Hornbill Unleashed

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…)

March 2, 2013

Nik Aziz maintains ‘Allah’ can be used by non-Muslims

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…)

February 15, 2013

Stop Dr M before he burns M’sia, says Bishop

RK Anand

The vocal Bishop Paul Tan wants the government to act against the former premier and all those who stoke racial and religious tension.

Once the object of love and veneration but now hate and denigration, Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s constant outbursts have made him one of the most criticised individuals in this nation.

And even on Valentine’s Day, it is brickbats and not bouquets for the former premier.

Ironically, Mahathir who threw scores of people behind bars without trial on the basis of national security is now considered to be a threat himself. (more…)

January 31, 2013

Have you forsaken your flock, Archbishop?

Jared Pereira

Catholics stumped by Murphy Pakiam’s conspicuous silence and his failure to come out and defend the faithful over the burn-the-Bible issue

The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, Murphy Pakiam, has received a barrage of criticisms from Catholics for keeping mum on Perkasa’s call to Muslims to seize and burn Bibles.

Pakiam has yet to make a statement regarding Ibrahim Ali’s call to burn Bibles which contained the term “Allah” and other religious Arabic terms, leading some from his flock to label him as a weak leader. (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…)

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…)

January 20, 2013

Bishop raps Ibrahim Ali’s ‘burn Bibles’ statement

Terence Netto

Catholic Bishop Dr Paul Tan Chee Ing is appalled by Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali’s statement urging Muslims to burn Bibles that use the term ‘Allah’ for God, describing it as “an incendiary statement that far exceeds the bounds of civil discourse in Malaysia”.

The head of the Catholic Church in the Malacca-Johor diocese, Bishop Paul Tan, said that now that Ibrahim’s “incendiary remarks are in the public domain, let’s wait and see what the authorities will do about it”.

“If there is going to be any point to that slogan ‘1Malaysia’ then this is the time when we can see for ourselves if the concept is mere sloganeering to win votes or an earnest of the government’s desire to unite the people in all their diversity,” argued the prelate. (more…)

January 12, 2013

Law experts: Royal decree on ‘Allah’ not binding on non-Muslims, but…

Amin Iskandar, Debra Chong and Leannza Chia

The ‘Allah’ word can be found in the Bahasa Malaysia Bible. — File pic

Neither the Selangor Sultan’s decree nor a fatwa banning non-Muslims from using the word “Allah” for their gods is enforceable, lawyers say, but they added that a 1988 state law could trigger another courtroom battle for those who persist — in the latest faith storm to hit Malaysia.

Christians and Sikhs nationwide have protested the Selangor Sultan’s blanket ban and warning by the state’s Islamic authorities that they would enforce the law on non-Muslims, insisting they have the constitutional right to also call their gods “Allah” as prescribed in their holy books. (more…)

January 10, 2013

Despite royal decree, Protestant churches say will keep using ‘Allah’

Debra Chong

The CCM said Christians have used the term “Allah” for “centuries”.

An umbrella body representing Malaysia’s Protestant churches said today Christians nationwide have been calling their god “Allah” in their worship for centuries and will continue exercising their constitutional right to do so, notwithstanding a Selangor state decree barring the term from them.

The heads of churches of the Council of Churches of Malaysia (CCM) said it had noted the current discourse over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims. (more…)

January 6, 2013

Mat Sabu’s Allah-for-non-Muslims-too remark a relief, says Catholic bishop

TMI

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…)

December 29, 2012

Pakatan consensus disturbed by rogue elements in PAS

Terence Netto

They say in a race it is the last 50 meters that separate the men from the boys.

In the final prelude to the 13th general election – the proverbial last 50 meters that separate a surging Pakatan Rakyat from a struggling BN – the latter is being handed proof that the former is a makeshift coalition which would unravel when underlying ideological differences among component parties become too stark to ignore.

In the last four years, the BN calculation that Pakatan’s ideological dissonances would eventually sunder the coalition turned out to be overly optimistic. (more…)

December 25, 2012

‘Early Christmas gift’ an election ploy?

Jared Pereira

The government decided to relax travel bans to Israel for Malaysian Christians effective Oct 30 but made announcement only five days before Christmas.

The timing of the announcement to relax the ban on religious visits by Christians to Israel is questionable considering that the general election is imminent.

The government recently lifted the quota on the number of Christian pilgrims allowed to travel to Jerusalem for up to a maximum of three weeks.

Past conditions imposed by the government stated that any one church could only send a group of 40 and only 700 pilgrims were allowed each year. (more…)

November 15, 2012

Does ‘God’ need help?

KJ John

In the philosophy of science, there is one really big action word: Anthropomorphise; which is when one uses human traits, attributes or thought patterns, and frameworks to describe another object of focus.

Therefore when we talk about the ideal of ‘God’ as an almighty or spiritual being that exists independent of all human existence, it is always a very challenging concept to fully appreciate our tendency to ‘anthropomorphise.’

In human language therefore, we consequently often “reduce the very nature and being of God” into human ideas and ideals to better understand and appreciate such an entity bigger than our minds or hearts can fully appreciate or understand. (more…)

March 3, 2012

Christians mark 400 years of Malay Bible as ‘Allah’ case drags on

Debra Chong
The Malay version of the Bible embossed with the words ‘Christian Publication’ and a cross appeared from 2005 following a Home Ministry agreement with local distributors. — Picture by Choo Choy May

The opportunity to use the word “Allah” in a non-Muslim context remains a struggle for Christian Malaysians as they mark 400 years since the Bible was first published in the Malay language.

Christian scholars are huddling at a seminary in Seremban today, on the 400th anniversary of the Alkitab, in a conference that could shore up the Catholic Church’s case after it won, in 2009, the right to use the Arabic word to refer to God in its newspaper, The Herald. (more…)

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