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

Posts tagged ‘Malaysia Allh row’

The tussle over Allah has nought to do with religion

KUALA PILAH – Respect each individual’s religion to avoid disharmony,

Yang di-Pertuan Besar Negri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir today urged Malaysian Muslims

during his investiture ceremony in conjunction with his 66th birthday.

In a packed Istana Besar Seri Menanti, here, Tuanku Muhriz said Islam as a religion teaches

men to do good to each other regardless of their background and race.

“In a Malaysian context, the Constitution has set Islam as the official religion of the country

without hindering others to practice their own religions,”

“With that, I urge Malaysian Muslims to continue living in harmony with each other and

ensuring respect is given to others who practice different religions.”

Tuanku Muhriz called on leaders of every community to cast aside sentiments which

can destroy the harmony the country is thriving in.

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Two Malaysian academics have come out in support of Christians in the country on their right to use the

word “Allah” in their religious practices amid Putrajaya’s admission that states can regulate such activities.

Universiti Malaya law professor Dr Azmi Shahrom and former International Islamic University law lecturer

Dr Abdul Aziz Bari went on record to support such rights when they affirmed affidavits in support of a

judicial review application by a Sarawakian Christian, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, against the home minister.

Both documents sighted by The Malaysian Insider said the use of the word “Allah” was an aspect of the

Christian faith which was guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.

They said Christians, or for that matter, other non-Muslims, were permitted to use the word in their worship

as long they did not use the Arabic term to propagate their religion to Muslims.

On May 11, 2008, the ministry seized eight Christian CDs from Jill Ireland at the

Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang, prompting the Melanau Christian to challenge

the seizure in court.  Full story

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From Pakistan.an Islamic Republic country…

Towards Intolerance

by Masood Khan

I really felt sad on Malaysian prime minster, Najib Razak, Jan. 24 statement wherein

he supported courts judgment banning non-Muslims (read Malaysian Christians) from using

word Allah in Bible text and in church services. As per court, only Muslims can use the word

Allah and Malay-speaking Christians have to forego their centuries-old practice of calling

the God as Allah. What do you call this — authorities attempt to distract Malay Muslims

, who constitute 60% of the population, attention from subsidy cuts and rising cost of living,

or it’s simple a case of narrow-mindedness to put various religious groups against each other

to perpetuate the grip over power. Since such ban was imposed there were a number of violent

protests followed by arson incidents. Christians have refused to go by the ban and vowed to

continue use of word Allah in the church services – means things are moving towards showdown.

Regardless of any falsified justification, it’s a regrettable action and shall be condemned across

the board. Malaysians shall learn from Pakistan what successive governments over there gained

by pitching various religious and sectarian groups against each other. Such a narrow-mindedness

created monsters of ignorance and death. Today no one in Pakistan knows how to put this

uncontrolled genie back in the bottle.

We wish better sense will prevail in Malaysia; for rest of the Muslim world Malaysia used to be

an island of peace and tolerance. Sad, it’s no more as an evil eye has casted its bad shadow on a

moderate and progressive country.

MASOOD KHAN

Jubail, Saudi Arabia

Masood Khan is a career diplomat who is the current Permanent Representative of Pakistan

to the United Nations in New York.

Among his array of impressive credentials  –He also held the  Director-general for United Nations,

Organisation of the Islamic Conference (2003–2004)

sourced pakistan.worldnews/views/ towards-intolerance/

Even the church fire-bomb in Penang made the news in Pakistan

malaysian-church-bombed-amid-allah-row/

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Every well learned and informed  Malaysian muslims and non muslims are well aware of the fact

that the tussle over the use of Allah in Malaysia has nought to do with religion and is politically

motivated. And this includes Malaysian  muslims from both sides of the argument, whether For or Against..

But sadly , it exempts those who are less informed and hence ignorant section of Malaysian muslims ,

who have been so easily and naively manipulated by the politicians for their selfish design  .

Their ignorance allowing them to be vulnerable and susceptible for their emotions to be jerked

around by the unscrupulous irresponsible politicians manuevering to retain power. Religion is a

powerful emotional element, which if used or abused for nefarious purposes can tear a society part.

Or unite hearts and minds.

The muslim world in general , who knows of this Malaysian  non-issue over the Allah reference,

must be looking on in alarm and feel for their Malaysian brothers/sisters in the Islamic faith,

probably wondering curiously  on the  Malaysian version of Islam they are not totally  familiar with.

They have yet to encounter  such a emotional stance protesting  the use of Allah by non muslims,

for to them , especially from the adherents who live in countries where Islamic civilization has

flourished thousands of years giving them their very Islamic roots , it has to seem so petty to tussle

over a word that has been used for eons without hindrance nor objections  from any quarter of any

faith in their region. Which is known to be volatile for religious themed conflicts.

Wonder if they may  perhaps  feel their Islamic faith as they understand it is being misrepresented

or misguidedly taught by the Malaysian leaders.

Yet despite some of them voicing their concerns , among which are highly respected Islamic scholars

and intellectuals and authorities of the  Islamic faith in the international community. Their voices

or counsel have been largely ignored and unheeded by stubborn Malaysian mindsets who are rigidly

insistent that they know better.

These  include ostensibly the Malaysian religious organisations and teachers  who seem more

politically inclined than they are pious.

Malaysia has to be  the only nation in the international Islamic community of nations that forcibly

claims exclusivity to the right to use Allah and and adamantly denies it’s use as a reference

to other faiths. Going to the extent of making the term  illegal for it to be used by any other

except for Islamic practitioners.

And turning  a deaf ear to mild  derision and criticism from the international Islamic community

by highly respected muslims who happen to be  authorities of Islamic knowledge..

Another irony is that , some of the critique comes from Islamic republic countries that adapts

sharia laws as opposed to the Malaysian constitution that is secular in nature.

So far , Malaysia’s reputation as a multi racial country which has a lovely diversity in culture

and inter communal relations that is integrated and peace loving and also that of Malaysia as a

secular country with Islam as the official religion but is very moderate in outlook..?

Well, All that has taken a vicious beating.

Noble ideas like pluralism, feminism, liberalism, secularism. all viewed suspiciously as threat to Islam. Supposedly alien ideas, seen as  Western values imposed on and corrupting vulnerable unsuspecting Malaysians.

But instead  Racism , religious extremism, intolerance, chauvinism etc..

is forming an impression among the international community that all these “ism”  has

reared their ugly heads in this once lovely , peaceful country of genuinely warm

friendly people known as Malaysians.

Although, it may not be as bad as it seems but then impressions either  positive

or negative ,  can be long lasting and damaging or beneficial to a country .

And in Malaysia’s case, sadly it is more leaning now towards  the latter.

Personally , i do not believe that the Allah controversy has no amicable resolution.

The stumbling block is not the issue itself but the leaders reluctance to tackle it and come up with a

compromise , acceptable to all sides. For that to happen, we need very firm leadership that does not seem bias

to any side .

Unless and until the current Goverment take a good hard look at what has been going on

and the potential damage it can cause , and the tear that has already happen. .

Do some soul searching and seriously try to plug the messy stink ,many of which are self created.

We as a nation , will reek like an overflowing toilet stinking up the South East Asian neighbourhood.

Firm no-nonsense leadership is desperately needed from our PM and his administration.

That means even if he has to incur the displeasure of his own party .

Serve all the Malaysian people and their best interests not just  the elite exclusive hotshots

or big wigs in his political organization!

Bryanbb

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