Home Minister Zahid Hamidi has ordered the release of Christian materials which used the word ‘Allah’ that were confiscated at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
He also distanced his ministry from the seizure, stating that it was the Royal Malaysian Customs Department’s action which comes under the Finance Ministry.
“Those materials were from Indonesia and were transiting KLIA to be brought to Sabah.
“As the materials are for use in Sabah, the Home Ministry is of the opinion that they should be returned,” Zahid (left) told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today. (more…)
Sarawakian Christian Jill Ireland yesterday sent a third letter of demand asking the government to return religious CDs seized from her in 2008.
The letter gave the Home Ministry and the government seven days to comply with the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s July 21 decision.
The court ruling said the government has to return eight religious CDs it had seized six years ago containing the word ‘Allah’, and to pay RM5,000 in legal costs. (more…)
The Malay Mail
A Sabah leader said no Muslim in Sabah or Sarawak would ever endorse the idea that it is “acceptable” to suggest torching Christian scriptures.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claim that Datuk Ibrahim Ali’s call to burn bibles was not seditious does not go down well with Muslims in east Malaysia, a Sabah Umno leader said.
State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said no Muslim in Sabah or Sarawak would ever endorse the idea that it is “acceptable” to suggest torching Christian scriptures, regardless whether it is deemed a respectful way of disposing their own holy book, the Al-Quran. (more…)
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…)
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…)
Religious rights are enshrined in the constitution
People who make a great deal of fuss about religious rituals and words are often seeking to draw attention away from the issue of whether they are actually practicing the religion itself.
They hope that by making a lot of noise about such outward matters they will convince people they are religious, when in fact they may be stealing and lying and a lot of other things utterly forbidden by the prophets, who were largely unconcerned by form and ceremony.
All religions are intended to civilise us, which makes it all the more of an affront when people do the most uncivilised things in the name of religion, like attacking other people or indeed attempting to deny them their legitimate rights to their own form of faith. (more…)
Barisan Nasional is still harping on religion and attempting to drive a wedge between PAS and DAP.
Barisan Nasional is still up to its old tricks of trying to cause a permanent split between PAS and DAP and that is why it is latching on to the God issue so very tenaciously.
Said PAS Bukit Gantang MP, Nizar Jamaluddin: “BN’s strategy of roping in God to destroy Pakatan Rakyat is destined to fail because a far worse issue was the unity government issue and still Pakatan managed to handle it well. This God issue is a small matter and the longer BN clings on to it, the speedier will be BN’s demise.” (more…)
Disputation in Malaysia over the kalimah Allah, the name of God, has not abated.
On the contrary, it continues to become ever more acrimonious and worrying.
These days we now even have some enthusiastic “idealists” who give advance notice of their readiness for a virtually premeditated amok — or to excuse others who might resort to that kind of intimidatory violence — in order, paradoxically, to uphold their notions of moderation, mutual acceptance and tolerance in interfaith relations.
A question of many parts
There are many aspects to this dispute, all of them requiring close and serious consideration. (more…)
So I’m full of admiration for the millions of Malaysians who’ve had to live with this deranged regime day in, day out for decades and have still managed to keep their wits about them.Even just thinking about them one day a week from a relatively safe distance of Sydney, the criminal insanity and inanity of Umno/BN almost drives me stark, staring mad.
And astonished and delighted at the fact that many who have previously been so duped by these kleptomaniacs and pathological liars as to tolerate and even vote for them are finally regaining their senses. (more…)
The authorities must speed up action against Datuk Ibrahim Ali over his Bible-burning threat, says retired Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, adding any further delay in acting against the veteran politician could be held against the establishment ahead of Election 2013.
The vocal Ibrahim, who heads right-wing Malay group Perkasa, had sparked a firestorm last week when he reportedly called on Muslims to torch Malay-language copies of the Christian holy book that describes the Christian god as “Allah”, an Arabic word many Muslims here believe to be exclusive to their community.
“The issue is not the burning of the Bible. What is in the issue is, did he utter those words?” Abu Talib told The Malaysian Insider in an interview. (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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
“It doesn’t matter if it is a Malay Bible, an English Bible, a Kadazan Bible or a Tamil Bible, the issue is he incited the burning of bibles,” she told Malaysiakini when contacted today.Human rights lawyer Siti Zabedah Kasim has rubbished Perkasa’s series of police reports against her for allegedly slandering Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali over his bible-burning remarks.
She was responding to Negeri Sembilan Perkasa chief Mohd Noor Nordin who was quoted in Utusan Malaysia today saying that the human rights lawyer had distorted Ibrahim’s (left) statement. (more…)
The religious freedom of Christian Bumiputeras is under attack, a Sabah church group today said, following controversial calls by Malay-right wing group Perkasa and unknown individuals to burn the Alkitab, the Malay-language Bible, over the use of the word Allah.
“The increasingly provocative attacks by certain quarters against the Malay-language Bible, the Alkitab, is a direct attack on the rights of Bumiputera Christians to their religious freedom as enshrined in their agreements at the formation of Malaysia and in the Federal Constitution,” the National Fellowship (NECF) Commission on Sabah Affairs (COSA) wrote in a statement signed by its chairman Rev Datuk Jerry Dusing today. (more…)
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?
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…)
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…)
It is sad that Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali’s harmless rants on the burning of Bibles have caused so much misunderstanding, says the writer in this satirical piece.
Since Barisan Nasional lost its two-thirds mandate in the general election, attacks and insults against Islam have increased dramatically. Luckily, we have Ibrahim Ali to come to the rescue like a gallant knight.
A true champion of the human race and religion, Ibrahim is a rare and dying breed. Not a single Malay possesses his inhuman courage or the strength to uphold an entire race or the nobility of the religion.
Everyone pales in comparison to the one and only Ibrahim, who is capable of changing the course of Malaysian history. (more…)
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…)
The Penang police have taken 17 statements from various individuals in their investigation into allegations that bibles were distributed to Muslim children outside a school in Jelutong.
“Investigation papers have been referred to the state deputy prosecutor yesterday and further instructions have been received for the police to complete the probe,” said Penang police chief Abdul Rahim Hanafi in a statement issued late last night.
Abdul Rahim said the bibles were openly distributed and several Malay students were given the holy book by unidentified individuals.
“The report was lodged for the police to probe the matter immediately to avoid untoward incidents as the action can undermine the security and peace of the country,” he said. (more…)
DAP national chairman lodges a police report against Ibrahim Ali over his remarks that Bibles which contained the term “Allah” should be seized and burnt.
Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali’s call to burn Malay Bibles which use “Allah” is seditious and can incite religious discord.
This was the stance of Bukit Gelugor MP and DAP chairman Karpal Singh, who lodged a police report against Ibrahim Ali for asking Muslims to “seize and burn” Bibles which used the “Allah” term.
“Muslims must unite to protect their religion. They must seize those Bibles, including the Malay editions, which contain the term Allah and other Arabic religious words, and burn them,” Pasir MAS MP Ibrahim has said on Saturday. (more…)
A Christian priest has lodged a police report after he found a notice purportedly by an Anti-Bahasa Melayu Bible Action Group calling all Muslims to join in a ‘Bahasa Melayu Bible burning pesta’.
Reverend John Kennady was shocked to find the notice typed on a plain piece of paper with the title ‘Jom Bakaq! Pesta Bakaq Bible Bahasa Melayu’ (Let’s burn! Bahasa Melayu Bible burning fest) in his post box this morning.
The notice, written in Bahasa Malaysia, invites all Muslims to join the ‘Anti-Bahasa Melayu Bible Action Group’ in a ‘pesta’ to burn the Malay version of the Bible ‘for the sake of the future generations’. (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…)
There is an insidious trend in some parts of the world, particularly in the West, where a significant group of people comprising differing social strata and affiliations voice their disbelief in the existence of God or that the universe is a product of divine design.
Some among these people demand the rights to marry the person of their gender, to choose when and how to have babies and the freedom to end their lives should they find lives too unbearable as a result of sickness.
They call themselves atheists or humanists. They are on a war path with the fundamentalist Christians and other believers who insist that things should be done in exact accordance with the precepts in the Bible or other sacred books. (more…)
Citing Justice Lau Bee Lan’s ruling in Dec 31, 2009, MCA deputy publicity chief Loh Seng Kok said the ruling meant that the term was not exclusive to Muslims. MCA has urged all Malaysians to respect the High Court’s ruling that all Malaysians have the constitutional right to use the term ‘Allah’.
“All quarters should respect the High Court’s decision which ruled that pursuant to Article 11(4) of the federal constitution.
“It is not an offence for non-Muslims to use the word to non-Muslims for the purpose of religion and there is (a) pending appeal by the Home Ministry,” he said in a press release today. (more…)
The contention from various organisations and bodies such as Jakim, Umno and PAS that using the term Allah is the exclusive right of Muslims has no religious basis.
Many Muslim scholars and politicians fear that the Bible and related publications using the word “Allah” as God will influence and confuse “innocent” Muslims, making them susceptible to being converted to Christianity.
If a Muslim wants to stray from his faith, there are 1,001 ways to do it, including entering another religion or even sect. (more…)
PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu’s reminder that non-Muslims are free to describe their gods as “Allah” is reassuring, a Catholic bishop said today, after the recent cross-signals sent out by the Islamist party’s information chief.
“The PAS deputy president’s reassurance that the stance of three years ago still holds comes as a relief. We salute his consistency, admire his courage and welcome him as a friend of truth and goodwill,” Bishop Paul Tan told news portal Malaysiakini, a day after Mohamad clarified the party’s stand.
The Malaysian Insider had yesterday reported the PAS leader, popularly called Mat Sabu, as saying: “The PAS’ president had issued the statement in 2010 to not forbid any religious adherent apart from Muslims to use the word ‘Allah’. PAS maintains that stand.” (more…)
Anas Zubedy, via e-mail
Here we go again… Every now and then, this matter will see the light of day. This time around, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng brought it up in his Christmas message. I personally agree with his sentiment. We should all share the word Allah and make it the universal name for God. As far as the Quran is concerned, this verse explains the universality of Allah clearly.
They are those who have been expelled from their homes in defiance of right, – (for no cause except that they say, “our Lord is Allah”. Did not Allah check one set of people by means of another, there would surely have been pulled down monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, in which the name of Allah is commemorated in abundant measure. Allah will certainly aid those who aid his (cause); – for verily Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, (able to enforce His Will) – Quran 22:40 (more…)
From Dr SK Teoh, via e-mail
Many Muslims and even some Christians have misunderstood the use of “Allah” in Bahasa Bibles. To clarify some of the confusion:
- The BM Bible or the Alkitab is not translated from the English Bible but from the original languages, i.e. Hebrew and Greek.
- The Hebrew word for God is El or Elohim (similar root as Ilah in Arabic) and YHWH or Yahweh for LORD. The Greek words are Theo for God and Kurios for Lord.
- Biblical translators all over the world have used the local language terms for Elohim and Yahweh e.g. God and LORD in English; Dios and Senor in Spanish, Shangti and Zhu in Chinese (more…)
Ong Kian Ming
Christmas came early for me this year, a month and a half early. I received not one but two presents in November, courtesy of the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).
At a dinner held on Nov 5 celebrating the 400th year of the translation of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia, I received a reprint of AC Ruyl’s BM translation of the gospel of Matthew as well a complete BM Bible translated by the BSM. AC Ruyl, a Dutch trader, had translated the gospel of Matthew into BM in 1612 and it was printed in 1629 in Holland.
The complete BM Bible was first translated by BSM in 1996 with a revised edition in 2001. Both books are important in understanding the ‘Allah’ debate that was first sparked by DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s Christmas Day message to ask the federal government to allow Christians in Malaysia to use the word ‘Allah’ in their worship of their God and Creator. (more…)