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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
Tay Tian Yan
I sneered at Ibrahim Ali’s threat to burn the Bible, and was instantly reminded of the idiotic Florida pastor Terry Jones.
Two years ago, Jones shocked the world by threatening to burn the Quran.
The entire planet, from people like Barack Obama to Ban Ki-moon, and from the West to the East, was both exasperated and terrorised, some cursing and others trying to appease. In the unfortunate event he really burned the Quran, the deeply planted hatred would once again be revived and the terror attacks and conflicts that would ensue would go on forever.
Several days later, he declared to abort the plan, much to the relief of the whole world. (more…)
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…)
A flyer from a previously unknown group urges Muslims to torch Malay language Bibles this Sunday.
A Christian movement has come across a flyer in Penang calling on Muslims to burn Malay language Bibles at a gathering at the Bagan Luar Municipality field in Butterworth this Sunday.
Bishop Ng Moon Hing, executive secretary of the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM), said a copy of the flyer was found in the mailbox of a Christian priest residing in Butterworth.
The flyer, printed by a group called Pasukan Bertindak Anti Bible Bahasa Melayu (Anti-Malay-Bible Action Force), urges Muslims to join in the “Malay Bible burning festivities” scheduled at 10am. (more…)
PAS is ready to engage Christian leaders in an “intellectual discourse” to resolve the impasse on the “Allah” row, party deputy president Mohamad Sabu said tonight.
He said a dialogue would help the Muslim and Christian community to avoid falling into a “political trap” set by Umno, the ruling Malay party that he said was hell-bent on maintaining power through racial politicking.
“They are desperate,” the PAS leader (picture) popularly known as Mat Sabu told a predominantly Chinese crowd at a DAP fundraising event held here. (more…)
PAS Supporters Congress says this is because the non-Muslim community is bitter over the opposition coalition’s poor handling of several recent issues
Non-Muslims support for Pakatan Rakyat has dipped in the past five months due to the actions and policies of PAS and DAP, said the PAS Supporters Congress.
Its outspoken chairman, Hu Phang Chaw, said the support dwindled following a series of events, which has left a bitter after-taste among the non-Muslim community.
“We cannot outrightly proclaim it as we have yet to conduct a proper study, but one must be brave to admit that support has eroded due our inability to manage issues well.” (more…)
It is evident that the council is looking after its own interests, and not that of the people at large, and not even the party’s, in making a statement that saves its own Islamic credentials to the detriment of the party, Pakatan, and the people’s views in general.I think the latest move by the PAS syura council on the ‘Allah’ issue sums up the issue of political Islam nicely. It is an interesting idea, but it will never work.
It shows the council to be far from upright in its purported Islamic principles, but only as a body too ready to please the baying crowds instead. It has showed a complete lack of wisdom in issuing its statement, not to mention a complete show of disrespect to the party and the coalition of which it is a part of. (more…)
Mohd Asri (picture) highlighted that Jews and Christians in the Middle East have been using “Allah” from long ago and continue to do so without any confusion — an argument adopted by non-Muslims in Malaysia, particularly the churches.
Muslims who dispute the use of “Allah” by non-Muslims are those confused about their own faith, popular Islamic scholar Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin said in a recent lecture as the religious row on the subject continues to hog headlines nationwide.
In a 14-minute video clip posted on YouTube last Saturday, the former Perlis mufti explained that while the government has a right to restrict usage of the Arabic word for God, it should not use religion as an excuse because Islam allows for followers of other faiths the right to call their gods “Allah” if they are referring to the Supreme Being. (more…)
The Council of Churches Malaysia criticised PAS for its about-turn to disallow non-Muslims from using Allah in holy books as a show of power by the majority.
The PAS Syura Council’s decision to ban non-Muslims from using Allah in their holy books have drawn fire from the Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM).
Its secretary-general Rev Hermen Sastri said the controversies surrounding the issue were “a show of power of the majority”.
“If you say [the usage of Allah] would create confusion, then you teach your people how not to be confused. (more…)
Saying he regretted that the Umno-BN government is making this a polemic issue by using the mainstream media, when they (Umno and BN) do not understand and this had resulted in a strain in the relationship among people of various faiths.PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said Islam does not prohibit people of other faiths to use the kalimah (the word) ‘Allah’ in their practice, although it does not reach the original meaning of the Quran.
PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim said that they have reached a consensus on the issue and wanted Abdul Hadi to explain it further. (more…)
There are major contradictions in the claim that the word “Allah” belongs only to Muslims and Islam, and does not apply to non-Muslims and other religions (JAKIM), and in the insistence that non-Muslims must convert to Islam to use the word “Allah” (Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria).
The contradictions are as follows:
1. If we disallow non-Muslims from using the word “Allah”, are we implying that Allah has no relation to the non-Muslims, that Allah did not create the non-Muslims, but to whom Allah must belong if He is the Creator of all things? (more…)
Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah was shocked and has expressed regret over the earlier statement by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng urging the government to allow all Malay Bibles to use the word ‘Allah’, said the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais).
In a statement issued today, Mais secretary Mohd Misri Idris said the sultan has decreed that all non-Muslims in the state are banned from using the word ‘Allah’ as it is a holy word exclusive for Muslims.
According to him, the decree was issued after the sultan convened a special meeting with several members of Mais, the Selangor mufti and top officers of Mais and Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) on Sunday following Lim’s remark. (more…)
There is an assumption among politicians at the national level that no matter what they say about the Christians, the latter wouldn’t dare respond to assert their rights, says Daniel John Jambun.
Christians in the country should not be afraid to assert their rights as Malaysians in matters concerning their faith, said Sabah STAR.
In a statement issued here, party deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun said politicians who get involved in the debates on religion in Malaysia were behaving as if the Christians have no feelings and no rights as Malaysians. (more…)
Therefore, Egypt’s new regime received democratic support from 64 percent of those who voted for their new and written civil constitution, even if their number of voters seemed to be the lowest level of any national vote.Islamic governance of modern nation-states is now at an experimental crossroads. Since the Iranian revolution, and the subsequent experimentation of an Islamic republic of governance, we are now facing the changing nature of newer and more definitive models of modern governance of Islamic populations, organised as nation-states. Egypt, in their post-revolution against feudalism, is the latest experiment in Islamic forms of modern democratic governance. (more…)
“In a well-functioning democracy, the state constitution is considered more important than God’s holy book, whichever holy book that may be, and God matters only in your private life.”
- Ayaan Hirsi Ali (The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam)
I find it extremely funny that PAS finds the time and opportunity to pray for the demise of Umno and BN but has to hold numerous “councils” before they can decide to take action against those errant local council “saboteurs” that DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng seems to think are jeopardising the fragile “secular” alternative alliance. (more…)
I have been mulling over the same question over the past two months: Is Islam the topic of discourse overdone, and do we need another conversation about it?
Covering Islam and Muslims is not for the faint-hearted. Especially if you are a Muslim woman writing in a Muslim country, and have not been schooled in religious studies, and looks like everything that is the opposite of what a Muslimah should be.
Once upon a time, I wrote a book, which was really a compilation of articles I wrote for Malaysiakini.com, titled I Am Muslim. It was written and published when I was in my 30s. (more…)
The PKR vice-president said last week that religious freedom is for everyone, even Muslims and Malays. Well, here are the facts to prove she has a point.
Yet again, Umno as well as the likes of Ibrahim Ali and Nasharudin Mat Isa have resorted to misusing Islam to discredit a member of the opposition bloc.
According to a transcript provided by Malaysiakini, Nurul Izzah Anwar said at a forum last weekend that “…there is no compulsion in religion… How can anyone really say, ‘sorry, this only applies to non-Malays.’ It has to apply equally.” (more…)
The Islamic NGO condemns the attacks on PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, and points out that faith by compulsion may lead to hypocrisy.
Freedom of religion as a right enshrined under the Federal Constitution must also recognise the freedom to change faith, said Sisters In Islam (SIS).
Rallying behind PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar’s call for freedom of religion for all, the NGO said faith in any religion was based on free will.
“How can Muslims demand this notion of religious freedom for those wishing to convert to Islam and at the same time argue the denial of this freedom to leave Islam? (more…)
Francis Paul Siah
NASHARUDDIN Mat Isa is probably an unknown name in Sarawak. I doubt many people in the state know who he is, particularly now that he is no longer a PAS heavyweight but a party renegade.
But Nasharuddin has carved a name for himself in political and religious circles in the peninsula. He is the former deputy president of PAS and the serving Bachok MP.
By all accounts, Nasharuddin had a meteoric rise in PAS. He was said to be the prodigy of the late Fadzil Mohd Nor who was PAS president from 1989 until his death in 2002.
Fadzil was a known moderate in an Islamic party and he went on an ambitious drive to promote young professionals in the party. Nasharuddin (below) was one of them. (more…)