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Sunday, December 29, 2013

Selangor Umno throws ALLAH hot potato to MB Khalid

S'gor Umno throws ALLAH hot potato to MB Khalid
The Selangor menteri besar must direct the state religious authorities to act against churches using the word “Allah”, said Umno Selangor.
State Umno liaison secretary Datuk Johan Abdul Khalid wants Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, who is the executive councillor in charge of religious affairs, to direct the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) to look into the matter “since the sultan of Selangor has decreed that non-Muslims cannot use the word in the state”.
Urging Jais to act against those who defied the decree, Johan was quoted by the Sunday edition of Berita Minggu that any move to counter the decree was an act of treason. Johan who is Semenyih assemblyman said Umno would hold a rally if Khalid and Jais failed to take any action on the issue.
“Our religion cannot be managed by any Muslim group. It is against the Federal Constitution. We will continue to use the word Allah in our masses,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
He said Jais, as an Islamic body, had no jurisdiction over other religious bodies.
Aside from the Catholic church, other churches, such as Sidang Injil Borneo, also conduct services in Bahasa Malaysia and other native languages, where the word “Allah” is used.
Andrew said that churches waited for orders from the archbishop, whom they recognise as their religious authority.
The Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikkhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) had also said that Jais could not enforce a state law prohibiting Christians from using the word “Allah” as the legislation was declared unconstitutional by the courts four years ago.
Its president, Jagir Singh, said the 2009 decision by High Court judge Datuk Lau Bee Lan ruled that non-Muslims could use words like “Allah” provided it was confined to their own religious groups.
Federal vs state constitutions
The Constitution forbids the propagation of any other faith to Muslims but there are also state Islamic laws that prohibited some words from being used by other faiths.
Among the laws is an enactment restricting the use of the word “Allah” passed in the Selangor assembly 25 years ago and enforced in July 1988.
Jais had cited the law when announcing the prohibition for other faiths.
Jagir said 10 states, including Selangor, had passed enactments to stop non-Muslims from using between 18 and 25 words, one of which was “Allah”. On Monday, Utusan Malaysia reported that a church by the name of International Full Gospel Fellowship held a closed-door event in a hotel in Klang and had used the word “Allah” in its banner and also sermon.
Jais had said that the church’s action was against the ban on the use of 35 Arabic words under the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation among Muslims) Enactment 1988. The department also said that they would work with the police to increase enforcement and to push for amendments of the law to widen the scope of offences.
Tension has mounted between Muslims and Christians since the Court of Appeal ruling in October to ban Herald from using the word “Allah” in its Malay version of the publication. Archbishop emeritus Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam also commented on Wednesday that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should live up to his words on moderation and urged Najib to drop the “Allah” case. - TMI

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