Posts Tagged ‘Allah ban


Deputy Home Minister ignorant of law over Allah decision

A constitutional law expert has taken a swipe at the Deputy Home Minister for being ignorant of the law and saying the Court of Appeal’s decision that Allah was exclusive only to Muslims was not enforceable except for a Catholic publication.

Dr Abdul Aziz Bari (pic) said Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar did not know the law of this country and that the government cannot simply ignore the court’s decision.

“If they wish to minimise or avoid the effect of the decision, they have to do it through legislation, namely table a bill in parliament,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Yesterday, Wan Junaidi said the ban on the use of the word Allah only applies to the Catholic weekly, Herald, and not other Christian publications or the Al-Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia bible which is widely used in Sabah and Sarawak.

He said the Cabinet decision to allow the use of the word Allah in Bahasa Malaysia or native language bibles in Sabah and Sarawak and the assurance given by Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud in 2011 still stand.

Wan Junaidi also said that the Allah case was not over yet as there would be an appeal to the Federal Court and that the decision by this supreme court could change everything. He, however, added that the Federal Court ruling could still be over-ridden by a political decision.

On this, Abdul Aziz queried whether the Chief Minister really had the power to give the permission to allow the use of the word Allah in Bahasa Malaysia or native language bibles, as he did in 2011.

“Now the question is why the government appealed the High Court decision. They should have assessed the matter carefully before appealing. Damage has been done. They should have told Perkasa not to blow the matter up,” he said.

Wan Junaidi ignorant of law over Allah decision, says constitutional expert
October 16, 2013 – TMI


Archbishop: Denying ‘Allah’ to Christians akin to persecution

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — Denying Malay-speaking Christians the right to describe God as “Allah” in their worship and in the Al-Kitab is tantamount to persecution, Catholic Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam has said, as he continued to express the Church’s objection to last week’s controversial court ruling.

The archbishop of Kuala Lumpur also pointed out that more than half of the Catholic Church’s parish churches and chapels in the peninsula conduct at least one worship service or catechism lessons weekly in Bahasa Malaysia, in order to cater to the thousands of Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians from Sabah and Sarawak who live here.

“Hence, to conclude that the word ‘Allah’ is not essential to the Christian faith would be a grave denial of the fundamental right of the Bahasa Malaysia speaking Christian community to use this word in prayer, worship services, prayer books, the Al-Kitab and other publications,” Pakiam said in a statement issued yesterday.

“This would be tantamount to signalling a form of persecution,” added the senior cleric.

The Court of Appeal ruled last week against a 2009 High Court decision allowing the Catholic Church to refer to the Christian god with the Arabic word “Allah” in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its weekly paper, the Herald.

The court adjudged the usage of the word “Allah” as not integral to the Christian faith and said that allowing such an application would cause confusion in the Muslim community.

Pakiam noted today that the Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christians from East Malaysia who have migrated to the peninsula include armed forces personnel, police officers, civil servants, college and university students, as well as other workers in the private sector.

“As committed religious leaders, we have to ensure that we respectfully minister to them in the national language.

“For this reason then, we do not accept the statement of these judges and stand in solidarity with other Church leaders who have also emphatically voiced their objection,” said Pakiam.

He also called the Court of Appeal “grossly misinformed” in concluding that the word “Allah” was not essential to the Christian faith.

Archbishop: Denying ‘Allah’ to Christians akin to persecution
By Boo Su-Lyn
October 21, 2013 – Malay Mail Online


BN risks being booted out in GE14 over Allah issue

The Court of Appeal’s ruling that the Catholic weekly Herald cannot use the word Allah in its Bahasa Malaysia section could seriously dent the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) chances of retaining power in the next general election, warned its component partners.

Already suffering from a backlash from non-Malay voters since the 2008 general election that saw BN losing their two-thirds majority in the 222-seat parliament over racial and religious issues, the component parties cautioned that this court decision might just tip the scales against BN at the next polls.

Gerakan president Datuk Chang Ko Youn said Putrajaya has to confront the issue and make a decisive stand soon as failure to do so will have political repercussions on the coalition.

“It is not a legal issue, it is a political one,” he said, adding that the matter should have been settled decisively years ago.

He appealed to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to call for a BN meeting and get religious experts to brief the supreme council so that a political decision can be made on how to resolve the matter quickly.

“If Putrajaya just sits on this, it might distance the Christian community from BN. They might feel their rights have been trampled on,” he said.

MIC Youth chief T. Mohan said although Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, the feelings of non-Muslims have to be taken into consideration as well.

“We must find a way to solve this problem. If BN does not respect other religions and feels this is nothing, then they will have to face the music come the next general election.”

There are 2.8 million Christians in Malaysia, most of whom are in the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak, which have generally been regarded as a “fixed deposit” for the ruling coalition.

BN took 47 of the 56 federal seats in Sabah and Sarawak, contributing one-third of the 133 federal seats it won in GE13.

MCA vice-president Gan Ping Sieu said BN needs to take an unequivocal stand that inclusiveness and the 10-point agreement of April 2011 is the way forward and that national reconciliation is paramount.

The agreement as made by the Federal Cabinet prior to the Sarawak state elections in 2011, allowed the printing, import and distribution of the Malay language bible Al-Kitab that contains the word Allah.

“BN, as an inclusive political coalition, must address the issue and reach a rational consensus for the sake of national interest,” he said.

He said the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak had been using the word Allah as part of their worship for generations and the Court decision is tantamount to criminalising a long accepted practice.

“I fail to comprehend the rationale of the ban. Have we experienced lack of security and public disorder all these while when the word was used by non-Muslim? Or are we acting in accordance with the insecurity of some overzealous characters?”

Much to the chagrin of the coalition members, Najib has remained silent on the matter.

Barisan risks being booted out in GE14 over Allah issue, warn coalition members
October 16, 2013 – TMI


Umno trying to gain favour with Allah ban

Christians not surprised at Allah ban, it was Umno trying to gain favour, says BBC

Banning Christians from using the word Allah is seen as Umno’s efforts to boost its Islamic credentials and win back support from the majority Malays, BBC News said in a commentary yesterday.

Its Malaysian correspondent Jennifer Pak observed that yesterday’s Court of Appeal ruling which banned the use of the word Allah in the Bahasa Malaysia section of the Catholic weekly, the Herald, had not surprised Christians in the country who make up about 9% of the population.

“Many of them believe that the case stems from a tight race between the governing Malay-Muslim party, UMNO, and the opposition Islamic party, PAS,” she offered.

“It’s an issue that crops up in the government-linked media ahead of an election and promptly dwindles after the vote.”

She noted that while not all Muslims supported the government’s decision to ban the word, Malay rights group Perkasa was one of the most outspoken supporters of the ban.

Meanwhile, a United Arab Emirates daily – The National – expressed its surprise over the decision made by the three-man panel in the Court of Appeal, calling it “wrong”.

“The Malaysian decision overlooks not merely the theology, but also the etymology of the word. The word ‘Allah’ is derived from the Arabic ‘al-ilah’, the God. It’s found its way across the world and entered Malay from Arabic,” the editorial said.

“The word ‘Allah’ is never exclusive to Islam – indeed, both Christians and Jews used the word to refer to God even before the coming of Islam.

“The Quran itself is explicit on this subject, declaring, in Surah Al Ankabut, that Muslims should tell People of the Book (Christians and Jews) that ‘our God and your God is one’.”

The newspaper pointed out that the UAE, being a Muslim country with “substantial Christian and Hindu populations”, was proud of its society where those of different faiths were able to practise them “openly and without discrimination”.

“One of the reasons Islam was able to spread so far, so rapidly, was the inclusive nature of the faith.”

Christians not surprised at Allah ban, it was Umno trying to gain favour, says BBC
October 15, 2013 – TMI

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