Hornbill Unleashed

January 3, 2014

Putrajaya appeals for calm over Allah row

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

EILEEN NG

Putrajaya has appealed for calm in light of increasing tension over the usage of the word Allah by Christians.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said he had contacted minister in charge of Islamic Affairs, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, who had assured that he would help cool down tensions.

“He will help look into the matter and help calm the situation,” Kurup told The Malaysian Insider.

Christians form about 9% of Malaysia’s 29 million population.

Kurup, who is a Christian, advised all quarters not to resort to anything that would strain the good relations that the various races had enjoyed over the years.

“If there are any parties that are not satisfied, bring it up to the proper authorities and let the authorities deal with this in a sensible and peaceful manner.”

His statement came on the heels of a raid by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) at the Bible Society of Malaysia’s (BSM) premises in Damansara Kim, Selangor, this afternoon and the insistence by a senior Catholic priest that Christians can use the word Allah.

During the raid, some 300 copies of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia and Iban were seized, and BSM president Lee Min Choon and its manager Sinclair Wong were detained before being released at 4pm.

Various Muslim groups have also called for action to be taken against the editor of the Catholic weekly, Herald, Rev Father Lawrence Andrew who had said that Catholic churches in Selangor would continue to use the word Allah in their weekend services in Bahasa Malaysia, which are primarily attended by Sabah and Sarawak folk.

Lawrence’s comments came following a statement from the new director of Jais, Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad, who had said that 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 then 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 a sign of disrespect for the law.

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

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.

The tussle over the word Allah hit the headlines in 2008 when Herald was barred by the Home Ministry from using the Arabic word.

The Catholic church had contested the directive in court and won a High Court decision in 2009 upholding its constitutional right to use the word.

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

Almost two-thirds of the Christians in Malaysia are Bumiputera and are largely based in Sabah and Sarawak, where they routinely use Bahasa Malaysia and indigenous languages in their religious practices, including describing God as Allah in their prayers and holy book.

Besides the Bumiputera Christians from East Malaysia, some of whom have moved to the peninsula to live and work, Orang Asli Christians in the peninsula also typically use Bahasa Malaysia in their worship.

6 Comments »

  1. Putra Jaya appeal for calm? I have not seen Najib or Muhyddin talking on tv giving assurance and promise to stop the savagery. The issue has not calmed down and Noh is planning a big demonstration against Fr. Lawrence. Najib was not seen in tv the past week …….. btw Najib is not PM, Rose is ……

    Comment by No Double Talk — January 4, 2014 @ 10:01 PM | Reply

  2. He is a cowboy and also a red Indian in a Wild West story. Do you find it exciting, interesting and convincing? Ha ha…..

    Comment by streetwalker — January 4, 2014 @ 1:27 PM | Reply

  3. They are mentally weak and super fast to copy western culture, including religion … Endless possibilities: They will all become Christians after God send Jesus to visit them.

    Comment by tigerykey — January 4, 2014 @ 5:39 AM | Reply

  4. Invite the muslims to burn the Bible. Even if one does it, 10 will feel the shame.

    Comment by mp — January 4, 2014 @ 12:24 AM | Reply

  5. Don’t be stupid to be exploited by these racialists, this is just a Sandiwara to divert away attention on subjects like: POOR education system, Barang Naik, POORER exchange rate against foreign currencies due to weak economy in Bodohland. The similar scenario was in 1969, in order to topple late Tunku, the “M”aster “M”ind of 1969 racial riot finally took over as PM of Bodohland. Similary in Japan, PM Abe had to create an illusion of enemy–China, so to amend Constitution to facilitate Japan to become military superpower house with the direct help of usa. The ultimate aim of Allah case is to create a racial riot, best if possible, so current regime can declare Bodohland is under martial rule, for as long as current problems are solve in later day, for how long? Allah knows.

    Comment by tiuniamah — January 3, 2014 @ 10:08 PM | Reply

  6. Brethren, 29 millions isn’t a small number if we all speak out in ONE VOICE and walk in ONE UNITY, they will see our impact. Alleluia, alleluia!

    Comment by owl — January 3, 2014 @ 6:52 PM | Reply


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