Hornbill Unleashed

January 2, 2014

Why irritate Muslims by using Allah, Dr Mahathir asks Christians in the peninsula

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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TMI

Against a backdrop of Selangor religious authorities preparing to clampdown on non-muslim’s use of Allah, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today questioned Christian motives for “annoying others” with their insistence on using the Arabic word to refer to God.

The country’s longest-serving prime minister said the Arabic term for God was only a common usage among Christians in Sabah and Sarawak.

“All this while, we have never quarrelled about this because they (Christians in the peninsula) never use the word, so why irritate other people, it won’t hurt them not to use the word Allah.

“They have never used it before. Those who use it are in Sabah and Sarawak, there is no objection. But here in the peninsula, why do we want to find a cause to quarrel,” he told reporters at the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) New Year open house today.

Dr Mahathir said the people, regardless of their religion, had managed to live together in peace in the country and that any that annoyed others was not a good thing.

Last Friday, Catholic weekly Herald editor Rev Father Lawrence Andrew, said that the Catholic churches in Selangor would continue to use the word Allah in their weekend services in Bahasa Malaysia, which is primarily attended by East Malaysians.

He comments came following a statement from the newly-appointed director of Jais Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad who said the state religious authorities would draw up a list of Selangor churches before writing to ask them to comply with the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988.

“We will write to all the churches in Selangor to respect the law that is in force in relation to this,” he was quoted as saying.

The enactment, which was passed by the Barisan Nasional state government, prohibits non-Muslims in Selangor from using 35 Arabic words and phrases, including “Allah”, “Nabi” (prophet), “Injil” (gospel) and “Insya’Allah” (God willing).

Andrew’s statement caused an uproar among various non-governmental organisations, which among others, described his action as not only challenging the sensitivities of Muslims, but also having no respect for the law.

Umno Selangor is threatening to protest at all churches in the state on Sunday unless Andrew apologises for insisting that Christians can use the word “Allah”, reported Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia today.

Umno Gombak division chief Abdul Rahim Kamarudin said they would stage a protest if Andrew does not withdraw his statement by Saturday.

“We have to be firm and cannot condone this. His actions are rude and we want him to apologise to all Muslims,” Umno Kota Raja division chief Kamaruzzaman Johari said in the Malay language daily.

Umno Selangor liaison committee deputy chairman Datuk Abdul Shukor Idrus said Andrew was challenging the Sultan of Selangor’s decree prohibiting non-Muslims in the state from using Allah to describe God.

“Looking at His Majesty’s decree, it is clearly meant to ensure the harmony of all races and religion in Selangor,” he said.

However, lawyers had challenged the Jais move, saying that it was unconstitutional.

The latest to do so is the Catholic Lawyers’ Society. Its president, Viola De Cruz Silva, said today there were no provisions in the Federal Constitution banning non-Muslims from propagating their religion in their community or to other non-Muslim communities or groups.

“Therefore, any intended letter from Jais to the churches in Selangor would be invalid,” she said in a statement.

Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikkhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) president Jagir Singh said the 2009 decision by High Court judge Datuk Lau Bee Lan ruled that non-Muslims could use words like Allah provided it was confined to their own religious groups.

“It is only an offence by non-Muslims to use such words to propagate their religion to Muslims,” he had told The Malaysian Insider.

The tussle over Allah arose in 2008 when the Catholic newspaper, Herald, was barred by the Home Ministry from using the Arabic word. The Catholic Church had contested this in court and won a High Court decision in 2009 upholding its constitutional right to do so.

Putrajaya later appealed the decision and successfully overturned the earlier decision when the Court of Appeal ruled this October that “Allah was not integral to the Christian faith”.

9 Comments »

  1. Who is irritating who? Who is oppressing who? Who is persecuting who? This guy is a tyrant.

    Comment by Save Sarawak — January 3, 2014 @ 11:19 PM | Reply

  2. And what about him openly supporting Perkasa, their racist agenda and their dark desire to disturb the peace and harmony in Sarawak and Sabah by demanding that the ban to be enforced in East Malaysia as well? Isn’t that “annoying others” and us Christians in Sarawak and Sabah?

    Comment by brian — January 3, 2014 @ 4:53 PM | Reply

  3. This Mamakutty is a devil in human form. A great liar, hypocrite, mocker, obscenely greedy and corrupt. Why irritate the Christians by denying them Allah? Just because you are scared of losing the fixed deposit, you wouldn’t dare to impose it on Sarawak. Allah knows your rotten, filthy heart.

    Comment by Sharpshooter — January 2, 2014 @ 10:09 PM | Reply

  4. The question should be: Why irritate Christians for denying them their Allah?

    Comment by Pehin no no — January 2, 2014 @ 4:19 PM | Reply

    • Just leave everybody to worship his god whether it is Allah, Yahweh, God, Jehovah, Eliohim, Maker, creater or supreme being etc etc. It is between him and the supreme being. Worship him not condemn, curse, rebuke, punish, coerce or reprimand the worshipper. The accuser is normally more evil than the worshipper.

      Comment by No Double Talk — January 2, 2014 @ 8:58 PM | Reply

  5. Quarrelling over a Arabic of name is a potential destructive energy ready explode. To rein this energy need the wisdom of every Malaysians. Can Ridzuan Tee or Listen! Listen! lady help. They are extremely good at raising controversies and see if they come out with rational solution or it will hasten the explosion.

    Comment by kira commonsense — January 2, 2014 @ 3:10 PM | Reply

  6. All racial and religious hatred by radical Muslims within UMNO Baru are propagated by UMNO Baru leaders and started by Mahathir to shore up support for UMNO Baru who lost its Malay support base to PAS and PKR. Malaysians should not be deceived by UMNO Baru on the ongoing Allah row as the issue was never a Malay or Muslim issue but entirely an UMNO Baru’s ill conceived political propaganda to gain more Malay support.

    Comment by Mata Kuching — January 2, 2014 @ 1:58 PM | Reply

  7. All the racial hatred and religious controversies in this country starts with this man. A divided country, Ketuanan Melayu, special Malay Rights and creating a new class of pendatangs all emanate under his watch. The day he kick the bucket is the day you celebrate to usher in a new dawn of hope in a Malaysian Spring, if it is not a pipe dream.

    Comment by nickkraemr — January 2, 2014 @ 11:05 AM | Reply

  8. This batu-api should be stoned to death and his body thrown to feed the crocodiles and dogs.

    Comment by tigerykey — January 2, 2014 @ 5:20 AM | Reply


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