Matters of opinion that enables me to understand or make some sense of my country- Malaysia

Posts tagged ‘allah controversy’

Bodoh should also be another exclusive Malay word.!

TAfter Allah, 'BODOH' the next word exclusive to the Malays? - Zaid Ibrahim The word Bodoh should be banned

Zaid Ibrahim

I am appealing to the Home Minister to immediately ban the word bodoh (stupid). I have heard this word being used all too frequently of late in many places, from Sarawak to the business districts of Kuala Lumpur. I know the law says that a ban is only called for if the use of a word endangers public order and security, but that’s the official requirement.  For all intents and purposes, the Home Minister’s certification and belief is sufficient.

You remember the word “Allah”? The person who banned the word was from Johor and he was not happy with the way it was being used. At that time, many Muslims in the Peninsula didn’t even know that East Malaysians have been using the word to mean “God”. Did the Home Minister tender any evidence before the court to show that organised violence was being perpetrated against the public because of the use of the word?  Was there evidence that it was part of a plan to convert Muslims to Christianity? None whatsoever.

In Sarawak, where the word has been used in the last 200 years, the people never once expressed anger and disappointment with the use of the word. Only some Malays (some of them immigrants) from the Peninsula were unhappy. Still, the ban was held to be valid. We clearly do not need evidence in this country, just beliefs. And when the people are unhappy with the decision, just remind them that they can be charged for contempt!

With the word bodoh, the Minister also does not need to provide evidence of his belief. He just has to believe that the use of the word bodoh by non-Muslims is detrimental to public order and security.  Ibrahim Ali & Co are there to make it look like the whole country wants the ban. Without it, a non-Muslim may use the word bodoh indiscriminately and we will never know their intention or context. Chances are he or she is deliberately and subtly implying that Muslims are bodoh.

This could be part of a plan to attack Islam by using the word bodoh repeatedly, and by process of hypnosis, the Muslims might be persuaded to believe that they are indeed bodoh. This will then weaken the community in the fight to save Islam. This of course will endanger national security and cause public disorder. The Court could also support such a decision by saying that the use of the word bodohis not an integral part of the life of non-Muslims so they should not utter it at all.

There are other words that should also be banned but I will come to them later. For the moment, I feel that non-Muslims are “targeting” me whenever they use the word bodoh (even if they are talking to their dog) and I need the Home Minister to intervene on behalf of the community. If non-Muslims do not like the ban they can always go and live elsewhere, for there are many places in the world wherebodoh is not used at all.

Alternatively, if the ban is felt to be unwise just a few days after the historic Court of Appeal judgement, then I appeal to the Prime Minister to direct the bloated department JAKIM to make sure that Friday sermons dedicate themselves to addressing this issue. We as Malays and Muslims should never allow non-Muslims, particularly Christians and the liberal Muslims, to use the word bodoh. We are entitled to conclude that their intentions are not good and we are entitled to think the worst of them. They should know that if we feel insulted or if they hurt our feelings or if we are just plain unhappy with their conduct, it constitutes “endangering national security and public order.” Hidup Melayu!

sourced  :  http://www.zaid.my/?p=1012

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Some  opinions from the international Muslim scholars or intellectuals on the Allah issue., mainly cynical and ridiculing the ludicrosity of the court ruling.

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 a  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.

The decision sparked a debate among local clerics and scholars, while several editorials in Muslim countries expressed their surprise over the issue.

Pakistan’s Daily Times questioned the ruling, asking why Malaysia would deny people of other faiths to “own God in all His attributes”.

The United Arab Emirates’s The National called the court ruling “wrong”, and said the word Allah was never exclusive to Islam but used by both Christians and Jews to refer to God even before the advent of Islam.

Aslan poured scorn on the court verdict, asking, “How can you read that and not laugh?”

Soon after the court ruling last week, he had taken to Twitter and remarked, “How stupid has Malaysia just become?

In it, he slammed those who argue that the faith of Malaysian Muslims can be undermined if Christians use the word Allah.

“This idea that not only should Christians not be able to use this word, but that using the word is somehow a threat to Islam… that Malaysian (Muslims) are so stupid if they hear a Christian use the word Allah, they will accidentally become Christians. I mean, the idiocy of that statement speaks for itself,” he said.

Echoing many other Muslim scholars and writers, Aslan said Christians and Jews in the Arabian peninsula since before the time of the Prophet Muhammad had been referring to God as Allah.

“Why? Because they spoke Arabic… that’s why. Not because Allah meant a specific God but because that it is nothing more than the Arabic word for God. It is not an opinion. It is a fact,” he pointed out.

“Any Imam that tells you God has a name, is blasphemous. It is as simple as that. Allah is not God’s name. Muslims do not own the word itself,” said the 41-year-old Iranian-American, who is Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Iowa

sourced : award-winning-american-muslim-scholar-on-the-allah-decision-we-are-laughing

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More Islamic scholars have criticised Putrajaya over the legal restriction on the use of the word Allah, after the recent stinging criticism of the Court of Appeal’s decision which he said made Malaysia a laughing stock.

They warned that the October 14 ruling prohibiting Catholic weekly Herald from using the word Allah in its Bahasa Malaysia edition could push a progressive country like Malaysia backward, adding  that the public were educated and can think for themselves.

An Islamic scholar from London’s prestigious King’s College said the ruling was not good for national solidarity.

“Instead, it is a move backward in a polarised country such as Malaysia,” said Dr Carool Kersten,

“It is increasingly difficult to dictate to educated people how to interpret religion. To exert such a ruling on the people is just counter-productive.”

Bestselling author Reza Aslan had also slammed the ruling as “absurd”, saying the international community was “laughing” at Malaysia.

“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,” he said in radio Evening Edition programme.

The ruling generated a string of bad press for Malaysia, with several prominent dailies in Muslim countries critical of the court ruling, including Pakistan’s Daily Times which questioned why non-Muslims could not “own God in all His attributes”.

Muslim activist Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa echoed Aslan.

“I concur 100% with Reza. Politicians should ponder over what he said since Islam is  in the limelight now,” said Dr Farouk, who heads vocal Islamic non-governmental organisation Islamic Renaissance Front.

“Even Pakistan, a deeply religious and conservative country, had spoken up about it. It’s a shame on us,” noted Dr Farouk.

Kersten agreed that the ruling does “make Malaysia look bad in the international community” and asked if the court’s motive was to satisfy certain Islamic blocs.

“Usually matters related to the Islamic world would be left to scholars to clarify,” said Kersten.

“There has not been a place where you have a legal institution that dictates who uses what term in a religious context,” he added.

“Allah is not the name of God. Frankly, anyone who thinks that Allah is the name of God, is not just incorrect, but is going against the Quran itself. It is almost a blasphemous thought to think that Allah has a name,” said the 41-year old Iranian-born scholar.

Jasser Auda of the Qatar-based International Union of Muslim Scholars, agreed with Aslan.

“Muslims have no copyright over the word Allah. In fact, there’s nothing in the Quran that says Allah can only be used by Muslims,”

“The Quran even has a phrase that mentioned the name Allah was present in monasteries, churches and synagogues as well.”

He was referring to a verse in the Quran, which reads, “if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques – in all of which Allah’s name is abundantly extolled – would surely have been destroyed”

“It isn’t right to define the word Allah in the law and use it to persecute others,” said Jasser, who is also the advisor to the imam at the Islamic Center in New York, located at site of the former World Trace Center.

“The way Muslims are treated here is just condescending. It’s ridiculous to think that if other religions use the word Allah, us Muslims would start converting to other religions,” he added.     sourced :  more-islamic-scholars-criticise-putrajaya-over-allah-ruling

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allah in malay ?

Arabic terms for the holy Trinity are Allah al-ab meaning God the Father, Allah al-ibn mean God the Son, and Allah al-ru? al-quds, meaning God the Holy Spirit and their term for Jesus is usually Yasu not the muslim reference” ISA”..

Arabic-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews, have been using the word “Allah” to mean “God” since Christian Arabs of today have no other word for “God” than “Allah” and have been using without protestation even in that volatile religious region.
Also the Arabic-descended Maltese language of Malta, population almost entirely Roman Catholic, uses Allah for “God”.

For Malaysia and the Malay language to claim exclusivity for the term “ALLAH” to be used only in the Islamic context, seems a bit arrogant if not Xeno phobic or Xeno manic..(if there is such a word).
Indonesian Christians and pastors pray or preach in Bahasa Indonesia when invoking the Almighty’s name, ALLAH is used, second nature to them and their language .
The question will be , is it possible for a singular race or a language in this world to claim exclusive ownership to a word in reference to the Almighty. and prevent it s use by other faiths.?

The impression is that here in Malaysia ,there is stubborn resistance to gain knowledge and understanding about the issue , mostly adhering religiously to teachings and be easily outraged at a perceived challenged to their faith.-selectively .hearing only what they want to hear as excuse to to rile up their passions in defence..
Resolution can only come via understanding which no one on one side seems to be eager to promote..anxious in jeopardising own self vested interest..or risk incurring the wrath of many.

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Can Reason or Logic and a Spirit of Religious Understanding and Acceptance across the Faiths in Malaysia work ?

 When WE  Have Mindsets LIKE This and NGOs like PERKASA to consistently stirring up the emotions of the Malay/Muslims in their political agenda.

The Perkasa crowd in front of the court complex demonstrating .. and a selected rep was asked to say few words..representing the voice of the gathered demonstrators..

Journalist:

macam mana kalau keputusan mahkamah..?? (what if the court rules….?)

Response:

Insyallah..sebab ini la kalimah suci untuk kami umat islam,,akan kami pertahankan sehingga titisan darah terakhir.

.(god willing, we will defend this holy reference till our last drop of blood)

then screams” takbir.. Allahu Akbar. !! and crowd just reacts and follows the chant .. . with increasing intensity .3x

Journalist:

tapi akan aman atau…?  ( but will it be peaceful?)

Response:

A Guy walks up butts in and declares  …Perang.!!.( war) .then angrily walks off…

and the 1st commenter continues..  tiada sebab untuk pihak  sana dapat..sebab  apa , ini hak kami.. kami yang mengucap .(no reason that side wins, coz this is our right, we do the devotion with the prayer)

launching into the Arabic  prayer phrase  ” Asadulahi………..”   kenapa hak  ini   orang lain perlu dapat.? (why must this right be given to others)

then screams Takbir again..and crowd passionately roars  ” Allahu akhbar” again and again.

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Sounds Like a battle cry..sensing  anger, so much resentment.. not a trace of any patience nor  grace.Or any hope nor  willingness to have a discourse about the issue..

And sure as heck ,a feeling that there is no possibility of reason being accepted into such closed mindsets that will definitely refuse to see  any other perspective but their one and only viewpoint.

No telling what individuals who possess such irrational indignation is capable of if the outcome of the court ruling should be anything else not in their favor !

One only have to contemplate on the behaviour of religious extremism so often portrayed in the media and recent outburst in our very own backyard to look at those responsible for encouraging these groups and ask

“‘ Are you guys sure you know what you are doing? And confident that lines will not be crossed and that the mob mentality can be controlled and kept in check ? “ It just require a few out of control fanatical nutcases for blood to be spilled.”

And fanatical lunatics like these can emerge from either side  without warning , just needing any excuse to use as fuel to  inflame their cause, misguided into thinking that their actions are condoned and they will be hailed as heroes/champions to  their communities.!

We as a society cannot take for granted that we are  civilized and matured enough to feel that scenarios like these will not happen.. There will be other incidents like that of the John Lennon murderer  or Ronald Reagan attempted assasination , type of crazy personality amongst us..

But closer to home , MPs  politicians or public figures can testify to the  ” death threats” or threats to inflict  grievous harm to their families including  children..mostly  by malicious , vindictive ,perverted minds but some of theses mindsets can be dangerous if  provoked into reacting with extremism , which is precisely the point.

How many of these passionate/misguided/perverted mindsets are there in our society that may just carry their threats all the way through if they are spurred on.?

Throw in Religious fanaticism and Racial communalism or Xeno phobia  into this very volatile explosive mix and it will be akin to playing with gunpowder,,if it explodes in their faces , others  in close proximity will not escape unscathed either.

 Playing with Fire is very risky , Flames can easily Rage  Out of Control and Burn our Whole 56 year old House down..

Is this really about the use of the word Allah?

Or seems to be more about  about voicing out against bully tactics, narrow mindedness –  The Establishment’s Authoritarian high handedness  and insensitivity to a minority  community and  respect in handling the issue. The establishment seems to be like acting on behalf of  the marjority segment of our society and forcing their will on the other communities , because  it is felt that their rights supersedes/ overrides all the other communities  and therefore  must be respected. The underlying message is that only they can dictate what is allowed , and that is non-negotiable..!

The concern is that the more one side compromises, the more unreasonable will be other demands  imposed on other aspects of a harmonious society.

Looking  at the demonstration and the state of mind of the demonstrators and the righteous anger perceived , the sense is that it is to intimidate  the minority groups and remind them of their  place..Pummeling them into submission via the vociferous voices of outrage that is clearly the loudest  since it is of the marjority..

It feels like more of a  ” jangan kurang ajar.! ”  message is being transmitted  out to the other minority communities in our multi religious society.  Like a classic Bully stating a message in no uncertain terms , to effect, ” we will beat you up bad if you insist on messing with us  and ask for what we don’t wish to give, Know Your Place.! . Just shut up and live with the Status Quo.!  Or Else.! “

Psychological Mental Bullying or Subtle Tormenting  of a bigger force imposing the Torment onto  a smaller one. the smaller group outnumbered 3 to 1 in figures..

The marjority screaming that the minorities are attempting to “usurp”  their religious / ethnnic  rights  , so , they do the “usurping ” first because they are in the position of power to do so.. How logical is that?

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The Malay Language claiming exclusive ownership to an Arabic word that is not even a Malay word to begin with.  

Seems like Malaysian/ Malay language is claiming exclusive use of an Arabic word which they insist belongs to them because the Arabic term is used to refer to the Almighty God in Malay, , also since the Holy Quranic verses are in Arabic and not Malay, therefore the Malay language should own the Arabic religious phrases and references to the Islamic teachings and Arabic words used for religious references… qualifying the claim that only the Malaysian/ Malay language has rights to use it..?

If they have their way, even native Arabic speaking  Christians and other countries across the world who use similar Arabic terms may be deemed to be offensive to the Malaysian version of Islam if they were to use Allah to refer to the Almighty…it may infer that  these Arabic speakers have been very disrespectful to Malay/Muslims for a long time.
And that is how absurd the whole affair looks to the international community observing as it unfolds.!

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Most people believe that everyone has a degree of wisdom, innate or spiritual wisdom, some have a lot of it, some a little, some almost none .but nonetheless everyone also believes that no matter how much we have, we can always use more of it… 


In religion it is an absolute , either you are wise or you are foolish, time and again we come across descriptions saying the wise person did this or said that and the foolish person did or remarked so and so.

More simply, either you are wise or you are not..
In the religious sense , using wisdom is an imperative command from God , it is not an option but a requirement..

And judging from the responses to this Allah issue . Is it really beyond solution or definitive depiction ?

Is wisdom or foolishness being applied in the response to this highly sensitive issue that can rip apart the fabric of our close- knit society?
Never has there been a more dire need of wisdom to ensure that religious bigotry and racial strife will not be played up to intense xenophohic levels .

Khaled Samad (PAS)  Marina Mahathir (Social activist) ,Yusri Mohamad( Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement )
debate on the  ownership of the word ALLAH at AL Jazeera

Also read.. how-the-allah-issue-started/

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