in declaring the end of Australia’s mission in Afghanistan, said, “Australians do not fight wars of conquest, we fight wars of freedom” (Oct 29, The Australian).

‘We didn’t win’ certainly sounds more dignified than ‘We lost’. ‘Wars of freedom’ sounds less hegemonic than ‘wars of conquest’. (more…)

November 5, 2013

Muslims, Christians come together in Kuching church in show of “Sarawak’s religious harmony”

Herald AllahTMI

It was a show of religious harmony by Christians and Muslims in Sarawak yesterday even as the debate over the October 14 court ruling on the word Allah raged on.

The Borneo Post reported that non-governmental organisation Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak and the Islamic Information Centre organised a forum called “Tweeting Up Unity: Social Cohesion Through Social Media”, under the Soul2Soul 2.0 interfaith forum series, at the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre in Kuching.

The event’s keynote speaker was social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, who was also a panellist. It was attended by over 200 youths from higher learning institutions and government agencies. (more…)

November 3, 2013

Najib has spoken, the world can now judge how LOW are his standards!

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ALLAH: Najib has spoken, the world can now judge how LOW are his standards!J. D. Lovrenciear

It is being reported that the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak in his interview with Reuters in London, speaking along the sidelines of the World Islamic Economic Forum, has confirmed that the “Allah” ban only applies to the Catholic Weekly, The Herald.

So the prime minister has in doing so revealed several serious concerns f or national and global debate.

Firstly, why do we need a prime minster to interpret a Court of Appeal ruling? Is it not the work and obligation of the legal fraternity? And in doing so, is he not mooting the further rooting of that perception amongst the citizens and the global community that the judiciary is not all that independent after all? (more…)

November 1, 2013

ALLAH ruling is clear-cut: Why is Najib shirking the TRUTH & Zahid telling LIES?

 ALLAH ruling is clear-cut: Why is Najib shirking the TRUTH & Zahid telling LIES?J. D. Lovrenciear

It is definitely set that the “Allah” issue is not going to cross the horizon for as long as it remains as a deeply entrenched political game plan and has to be meddled through political interventions.

Hence, it is quite understandable why all the confusing and forked statements keep gushing from different corners within the UMNO-BN power house on who can and who cannot use the “Allah” word and when and where.

One minute they say it is binding on all non-Muslim religions. Another minute they blurt “contempt of court” hollering threats. (more…)

October 31, 2013

Sabah church group says can’t stop them using Allah to instruct Christians

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Christians form the majority of Sabah and Sarawak. - The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 30, 2013.V. ANBALAGAN

Christians form the majority of Sabah and Sarawak. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 30, 2013.Law enforcement agencies must prosecute Christians who attempt to proselytize Muslims but the Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) is totally against Putrajaya banning the word Allah from being used for religious instructions to Christians.

SIB Sabah president Reverend Datuk Jeffrey W. A. Dusing said there were many laws in the country which can be used to act against the minority who attempt to convert Muslims, but “the majority of Christians should not be punished”. (more…)

October 29, 2013

Gov’t can set record straight in ‘Allah’ case tomorrow

Mkini

The government has a chance to clear the air over the usage of the word ‘Allah’ by Christians in a High Court case that will be heard tomorrow, the Sidang Injil Borneo Church said.

By making a declaration on the right of the church to use the word ‘Allah’, SIB president Jerry WA Dusing said the government would be able to show its “good faith” in upholding the rights of bumiputera Christians.

This should be the case for all Bahasa Malaysia-speaking bumiputera Christians, Dusing said, regardless of whether they are residing in Sabah, Sarawak or in the peninsula. (more…)

ALLAH: Assurance from BN govt NOT GOOD ENOUGH – SIB warns East M’sian Christians

ALLAH: Assurance from BN govt NOT GOOD ENOUGH - SIB warns East M'sian ChristiansJerry W A Dusing

Greelings in the name of our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us not be misled by the assurance uttered by certain quarters that we can use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God in Sabah and Sarawak. It is more than just about a word; it is about the fundamental right to worship God in the way we have been doing for generations without hindrance.

The decision of the Court of Appeal against the Herald puts new restrictions on our human and constitutional right to freedom of religion. Nevertheless, we urge you to continue your friendship with your Muslim brothers and sisters and to extend love to them as you have always done’ We want to assure them that our court action is not against them or Islam but against the wrongful conduct of the Federal government and its officials. (more…)

October 25, 2013

‘Allah’ decision a blot on our legal landscape

Tommy Thomas

The sustained public attack on last week’s decision of the Court of Appeal in prohibiting the Catholic Church from using the word ‘Allah’ in its internal publication, The Herald, is absolutely unprecedented, even in a nation used to bad court decisions.

From a constitutional perspective, the judgments of the three judges on the bench are poorly reasoned, the law misread and conclusions reached which will baffle any right-thinking student anywhere in the common law.

The decision is not just wrong, it is horribly wrong, and represents a terrible blot on our legal landscape, unless overturned quickly by the apex court, the Federal Court. Regrettably, what follows may seem unduly legalistic, but it cannot be avoided in a critique of a court decision. (more…)

AG’s warning further fails to heal the atrocity

Herald AllahJD Lovrenciear

Who in the world – Muslim and non-Muslim faiths included – has not expressed shock and serious concern over Malaysia’s stand on the ‘Allah’ word?

The world’s largest Muslim population, Indonesia, has taken a firm objection as seen from the respected daily there, the Jakarta Post. Even the bedrock of Islam, the UAE, has expressed no support for Malaysia’s position on making the ‘Allah’ word exclusive for Malaysian Muslims.

But our attorney-general, hot on the heels of a national and global reaction and condemnation of the verdict, has warned all Malaysians that questioning and expressing concerns over the Appeal Court’s verdict dangerously hinges on contempt of court. (more…)

Any chance of a meaningful solution in ‘Allah’ furore?

Ronnie Ooi

Malaysia’s ‘Allah’ controversy is fundamentally a political issue about how different communities relate to one another. It is not a legal issue. The Catholic Church needs to take account of the Malay community’s majority view before deciding on the next step.

If unrestricted use of the word Allah is not acceptable to the moderate Malay community, then the Church, together with others, should search for a compromise that will preserve the religious practices of Christians in East Malaysia as well as that of the Sikhs, who also refer to their God as Allah.

The concept of ‘what is integral to a religion’ may provide the framework for such a compromise. It is hoped that all sides will approach the issue in a spirit of goodwill and with a desire to find a solution. (more…)

October 23, 2013

Playing God, the Umno way?

Charles Santiago

The only person who does not seem to be observing what’s happening in the country is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

Malaysia seems to have developed a mania for negative publicity. The latest is of course the recent court ruling, banning non-Muslims from using the word Allah.

Or that’s what I understood until some cabinet ministers mouthed confusing statements, saying the ban is only binding on non-Muslims in West Malaysia. Then others joined the chorus by adding it was only meant for the Catholic publication, The Herald. (more…)

October 21, 2013

Confusion is a public offence in the making

AB Sulaiman

Many quarters have expressed their shock, dismay and disbelief on hearing the recent ruling on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by the courts; adverse public reaction is still raging.

I do not wish to repeat these strong sentiments here but to offer my one sen’s worth of observation over this same issue. For this I quote the words as expressed by Justice Mohd Zawawi, one of the Court of Appeal judges.

He said that if the word ‘Allah’ is to be employed in the Malay version of The Herald to refer to God, there will be a risk of misrepresentation of God within Christianity itself. (more…)

October 20, 2013

Allah and the practice of my faith

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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allahIrene Fernandez

Who are you to tell me what name I should call or give the God I believe and worship? I can call God, Yahweh, Allah, Andavar or Theivam. It is my freedom of expression and the way I relate to God.

Allah or Theivam does not belong to any individual and cannot be privately owned. This freedom of expression is guaranteed in our Federal Constitution where all citizens are ensured the right to practice their own religion and where Islam is recognised as the official religion.

My understanding of Article 3 quoted by the honourable judges is that peace and harmony should be for the minority so that their freedom to practice their faith is not disturbed by the majority or dominant group. It is indeed shocking how this interpretation has come through and how the Constitution is abused to support the dominant group. The fundamental spirit of the Constitution reflected in its articles is to ensure that the constitutional rights of the minority are protected. (more…)

After ‘Allah’ ban, Isma warns of ‘opportunist’ evangelists

mkini

Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) has warned Sabahans and Sarawakians of certain evangelist groups out to sour relations with penisula Malaysia by stirring up discontent in the two states following the Court of Appeal decision banning the use of ‘Allah’ by Christians.

Isma president Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman (left) urged  bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak to defend unity and not to be taken in by certain groups, particularly Christian evangelists, who he said were taking the opportunity to sour East-West relations.

“We question whether these groups uphold the social contract as enshrined in the federal constitution. Or, do they have other agendas that go beyond the constitution?” Abdullah Zaik asked. (more…)

October 15, 2013

‘We will worship this ‘Allah’ till kingdom come’

Lawrence Yong & Ram Anand

The Court of Appeal’s decision to prevent The Herald from using ‘Allah’ in its Malay publication as a reference to God has ruffled Christians – especially in Sabah and Sarawak – and non-Muslim groups.

In the aftermath of the decision, an East Malaysian archbishop has said that Christians in Sabah and Sarawak will worship ‘Allah’ and even challengingly asked the authorities, “What are you going to do about it?”

Gerakan became the first BN component party to come out with a statement on this matter – insisting that the opinions of all BN component parties should have been sought before the government took a stand on such matters. (more…)

Court says ‘No’ to use of ‘Allah’ in Catholic weekly

NONE

Hafiz Yatim

It’s confirmed – Catholic weekly The Herald cannot use the word ‘Allah’ in the publication to refer to ‘God’.

The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya today unanimously over-ruled the landmark decision by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

In an immediate response, The Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew (left in photo ) expressed disappointment, but said there are plans to lodge an appeal with the Federal Court.

On Dec 31, 2009, KL High Court judge Justice Lau Bee Lan had ruled that the Home Ministry’s ban on the use of the word was unlawful and unconstitutional as it violated Article 11 of the federal constitution. (more…)

ON COLLISION COURSE: Muslim groups now want Allah ban to cover Sabah, Sarawak, Al-Kitab

ON COLLISION COURSE: Muslim groups now want Allah ban to cover Sabah, S'wak, Al-Kitab Malaysia Chronicle

Just minutes after the Malaysian Appeals Court delivered a controversial judgement that is bound to rock the nation and trigger great racial disunity, ultra Malay Muslim activists called for an end to the “special” privileges granted to Christians in Sabah and Sarawak, saying that the ban on the use of the Arabic word Allah should be extended to them.

“Everyone should stick to that decision,” Nasharuddin Mat Isa, a senior PAS leader but who is expressing his opinion on behalf of his NGO and not political party, told reporters on Monday.

Nasha was referring to the decision by the Appellate judges to overturn a High Court ruling that would have allowed Catholic magazine, the Herald, to use the word Allah in its Malay-language edition. (more…)

Church to fight on after “Allah” decision, says court ignored evidence

JENNIFER GOMEZ

The Court of Appeal’s decision today prohibiting The Herald from using the word “Allah” goes against all evidence on the issue from around the world, argued the Catholic weekly’s editor, Father Lawrence Andrew (pic).

Andrew said that the church could not reconcile with the basis of the ruling today. He pointed out that in 2011, Putrajaya in its 10-point solution to the issue had allowed the printing and distribution of the Al-Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia translation of the Bible.

“The government allowed the printing and distribution of the Malay Bible but in the same breath is challenging the word used in Herald. This is a serious contradiction,” he said. (more…)

Courts continue to ignore rights of Christian minority

Christian Federation of Malaysia

The Christian community in Malaysia is gravely dismayed and very disappointed by the decision of the Court of Appeal to uphold the power of the Minister to ban the use of the word Allah in the Herald publication. In a wide-ranging decision, all Christian publications in Bahasa Malaysia would appear to be affected by this ruling.

By stating that “the name ‘Allah’ is not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity” the court has totally ignored the position of our East Malaysian Bumiputra and Orang Asli Christians, who constitute 60% of the church in Malaysia and who are Bahasa Malaysia-speaking. (more…)

Herald denied use of Allah: Decision might DESTABILIZE M’sia as Muslim ultras demand more

Herald denied use of Allah: Decision might DESTABILIZE M'sia as Muslim ultras demand moreMalaysia Chronicle

As expected, Malaysia’s Court of Appeal has overturned a lower court ruling and denied Catholic magazine, the Herald, the right to use the Arabic word Allah to describe God in its Malay-language edition.

Father Lawrence, the editor of the Herald, told reporters the Church would be appealing the decision. If leave is given, then Malaysia’s Federal Court would be the next to hear the long drawn-out case that was first stirred up in 2007.

When Father Lawrence was asked if he felt that today’s judgement was politically-tinged by the ongoing Umno election, he declined to comment. (more…)

Judge: ‘Allah’ ruling to protect Islam, Malays

Hafiz Yatim

The insertion of the words ‘in peace and harmony’ into Article 3(1) of the federal constitution should be interpreted as the need to protect the sanctity of Islam as the main religion of the country and to insulate it against any probable threats, reasoned a senior judge.

Newly-elevated Federal Court judge Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali (left) said the insertion was a by-product of the social contract entered into by the nation’s founding fathers.

“It is my judgment that the most possible and probable threat to Islam, in the context of this country, is the propagation of other religions to the followers of Islam,”  he said in his 43-page judgment in the case involving the Malay edition of Catholic weekly The Herald. (more…)

‘Christians would be confused as well’

K Pragalath

Their concept of God as symbolised by the Trinity is absolutely and completely dissimilar to the concept of Allah in Islam, says Justice Zawawi Salleh.

Even the Christians would be confused over the usage of Allah’s name since there is a different understanding of God in Christianity and Islam, said Court of Appeal judge, Zawawi Salleh in his written judgment today.

The Cout of Appeal today unanimously over-ruled a Kuala Lumpur High Court decision in 2009 which had allowed Catholic newspaper The Herald to use ‘Allah’ to refer to the Christian God. (more…)

It’s worship as usual, Sarawak Christians will continue use “Allah” – state Minister

Sarawakians attend Bahasa Malaysia mass at St Joseph’s Cathedral in Kuching, in this file picture dated April 2011. – The Malaysian Insider pic, October 14, 2013.

DESMOND DAVIDSON

Sarawak will continue to allow the use of the word Allah in Bahasa Malaysia and native language Bibles and church publications, said State Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing, following the Court of Appeal’s ruling today not to allow Catholic weekly The Herald to use the term.

Masing described the ruling as “not genuine”, saying the use of the word Allah predated Islam.

“We (Christians in Sabah and Sarawak) have been using the word Allah for over 100 years. Why suddenly we are now told we cannot use it?” he asked, adding that the court’s decision would have a negative impact on non-Muslims beyond Sabah and Sarawak. (more…)

September 10, 2013

Stop baseless accusations over use of “Allah”

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…)

September 6, 2013

At least they agreed on one thing: only in Malaysia is Allah an issue

(From left) Khalid, Dr. Mohd Asri, Dr Khalif and Dr Yusri at last night's heated TV debate. The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim..JENNIFER GOMEZ

(From left) Khalid, Dr. Mohd Asri, Dr Khalif and Dr Yusri at last night’s heated TV debate.

In a heated online television discussion yesterday, three Muslim scholars were still agreed on one thing: that the use of the word “Allah” to describe gods of different religions – including the Christian god – is an issue only in Malaysia and nowhere else in the world.

But it still was an issue to two of the scholars as they argued there was an agenda behind Christians using Allah to refer to their god in Malay bibles. (more…)

August 31, 2013

Allah is more than just a word

Filed under: Human rights — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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20100107_allah_quranBob Teoh

It doesn’t really matter how the Federal Court will decide on whether non-Muslims, particularly Christians, are allowed to use the word Allah to refer to God. The Home Ministry and the Islamic establishment have already decided the word is exclusive to Muslims. Period.

It makes no difference either to Bumiputera Christians who account for two thirds of the Christian population of two million in the country.

Their Malay language Bible – the Alkitab- uses the word Allah to refer to God. This is the only Bible they have so come what may, they will continue to use their Alkitab which contains this troublesome word. That’s their Holy Scripture, their heritage. No court judgment can alter this fact. (more…)

August 29, 2013

Blind men and elephants – Part II

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KJ John

In January 2010, I wrote a column with an almost similar title. But then it was allegorical writing, and I would have thought that most of proponents of this “claim of intellectual and patent rights for the God-word ‘Allah'” would have understood the nuances of why we should not do it. Obviously, I am not as well-read as I would like to think. Therefore, those for whom: “tak makan cili dan tak rasa pedas“, please read the original column here.

The only difference between the original title and this one is that I now consider that there are many more such elephants and these animals have now come into our family rooms; but somehow we all cannot still see them clearly. (more…)

August 22, 2013

Church’s move to strike out government’s appeal lacks merit, says Hishammuddin

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 5:35 AM
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V ANBALAGAN

Putrajaya has taken the position that the Government’s 10-point solution in 2011 has nothing to do with its appeal to reverse a High Court ruling which allowed Christians to use the word “Allah” in the church newspaper, the Herald.

It said the Cabinet decision on April 11, 2011 was only to find ways to overcome problems relating to the import, printing, distribution and the use of the Bahasa Malaysia bible in the country.

“The 10-point solution in no way affects the appeal by the government on the usage of the word “Allah,” said former Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in an affidavit in reply to an application by the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur to set aside the government’s appeal. (more…)

August 8, 2013

A letter to Muslims on the celebration of ‘Eid ul-Fitri

RAYA Greeting

- Pope Francis

To Muslims throughout the World,

It gives me great pleasure to greet you as you celebrate ‘Eid ul-Fitri, so concluding the month of Ramadan, dedicated mainly to fasting, prayer and almsgiving.

It is a tradition by now that, on this occasion, the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue sends you a message of good wishes, together with a proposed theme for common reflection.

This year, the first of my Pontificate, I have decided to sign this traditional message myself and to send it to you, dear friends, as an expression of esteem and friendship for all Muslims, especially those who are religious leaders. (more…)

April 16, 2013

Bishop condemns ‘Sunday’ polling

RK Anand

Bishop Paul Tan says the decision to hold polling on a Sunday, reflects the callous insensitivity towards Christians.

The Election Commission’s decision to hold the 13th general election on a Sunday has earned the wrath of a senior clergyman.

Bishop Paul Tan condemned it as a reflection of the callous insensitivity towards Christians here.

He said that despite the government knowing that Sunday is a holy day where Christians must go to Church and worship God, EC has fixed May 5 for polling. (more…)

April 7, 2013

Christians hold prayer marathon in lead-up to GE13

Aidila Razak

As the nation braces for what is expected to be the hardest fought election yet, Christians all over Malaysia are taking turns to bow their heads in prayer.

If things go as planned, every minute of the day from dissolution day on April 3 until polling day, at least one Christian will be praying for “truth, justice and righteousness” to prevail in the 13th general election.

“We may even extend it to until after polling day, to pray for peace after the results have been announced,” Prayer United secretariat member Chrisanne Chin told Malaysiakini.  (more…)

March 30, 2013

Church group wants GE13 hopefuls to uphold religious liberty for all

BOO SU-LYN

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…)

February 27, 2013

Freedom of religion at stake in Malaysia

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

February 18, 2013

The Trinity in the Quran

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…)

January 31, 2013

My Bible, My faith, My church

FMT

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…)

January 28, 2013

Pakatan holds fast while others waver on ‘Allah’

Terence Netto

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…)

God and religion, two separate matters

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…)

January 27, 2013

A lesson to be learned

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…)

An appeal to the Christian community, drop ‘Allah’

BS Poh

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…)

January 26, 2013

Burn bible call alarms Sabah Christians

Queville To 

The increasingly provocative statements by certain quarters is a direct attack on the rights of bumiputera Christians and their religious freedom, says the Commission of Sabah Affairs.

The Sabah Christian community is troubled by the authorities’ failure to censure a peninsula MP for religious intolerance.

The Commission of Sabah Affairs (COSA) of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) Malaysia wants the government to launch an investigation into the inflammatory call by Persaka president Ibrahim Ali on Muslims to burn Malay-language bibles with the word Allah. (more…)

“Allah” issue: The battle over Bahasa

(© Hwa Yue-Yi)Hwa Yue-Yi

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?

(more…)

January 25, 2013

Sabah churches demand action against anti-Christian frenzy

Bob Teoh

Sabah churches want the government to act decisively against the latest round of anti-Christian frenzy.

“We see the increasingly provocative attacks against the Malay-language bible — Alkitab — by certain quarters as a direct attack on the rights of Bumiputera Christians in Sabah to religious freedom as enshrined in both the Sabah and the Federal Constitution,” Rev Datuk Jerry Dusing, chairman of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship Commission of Sabah Affairs (NECF COSA) said.

“We, therefore, urge the authorities to act immediately against such groups and individuals to the full extent of the law before the anti-Christian frenzy gets out of hand,” he said in a statement. (more…)

January 24, 2013

Of Bibles and crosses

Mohsin Abdullah

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…)

Burn the Bible, and you burn the church

Priscilla Prasena

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…)

January 23, 2013

Bishop Murphy Pakiam, What have you to say to Christians & Najib now!

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…)

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