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Sunday, June 29, 2014

‘ECONOMIC JIHAD’ NEXT MUSLIM AGENDA, UTUSAN COLUMNIST SAYS AFTER ‘ALLAH’ RULING

Herald
(Malay Mail Online) – Malaysian Muslims must now unite to fight for control of the country’s economy, using last week’s “Allah” ruling as a benchmark for success in the struggle to uphold Malay rights, an Utusan Malaysia columnist said.
Ku Seman Ku Hussein, in his column in Mingguan MalaysiaUtusan‘s Sunday edition, said Muslims need to look at how unity was achieved throughout the country when Malaysia’s majority community rallied against Catholic newspaper the Herald for wanting to use “Allah” in its publication.
“One positive outcome of the controversial use of ‘Allah’ in the weekly Malay-language version of Herald is that Muslims stood united, fighting without giving up.
“The issue made Muslims band together,” he wrote, adding that defending the exclusivity of the word “Allah” for Muslims was a religious obligation for all Muslims.
But the columnist also told Malays and Muslims to be “realistic” as the “Allah” debacle was just one of many other issues threatening the position of the community in Malaysia.
Another issue, Ku Seman said, is that Muslims are still economically marginalised despite being in a country where the top leaders are Muslims.
“This is not fiction. This is fact,” he said.
“Is this not ironical? Look at the top ten list of richest Malaysians, how many of them are Muslims?”
“This is a big issue but it is not controversial like the Kalimah Allah, so there are no protests or demonstrations,” Ku Seman wrote.
He proposed a nationwide campaign to create awareness among Muslims on the matter, saying its time that Muslims left their “comfort zone”.
“Take heed of the spirit of the Kalimah Allah fight, and apply it to something beneficial, like an economic jihad so that the country’s economic cake can be split more equally between Muslims and non-Muslims, Malays and non-Malays,” he added, saying that the inability of the Malay-Muslim community to progress economically had resulted in a negative perception of the religion itself.
“The harmony between different faiths and religion lies in economic control,” the Utusan columnist said.
A lame person is easily angered and offended, he pointed out.
“The fight is not over. We cannot afford to be too comfortable and ignorant just because of our success in the Kalimah Allah issue,” he added.
Malaysia’s highest court ruled last week that the Catholic newspaper Herald has no grounds to appeal a lower court decision preventing it from using the word “Allah” to refer to God.
The landmark decision on a divisive issue that has fuelled intense debate and heightened religious tensions in the country brought to an end the Catholic Church’s challenge in the Malaysian court system.
A seven-member bench at the Federal Court decided by a narrow 4-to-3 majority to deny the Catholic paper the right of appeal.
Despite this, the government issued a statement immediately after reiterating the Najib administration’s commitment to its 10-point solution from 2011, and that Malaysian Christians are still free to call their God “Allah” in churches.

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