Hornbill Unleashed

December 1, 2013

Fatwa on Thanksgiving Day?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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azlanAzly Rahman

No, I am not asking if celebrating the quintessentially American celebration is halal or haram for Muslims. There is no question of the importance, the value, and the beauty of this secular day of remembering a day of showing the year’s gratitude, albeit the contentious history of it. The only question is whether to pardon or not to pardon a turkey.

No, I have been thinking of what fatwas are right till today: Thanksgiving Day. I have been coming up with tens of my “personal fatwas” for  own consumption after thinking that many of the fatwas I have come across, produced even by “Islamic clerics and scholars” do not make sense nor appeal to my critical sensibility. I hope to produce more. See here for samples. (more…)

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November 19, 2013

Listen, learn and do no harm

Jeswan Kaur

The Barisan Nasional government, state rulers and bigots refuse to listen and learn on the Allah issue

First God was ‘put on trial. Then came the politicising of  to whom God or Allah ‘belongs’ to. And despite there being sufficient proof that shows Allah is not exclusive to the Malays, the truth has been hard to digest by zealots who continue to stake claim on ‘Allah’.

The country’s leaders and the judiciary remain adamant that only Muslims can utter the word ‘Allah’. (more…)

Sarawak & Sabah’s Christian Concern Raised In UK Parliament

Sarawak & Sabah’s Christian Concern Raised In UK Parliament

Sarawak Report

Charles will become ‘Head’ of the Anglican Church, but he doesn’t write the sermons or run the government at the same time!

This weekend the government religious department, Jakim, which operates out of the Prime Minister’s own office, issued a sermon to be read in all mosques condemning “liberal forces” on the internet, which it alleged were plotting to undermine Islam.

Sarawak contributes a major proportion of the cost of this bloated Prime Minister’s Department and it has to be questioned how a supposedly democratic country could have reached such a totalitarian state of affairs that even religion has been hijacked by the politicians? (more…)

November 18, 2013

Good Muslim, bad Muslim

safe_image

TARIQ RAMADAN 

Tariq Ramadan argues for a new understanding of what it means to be a “moderate” Muslim.

The dust from the collapse of the twin towers had hardly settled on 11 September 2001 when the febrile search began for “moderate Muslims”, people who would provide answers, who would distance themselves from this outrage and condemn the violent acts of “Muslim extremists”, “Islamic fundamentalists” and “Islamists”. Two distinct categories of Muslim rapidly emerged: the “good” and the “bad”; the “moderates”, “liberals” and “secularists” versus the “fundamentalists”, the “extremists” and the “Islamists”. (more…)

November 17, 2013

S’gor Sultan’s ‘order’ on Allah: DOES IT APPLY TO NON-MUSLIMS?

S'gor Sultan's 'order' on Allah: DOES IT APPLY TO NON-MUSLIMS?Bob Teoh

The statement by Selangor Royal Council secretary Hanafisah Jais yesterday that the use of the word ‘Allah’ in the Bible and in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of the Catholic Herald be stopped immediately needs urgent clarification as it raises concern over the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.

Hanafisah is reported to have said the statement was released after the Selangor Sultan consulted the Selangor Royal Council on Monday.

(more…)

Selangor stand on Allah needs urgent clarification

Filed under: Politics,religion — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Herald AllahBob Teoh

The statement by Selangor Royal Council secretary Hanafisah Jais yesterday that the use of the word Allah in the Bible and in the Bahasa Malaysia edition of the Catholic Herald be stopped immediately needs urgent clarification as it raises concern over the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion.

Hanafisah is reported to have said the statement was released after the Selangor Sultan consulted the Selangor Royal Council on Monday. (more…)

November 15, 2013

Marina to take legal action against Isma

K Pragalath

SIS’ Marina Mahathir is initiating legal action against Isma to put the record straight as to where she stands with Comango.

Sisters in Islam (SIS) board member Marina Mahathir will be sending a letter of demand to Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) soon to retract their accusations; but she was short of revealing when the letter will be sent.

“My lawyers will be sending out letter of demand first with time frame. If they don’t comply, then we go to the next step,” she said in an email correspondence. (more…)

Selangor Sultan reminds non-Muslims in state not to use Allah

TMI

The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (pic), for a second time this year has called on non-Muslims in the state to not refer to God as Allah.

Selangor Royal Council secretary Hanafisah Jais issued a statement today on behalf of the Sultan, calling on his people to adhere to Section 9 of the Non Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation against Muslims) Enactment 1988, which classifies use of certain words and expressions of Islamic origin without the state’s authority as a religious offence in the state. (more…)

November 8, 2013

Words as weapons

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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NONEEric Loo

“We fought the good fight; we just didn’t win,” Republican House speaker John A Boehner said on Oct 16 after the US Congress voted to end the government shutdown.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, in declaring the end of Australia’s mission in Afghanistan, said, “Australians do not fight wars of conquest, we fight wars of freedom” (Oct 29, The Australian).

‘We didn’t win’ certainly sounds more dignified than ‘We lost’. ‘Wars of freedom’ sounds less hegemonic than ‘wars of conquest’. (more…)

November 7, 2013

Will the real prime minister please stand up?

Herald AllahNg Kam Weng

Following the Court of Appeal judgment, the Prime Minister assures Christians in Sabah and Sarawak that the judgment only bans the Catholic Herald from using the Allah word. A few cabinet ministers suggest the 10-Point agreement continues to allow these Christians to use the Christian al Kitab notwithstanding the Allah word.

The PM’s assurance sounds feeble, wishful and arguably misleading when the Appeal Court judgment prohibits the Christian community from using the Allah word on grounds that the word is not integral to Christian faith, that any religious practice must be circumscribed or limited by Islamic sensitivity, and finally, that the prohibition is necessary for national security. (more…)

November 6, 2013

Syariah for Malaysia

Filed under: Human rights — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Narinder Singh

Malaysia is ready for syariah laws with the condition that the various enforcement bodies must be seen executing the basic tenets first among Muslims here.

The official religion of Malaysia is Islam as enshrined in the Federal Constitution. As a Malaysian, born, bred and educated here without once leaving the shores to gain formal knowledge, it has dawned upon me that it is utmost important to self-educate in issues pertaining to Islam.

The triggering and motivating factor stems from the fact that only in having an open mind can one stretch his tolerance and acceptance to others in terms to their religion, culture and beliefs. (more…)

October 29, 2013

Sabah lawyers offer to stand with Catholic Church in appeal against Allah ruling

Christians attend a church mass in Petaling Jaya. Lawyers have argued that the October 14 Court of Appeal ruling on the word Allah applies to Christians nationwide. - The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 28, 2013.V. ANBALAGAN

Christians attend a church mass in Petaling Jaya. Lawyers have argued that the October 14 Court of Appeal ruling on the word Allah applies to Christians nationwide. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, October 28, 2013.The Sabah Law Association (SLA) wants to stand side by side with the Catholic Church when the Allah case goes before the Federal Court, a sure sign of the widening impact of restricting the word to Muslims only.

The SLA met on Saturday and made the decision after concluding that the Court of Appeal ruling on October 14 had violated the constitutional rights of Christians in Sabah.

“The SLA will apply to be part of the proceedings in the Federal Court,” a member of the association told The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

UMNO-BN IS NOW DANGEROUS! For their own safety, Christians,non-Malays must ALERT the world

UMNO-BN IS NOW DANGEROUS! For their own safety, Christians,non-Malays must ALERT the worldJ. D. Lovrenciear

It is just unthinkable what’s next, given the “Endless Possibilities” of the PM’s minted slogan, in so far as the assault on the Catholics continues.

The latest freezing of 2,000 copies of the Herald newspapers by authorities is more than injustice.

Denying thousands of Catholic families in East Malaysia their weekly news bulletin on faith matters, as they travel from far and near to observe their obligatory Sunday service, is definitely totally unacceptable to any fair, just and right-minded citizen. (more…)

October 25, 2013

‘Allah’ decision a blot on our legal landscape

Tommy Thomas

The sustained public attack on last week’s decision of the Court of Appeal in prohibiting the Catholic Church from using the word ‘Allah’ in its internal publication, The Herald, is absolutely unprecedented, even in a nation used to bad court decisions.

From a constitutional perspective, the judgments of the three judges on the bench are poorly reasoned, the law misread and conclusions reached which will baffle any right-thinking student anywhere in the common law.

The decision is not just wrong, it is horribly wrong, and represents a terrible blot on our legal landscape, unless overturned quickly by the apex court, the Federal Court. Regrettably, what follows may seem unduly legalistic, but it cannot be avoided in a critique of a court decision. (more…)

AG’s warning further fails to heal the atrocity

Herald AllahJD Lovrenciear

Who in the world – Muslim and non-Muslim faiths included – has not expressed shock and serious concern over Malaysia’s stand on the ‘Allah’ word?

The world’s largest Muslim population, Indonesia, has taken a firm objection as seen from the respected daily there, the Jakarta Post. Even the bedrock of Islam, the UAE, has expressed no support for Malaysia’s position on making the ‘Allah’ word exclusive for Malaysian Muslims.

But our attorney-general, hot on the heels of a national and global reaction and condemnation of the verdict, has warned all Malaysians that questioning and expressing concerns over the Appeal Court’s verdict dangerously hinges on contempt of court. (more…)

Any chance of a meaningful solution in ‘Allah’ furore?

Ronnie Ooi

Malaysia’s ‘Allah’ controversy is fundamentally a political issue about how different communities relate to one another. It is not a legal issue. The Catholic Church needs to take account of the Malay community’s majority view before deciding on the next step.

If unrestricted use of the word Allah is not acceptable to the moderate Malay community, then the Church, together with others, should search for a compromise that will preserve the religious practices of Christians in East Malaysia as well as that of the Sikhs, who also refer to their God as Allah.

The concept of ‘what is integral to a religion’ may provide the framework for such a compromise. It is hoped that all sides will approach the issue in a spirit of goodwill and with a desire to find a solution. (more…)

October 23, 2013

Playing God, the Umno way?

Charles Santiago

The only person who does not seem to be observing what’s happening in the country is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

Malaysia seems to have developed a mania for negative publicity. The latest is of course the recent court ruling, banning non-Muslims from using the word Allah.

Or that’s what I understood until some cabinet ministers mouthed confusing statements, saying the ban is only binding on non-Muslims in West Malaysia. Then others joined the chorus by adding it was only meant for the Catholic publication, The Herald. (more…)

STOP BULLYING Christians: Take Allah ban to MUSLIM WORLD & see what they say… IF YOU DARE!

 Umno, STOP BULLYING Christians: Take Allah ban to MUSLIM WORLD & see what they say... IF YOU DARE!J. D. Lovrenciear

Who in the world – Muslim and non-Muslim faiths included, has not expressed shock and serious concern over Malaysia’s stand on the ‘Allah’ word?

The world’s largest Muslim population, Indonesia, has taken a firm objection as seen from the respected Daily there, the Jakarta Post. Even the bedrock of Islam, the UAE, has expressed no support for Malaysia’s position on making the ‘Allah’ word exclusive for Malaysian Muslims.

But our Attorney General, hot on the heels of a national and global reaction and condemnation of the verdict, has warned all Malaysians that questioning and expressing concerns over the Appeal Court’s verdict dangerously hinges on contempt of court. (more…)

October 22, 2013

Islamic economy: Left of centre

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Ahmad Farouk Musa

There should exist among the citizens neither extreme poverty nor, again, excessive wealth, for both are productive of great evil. – Plato, The Republic

Any move for a more robust democracy and the establishment of a civil state or, in the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) terminology, a state of care and opportunity, is simply futile without a comprehensive economic agenda.

The recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa post-Arab Spring suggest that any transformation of political nature would be void of values if there is no concomitant change in the economic agenda. Hence it is imperative for the Islamic party that vies the change in government to pay particular attention to this matter. (more…)

October 21, 2013

Confusion is a public offence in the making

AB Sulaiman

Many quarters have expressed their shock, dismay and disbelief on hearing the recent ruling on the use of the word ‘Allah’ by the courts; adverse public reaction is still raging.

I do not wish to repeat these strong sentiments here but to offer my one sen’s worth of observation over this same issue. For this I quote the words as expressed by Justice Mohd Zawawi, one of the Court of Appeal judges.

He said that if the word ‘Allah’ is to be employed in the Malay version of The Herald to refer to God, there will be a risk of misrepresentation of God within Christianity itself. (more…)

Judgment raising more controversies than answers

Bob Teoh

The Court of Appeal judgment in favour of the government was done at the expense of limiting fundamental human rights guaranteed by the constitution. Such rights are now subject to Islamic dictates. The appeal court did this by throwing out all the six orders made by the High Court of Kuala Lumpur four years ago that allowed the Catholic weekly The Herald in the use of the word ‘Allah’.

Constitutional lawyer Dr Abdul Aziz Bari said the Court of Appeal was wrong in its decision banning The Herald from using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God in its Bahasa Malaysia edition.

“By linking religious rights under the chapter on fundamental liberties with Article 3(1) of the federal constitution which effectively makes Islam the benchmark for everybody, this runs counter to the general meaning of Article 3(1) of the federal constitution itself,” he was quoted as saying. (more…)

Ya Allah! What’s next?

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Neal K

The ‘Allah’ judgment means the rest of the Islamic world is all wrong. Wow, what a moment – Jakim/Umno have seen more light than the rest of the world!
London Lookout

Why don’t we have such charity shops in Malaysia? I wonder for the millionth time. The answer is, because we have such bloated, competitive egos.

What!? Use a blender that someone else has been using? What if the rice cooker still has undetectable germs that might poison your guts? Uggghh wearing second hand clothes – even if it is a well-preserved Yves Saint Laurent swanky leather jacket that costs 500 pounds which is now being sold at 29 pounds? (more…)

October 19, 2013

‘Allah ban is about subordination, not theology’

Mkini

Malaysia’s ban on the use of ‘Allah’ by Catholic weekly The Herald has been described by a Sudanese-born writer with the United Kingdom newspaper The Guardian as not a religious issue but an attempt by the majority ethnic group to seize the national identity of the country.

In an article on the popular website of The Guardian, Nesrine Malik sympathises with non-Muslims, who she says are struggling to re-assert the country’s pluralistic national identity.

The ban is as ridiculous, Nesrine adds, as the UK passing a law saying that ‘God’ can only be used by Christians. (more…)

Pakatan stand is critical to ‘Allah’ calm

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

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has said that Pakatan Rakyat would announce its stand on the ‘Allah’ issue after its leadership council meets today.

Further, and more significantly, Anwar revealed that coalition component PAS would craft the Pakatan stand which its partners PKR and DAP would support.

Carping critics of Pakatan’s ideological cohesion ought to take note of the nuances: the opposition coalition is not as incoherent as they like to contend, and difficult questions pertaining to Islamic religion are ceded the partner best equipped to finesse them. (more…)

October 13, 2013

Almost impossible to leave Islam

Lord Bobo

Lord Bobo, I’m a Chinese man. 10 years ago, I married a Malay woman and converted to Islam. We have 2 kids but have now divorced. I have recently come to know the Christian faith, and want to know how to convert out of Islam. Also, can my kids convert out of Islam, and if so how? (Lord Help Me, via email)

Oh, my dear Lord Help Me. Love makes us do silly things. Fortunately, most of these silly things are reversible, or forgettable, and fade away with time. Unfortunately, in the Model Islamic Country that is Malaysia, converting to Islam is not one of those easily reversible things. There are great consequences.

The short answer is this: You can probably convert out of Islam. However, your kids will not be able to. And as a bonus, by opting to convert out of Islam, you are likely to lose the right to see or take care of your kids. Lord Bobo has great sympathy for those in your situation. It is quite difficult being on a dark desert highway, cool wind in your hair, with the warm smell of colitas rising up through the air. (more…)

September 17, 2013

Stop Humiliating The Poor!

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Sarawak Report

Kiss my hand – Assistant Minister for Islamic Affairs acts bountiful as he poses for the shot

Leading politicians in Sarawak seem addicted to showing off how kind they are by handing out money and cheques to the poor and downtrodden in society.

Scarcely a day goes by when newspapers do not feature a “very poor person” receiving this ‘benevolence’ from smug and very wealthy individuals, who want the world to see how ‘generous’ they are.

Sarawak Report wishes to protest that it is absolutely wrong and most sinful to parade the poor in this disgusting fashion. (more…)

September 11, 2013

Banning of the word Allah in Herald a pre-emptive strike to avert public disorder, court told

The Metro Tabernacle church in Desa Melawati, Wangsa Maju, was one of the churches set on fire following the outcome of the December 31, 2009, High Court decision allowing the Herald the right to use the word Allah. The Malaysian Insider pic, September 10, 2013.V. ANBALAGAN

The Metro Tabernacle church in Desa Melawati, Wangsa Maju, was one of the churches set on fire following the outcome of the December 31, 2009, High Court decision allowing the Herald the right to use the word Allah. The Malaysian Insider pic, September 10, 2013.The Home Minister banned the use of the word Allah in the Catholic Church’s weekly publication on grounds of national security and public order.

Putrajaya’s lawyer Suzana Atan told a three-man Court of Appeal bench in Putrajaya today that the prohibition was ordered as it touched on Islamic religious sensitivity.

“In this country, Allah is a sensitive word,” she said when submitting to reverse a 2009 High Court order which allowed the church to use the word in the Bahasa Malaysia section of the Herald. (more…)

September 10, 2013

Stop baseless accusations over use of “Allah”

The Christian Federation of Malaysia

As the hearing date of 10 September 2013  ( Today ) for the appeal by the Government of Malaysia against the decision of the High Court of Malaya to allow The Herald newspaper to use the word “Allah” fast approaches, the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) notes with grave concern the calls by various groups to “defend” Islam from being insulted and threatened.

In particular, we refer to a television programme in which untrue and unsubstantiated accusations were made about so-called Christian plots to convert Muslims, and to the official Friday sermon (khutbah) written by JAKIM (the Department of Islamic Development Malaysia or Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia) and delivered on 6 September 2013, which called for “action” (“tindakan”) in defence of Islam by Muslims over the use of the word “Allah” for God by Christians, and that such defence was a “holy struggle” (“perjuangan suci”). (more…)

August 8, 2013

A letter to Muslims on the celebration of ‘Eid ul-Fitri

RAYA Greeting

– Pope Francis

To Muslims throughout the World,

It gives me great pleasure to greet you as you celebrate ‘Eid ul-Fitri, so concluding the month of Ramadan, dedicated mainly to fasting, prayer and almsgiving.

It is a tradition by now that, on this occasion, the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue sends you a message of good wishes, together with a proposed theme for common reflection.

This year, the first of my Pontificate, I have decided to sign this traditional message myself and to send it to you, dear friends, as an expression of esteem and friendship for all Muslims, especially those who are religious leaders. (more…)

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…)

February 27, 2013

Freedom of religion at stake in Malaysia

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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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…)

February 18, 2013

‘Allah’, a non-issue really

Bishop Paul Tan

The reason why I write this short article is to dispel all doubts about facts, truths and rationality in the use of the word Allah, a non-issue really. It becomes an issue when it is being politicised which is the case in Malaysia. This article is not intended to be polemical.

First, allow me to make a few introductory remarks.

(1) I do not pretend to speak for every Christian, less still for everyone. I speak for many people who do not profess the Islamic faith in Malaysia and perhaps for a number of Muslims in and out of Malaysia. (more…)

February 7, 2013

Most M’sians still not psycho

jakim volunteers in anti-valentine day 3Dean Johns

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…)

February 2, 2013

How can Muslims become infidels? Don’t be absurd, Harussani!

P. Ramakrishnan

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…)

January 31, 2013

This is why the Chinese back Pakatan

RK Anand

An article published on the Perkasa website claims that the opposition bloc is willing to strike out Islam as the official religion and do away with the Malay special position.

As the clock ticks down to the nation’s most poignant general election, various quarters are scrambling to up the ante with regard to race politics.

An article published on the Perkasa website stirs up such sentiments when purportedly analysing the reasons behind the Malaysian Chinese support for Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat.

The Chinese, it said, were backing the opposition bloc because it was willing to strike out Islam as the official religion and remove the special position of the Malays should it seize federal power. (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…)

God and religion, two separate matters

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…)

January 27, 2013

Don: Islamic state is not good even for Muslims

Susan Loone

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…)

Buddhist group wants Putrajaya to end ‘Allah’ row

Boo Su-Lyn

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…)

A lesson to be learned

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…)

An appeal to the Christian community, drop ‘Allah’

BS Poh

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…)

January 26, 2013

DPM calls for calm over Bible-burning threat

Boo Su-Lyn 

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…)

Friday sermon: ‘Enemies’ of Islam staking claim over ‘Allah’ to confuse Muslims

Clara Chooi

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…)

“Allah” issue: The battle over Bahasa

(© Hwa Yue-Yi)Hwa Yue-Yi

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?

(more…)

January 24, 2013

Of Bibles and crosses

Mohsin Abdullah

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…)

January 22, 2013

Constructive dialogue way to resolving ‘Allah’ issue

Ng Kam Weng

Proposition 1: We respect the right of PAS to spell out clearly its theological position on Allah.

Proposition 2: We respect the right of people of different faiths to interpret their holy books and profess their faith in their mother tongues.

Proposition 3: We must go beyond polemics in addressing the Allah controversy.

Proposition 4: We invite Muslim leaders to engage in constructive dialogue with Christian leaders to resolve the Allah controversy

The official statement released by Pas Ulamak Syura Council (USC) on 13/1/2013 has caused confusion and concern. (more…)

January 21, 2013

PAS ready to meet Christian clergy on ‘Allah’ row

TMI

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…)

January 20, 2013

All in the name of God

Art Harun

Many people do many things all in the name of God. The irony is the very things which they do in the name of God are abhorred by God. Or even prohibited by Him.

History will show us that human beings have tortured, maimed and killed each other, all in the name of God. Untold misery and cruelty have been inflicted all in the name of God. Yet, when they speak of God and their religion, they insist that God is most merciful, most compassionate and most forgiving. And their religion is a religion of peace, justice and fairness.

In Islam, for example, history would show us all that right after the passing of Prophet Muhammad s.a.w., Muslims started arguing on who would be the right candidate to be the Caliph. Then they started killing each other. Until now that is. (more…)

January 18, 2013

Syura council should butt out of national politics

Alan

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…)

Islam allows non-Muslims right to ‘Allah’, says ex-mufti

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

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…)

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