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…)

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…)

November 18, 2013

Good Muslim, bad Muslim



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.


November 16, 2013

Church leaders steer clear of sultan’s decree

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Vignesh Kumar

Deeming it a sensitive matter, Church and Sikh leaders say they would leave it to the Federal Court to decide on the use of the word ‘Allah’.
In the wake of a royal decree banning non-Muslims from using the word ‘Allah’, Christian and Sikh religious leaders refused to be drawn into commenting on the matter. 

Council of Churches Malaysia (CCM) secretary Rev Hermen Shastri said he does not want to make a comment regarding the Allah issue as it was a sensitive matter.


November 15, 2013

On Fridays, political sermons force Pak Samad to Masjid India

National laureate Datuk A. Samad Said (pic) has been attending Friday prayers at Masjid India and is not bothered by the fact that the sermons are preached in Tamil. For him, not understanding them provides respite as sermons have turned too political for his liking. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, November 15, 2013. HASBULLAH AWANG CHIK

National laureate Datuk A. Samad Said (pic) has been attending Friday prayers at Masjid India and is not bothered by the fact that the sermons are preached in Tamil. For him, not understanding them provides respite as sermons have turned too political for his liking.

Islam’s holiest day Friday is where Muslims perform a weekly communal prayer and listen to sermons to guide their life. But for the past two weeks, national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said has been attending the Friday prayers at Masjid India in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur where the sermon is preached in Tamil. (more…)

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


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 14, 2013

SHOWDOWN ‘ALLAH’: Church files appeal but will its bid be blocked by Najib, Muslim ultras?

SHOWDOWN 'ALLAH': Church files appeal but will its bid be blocked by Najib, Muslim ultras?Maria Begum

The Catholic Church has applied for leave to appeal to Federal Court to overturn a controversial ruling that deemed the word Allah was exclusive to Muslims; and hence barring its weekly publication, the Herald, as well as other non-Muslims from using the word to refer to God.

The confusing and contentious ruling laid down last month by a 3-member all Malay-Muslim Court of Appeal panel has stirred unprecedented criticism and ridicule for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Umno-BN government, from both domestic and international sources.

Slammed all round


November 13, 2013

Apologise for making a fuss over Allah issue, PAS tells Putrajaya


PAS has demanded that Putrajaya apologise to Muslims for creating an issue over the use of the word Allah by Christians in Malaysia.

PAS vice-president Datuk Mahfuz Omar said statements by government officials have only increased religious tension in the country,  following the Court of Appeal’s ruling on October 14 upholding the Home Ministry’s ban on the use of the word Allah by Catholic weekly, Herald.

Mahfuz also took umbrage on the way Putrajaya attempted to blame PAS by claiming that the Islamic party supported the non-Muslims’ demand to use the word. (more…)

November 12, 2013

Child marriage in whose best interests?

Tamil Selvan Ramis

Tradition is often cited to justify child marriages. But often, the main reason for doing so is financial hardship. However, the solution to this is education and sound career for the girls.

When asked which of these is the most detrimental to a person’s well-being – cigarette, alcohol, or in a bad marriage, it is no surprise that most of the married people would reply, “bad marriage.”

Joke aside, our Malaysian government was wise in making it illegal for individuals under age 18 to purchase cigarette and alcohol but not so for Muslims marrying a girl under age 18. (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…)

November 5, 2013

Muslims, Christians come together in Kuching church in show of “Sarawak’s religious harmony”

Herald AllahTMI

It was a show of religious harmony by Christians and Muslims in Sarawak yesterday even as the debate over the October 14 court ruling on the word Allah raged on.

The Borneo Post reported that non-governmental organisation Angkatan Zaman Mansang Sarawak and the Islamic Information Centre organised a forum called “Tweeting Up Unity: Social Cohesion Through Social Media”, under the Soul2Soul 2.0 interfaith forum series, at the Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre in Kuching.

The event’s keynote speaker was social activist Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, who was also a panellist. It was attended by over 200 youths from higher learning institutions and government agencies. (more…)

October 23, 2013

Award-winning American Muslim scholar on Allah ruling: “We are laughing at you”

Reza Aslan says Christians using the word Allah do not pose a threat to Islam. - Pic courtesy Wikimedia Commons / Roanoke College, October 22, 2013.ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH

Reza Aslan says Christians using the word Allah do not pose a threat to Islam. – Pic courtesy Wikimedia Commons / Roanoke College, October 22, 2013.A well-known American Muslim theologian has joined a long list of critics over the recent Court of Appeal ruling on the use of the word Allah, saying it was a “political decision more than anything else”.

“This notion that Malaysian Muslims need to be protected by the court because you can’t think for yourself, you can’t make decisions on your own. We are laughing at you,” said Reza Aslan, speaking on BFM Radio’s Evening Edition programme yesterday.

“That you can control people’s ideas, their behaviour, their faith and their minds simply by trying to control the words that they use, is absurd. It is an embarassment to a modern, constitutional, democratic and deeply Muslim state like Malaysia,” he added. (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 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…)

October 20, 2013

Allah and the practice of my faith

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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allahIrene Fernandez

Who are you to tell me what name I should call or give the God I believe and worship? I can call God, Yahweh, Allah, Andavar or Theivam. It is my freedom of expression and the way I relate to God.

Allah or Theivam does not belong to any individual and cannot be privately owned. This freedom of expression is guaranteed in our Federal Constitution where all citizens are ensured the right to practice their own religion and where Islam is recognised as the official religion.

My understanding of Article 3 quoted by the honourable judges is that peace and harmony should be for the minority so that their freedom to practice their faith is not disturbed by the majority or dominant group. It is indeed shocking how this interpretation has come through and how the Constitution is abused to support the dominant group. The fundamental spirit of the Constitution reflected in its articles is to ensure that the constitutional rights of the minority are protected. (more…)

October 19, 2013

‘Allah ban is about subordination, not theology’


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…)

October 16, 2013

‘We respect Allah ruling, but…’

Anisah Shukry

The government must stop listening to the “stupid people” and instead educate Muslims regarding verses in the Quran which mentions non-Muslims discussing about Allah with the Prophet Muhammad.


The Court of Appeal’s decision to ban the word ‘Allah’ in Christian publication The Herald does not change the fact that Islam allows non-Muslims to use the word in the first place, PAS said today.

But both PAS vice president Mahfuz Omar and PAS central committee member Khalid Samad said that this morning’s ruling – a culmination of years of interfaith struggle between the country’s two major religions – must be respected. (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 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…)

September 6, 2013

At least they agreed on one thing: only in Malaysia is Allah an issue

(From left) Khalid, Dr. Mohd Asri, Dr Khalif and Dr Yusri at last night's heated TV debate. The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim..JENNIFER GOMEZ

(From left) Khalid, Dr. Mohd Asri, Dr Khalif and Dr Yusri at last night’s heated TV debate.

In a heated online television discussion yesterday, three Muslim scholars were still agreed on one thing: that the use of the word “Allah” to describe gods of different religions – including the Christian god – is an issue only in Malaysia and nowhere else in the world.

But it still was an issue to two of the scholars as they argued there was an agenda behind Christians using Allah to refer to their god in Malay bibles. (more…)

August 31, 2013

The fight for true freedom

Elza Irdalynna

In all honesty, how free are we, truly?

There seems to be a recurring theme in my articles here on Free Malaysia Today. Whether they discuss art or socio-politics, inevitably I tend to argue how stifled we are as Malaysians, bound by censors and a biased, paranoid government.

Year after year, we cry out “Merdeka!” every Aug 31. We pride ourselves of the fact that we freed ourselves of our western colonisers without going to war to gain our independence.

But in all honesty, how free are we, truly? (more…)

Allah is more than just a word

Filed under: Human rights — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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20100107_allah_quranBob Teoh

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…)

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…)

What holy month?

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Rom Nain

Every year we are told, certainly incessantly reminded, that it’s a `bulan mulia’, a holy month of reflection, much prayer, of being patient, and a month of respect and forgiveness.

Ramadan indeed is the month when Muslims flock to the mosques and suraus, especially at night, to bow their heads, prostrate even, in prayer and to seek forgiveness from the Almighty.

But, as we end this year’s month of Ramadan, really, much of what we’ve seen around us these past four weeks has run contrary to all that.

It has been a hate-filled month, bringing to shame whatever claims we may have to being spiritual or god-fearing. (more…)

August 5, 2013

Muhyiddin Stop making Muslims hate non-Muslims!

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Muhyiddin joins Maznah in the doghouse: Stop making Muslims hate non-Muslims!

The Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) refers to the statement (in full) below, which states the source was Bernama. However, the Bernama website informs that the statement has since been taken down.

Nevertheless, the information is being spread widely. The headline is “Non-Muslims are insulting our religion?

The MCCBCHST is shocked by what seems to be an unwarranted accusation against ALL Non-Muslims by no less than the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. There was no reason given, just a statement that indicates that ALL non-Muslims are insulting Islam. (more…)

July 19, 2013

Religion Is About Deeds Not Words..

Sarawak Report

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…)

May 16, 2013

Muslim lawyers: Act against Christian group using ‘Allah’


The Malaysian Muslim Lawyers Association (PPMM) has urged for action to be taken against the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) for using the word ‘Allah’ in one of its programmes.

“PPMM calls on Muslim NGOs or any Muslim individuals to come forward and lodge police reports for investigations to commence.

“State Islamic religious authorities can also lodge police reports for investigations and appropriate action to be taken against those who breached the enactment (on prohibition for use of the word ‘Allah’),” said PPMM president Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar.

Zainul (left) pointed out that a court case on whether non-Muslims could use the world ‘Allah’ was still ongoing and until then, enactments in several states preventing non-Muslims from using the word ‘Allah’ still stands. (more…)

April 26, 2013

Najib : ‘Allah’ ban


Al Jazeera handout photo shows Najib being interviewed by Pedrosa (right). The interview will be aired tomorrow.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak has expressed support for the appeal to overturn a High Court ruling which allows the use of the Arabic term “Allah” for God by non-Muslim groups in Malaysia, according to an interview with global news station Al Jazeera.

The caretaker prime minister also told Al Jazeera English’s Veronica Pedrosa in the interview, to be aired tomorrow, that he did not intend to have a public election debate with Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim before the May 5 polls. (more…)

March 2, 2013

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


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 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 6, 2013

Islamic authority imposing restrictions on non-Muslims in ‘Allah’ row, says interfaith group

Debra Chong

A non-Muslim interfaith group chided today the Selangor Islamic Council (MAIS) and a former top judge for trying to control the rights of Malaysia’s religious minorities in the tussle over “Allah”, which they said was against the country’s highest law.

The Malaysian Consultative Council Of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) was weighing in on recent statements issued by MAIS and ex-Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheik Abdul Halim, barring non-Muslims from calling their gods “Allah”.

“This is tantamount to imposition of restrictions by an lslamic Council or body against non-Muslims. It could also be seen as an attempt to control the religious practice of a non-Muslim religion by an lslamic body or organisation,” it said in a statement today. (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

My Bible, My faith, My church


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…)

January 29, 2013

Penang bishop meets Nik Aziz in bid to douse bible-burning flames


The priest said Ibrahim and Perkasa’s provocations were not the model behaviour needed by Malaysia.

Catholic Bishop Sebastian Francis paid an unscheduled visit to Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat on the PAS leader’s 82nd birthday yesterday in Penang, Harakah Daily reported today, in what is seen as a bid to douse potential religious fires between Muslims and Christians amid the “Allah” storm.

The senior clergyman in charge of Penang was reported by the PAS news site to have said that the country needed to emulate the example set by the Islamist party’s spiritual advisor and not the provocative sentiment shown by right-wing Malay lawmaker Datuk Ibrahim Ali or the latter’s supporters. (more…)

January 28, 2013

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…)

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…)

Burn bible call alarms Sabah Christians

Queville To 

The increasingly provocative statements by certain quarters is a direct attack on the rights of bumiputera Christians and their religious freedom, says the Commission of Sabah Affairs.

The Sabah Christian community is troubled by the authorities’ failure to censure a peninsula MP for religious intolerance.

The Commission of Sabah Affairs (COSA) of the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship (NECF) Malaysia wants the government to launch an investigation into the inflammatory call by Persaka president Ibrahim Ali on Muslims to burn Malay-language bibles with the word Allah. (more…)

Anwar shows the way with moderate stand on Allah, Bible-burning: MALAYSIA IS MULTIRACIAL!

Anwar shows the way with moderate stand on Allah, Bible-burning: MALAYSIA IS MULTIRACIAL!

Moaz Nair

Muslim leaders must wise up to show the beauty of their religion to others. Since UMNO has failed, the onus now is on PAS to show the right path to the people. As long as PAS can show the middle path or moderateness of Islam – the actual prescription of Islam – to the masses the Pakatan Rakyat coalition will survive in Malaysian politics.

Malaysia is a multi-racial country with people who are multi-religious. If religion has to be part of politics then it has to serve the needs of all people – Muslims and non-Muslims, not only a few puritans who know ‘more’ of religion and less on the reality of politics. (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…)

Who’s the fool now?

Tay Tian Yan

I sneered at Ibrahim Ali’s threat to burn the Bible, and was instantly reminded of the idiotic Florida pastor Terry Jones.

Two years ago, Jones shocked the world by threatening to burn the Quran.

The entire planet, from people like Barack Obama to Ban Ki-moon, and from the West to the East, was both exasperated and terrorised, some cursing and others trying to appease. In the unfortunate event he really burned the Quran, the deeply planted hatred would once again be revived and the terror attacks and conflicts that would ensue would go on forever.

Several days later, he declared to abort the plan, much to the relief of the whole world. (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

Burn al-Kitab Day on Jan 27?

G Vinod

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…)

January 21, 2013

PAS ready to meet Christian clergy on ‘Allah’ row


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

Non-Muslim support for Pakatan waning


PAS Supporters Congress says this is because the non-Muslim community is bitter over the opposition coalition’s poor handling of several recent issues


Non-Muslims support for Pakatan Rakyat has dipped in the past five months due to the actions and policies of PAS and DAP, said the PAS Supporters Congress.

Its outspoken chairman, Hu Phang Chaw, said the support dwindled following a series of events, which has left a bitter after-taste among the non-Muslim community.

“We cannot outrightly proclaim it as we have yet to conduct a proper study, but one must be brave to admit that support has eroded due our inability to manage issues well.” (more…)

January 18, 2013

Syura council should butt out of national politics


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…)

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