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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Call it Allah or Umno Controversy, Malaysians will not be HOODWINKED

Call it Allah or Umno Controversy, Malaysians will not be HOODWINKED
Although the Christian community in the country has been made the scapegoat, things have to be put into perspective for the sake of unity and harmony.
Both the Alkitab and the Sikh scriptures use Allah as a name referring to God, but only the Christian Scripture is being targeted, ridiculed and confiscated.
Despite having only the flimsiest argument against the use of the name Allah by non-Muslims, the religious bigots calling themselves ‘champions of Islam’ continue to victimize the Christians in this country. They say that when the name Allah is used in the Alkitab, it confuses the Muslim community.
Exactly who are these Muslims referred to, and why Muslims in Malaysia can be easily confused when Muslims around the world have no problem with the name being used by other religious communities?
No one, including the man behind the 1Malaysia slogan, who promised Muslim NGOs such as Pembela that he would defend the exclusive use of “Allah” by Muslims, has ever quoted any part of the Quran that prohibits non-Muslims from using the name Allah.
Instead, Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim and former Menteri Besar of Kelantan, Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat who, disagreeing with UMNO ministers, quoted the prophet saying: “Our Allah and your Allah is one.”
The same Quranic text is also used by renowned international Islamic scholars to advise the BN Government on this Allah controversy, but to no avail. The squabble over whose right it is to use the name Allah for God is truly unnecessary in the eyes of the international Muslim community.
Numerous translations (http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=29&verse=46) have put it this way, for example, Sahih International: “And do not argue with the People of the Scripture except in a way that is best, except for those who commit injustice among them, and say, "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you. And our God and your God is one; and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him."
In Malaysia, it is the politicians who have led the Muslims on a stray path. Let us pray that this Ramadan month will see many of them returning to the truth path, so that they will stop using religion to achieve Umno’s ultimate aim of destabilizing Selangor State Government, with the intention to to seize it back in the coming General Election.
The Malaysian Insider has revealed that MAIS’ chief, Adzib Mohd Isa is, in fact, an Umno strongman. In the game of strategy, MAIS is the stick, while Putrajaya is the balm. Blame will fall on the religious authority, while UMNO is the good guy that tries to bring peace and harmony. Is this not what it appears to be?
Otherwise, how else would you explain why there is no action against the Sikh scriptures, Guru Granth Sahib, where Sheikh Farid (appears to have a Muslim name, too) uses the word Allah 12 times, while all three others – Guru Nanak, Guru Arjan and Saint Kabeer – also used the same word 18 times.
While the Alkitab uses the accurate spelling for Allah (similar to the spelling used in Prophet Mohamad’s ‘your Allah’, the Sikh scriptures write the name in another language (ਅਲਹ੝) other than Arabic.
We Already Know the Perpetrators
Therefore, the Christian and other non-Muslim community at large should take comfort that it is only a minority that is trying to use the same game strategy as in the past. These happen to be UMNO members and leaders or, they are out in the open supporting UMNO and Barisan Nasional, and vice versa, when it comes to the General Election.
The strategy of championing Islam had helped former Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad to remain in power. The same strategy is still being used to try to unite the Muslims in this country under one umbrella, although we already know the perpetrators and their strategy no longer work.
In fact, it backfires because majority of the Christians in this country are more educated and would not hesitate to make a dent to UMNO’s big fat hope of winning the General Election. Had it been the other way around, perhaps, UMNO might have a better chance to win the middle ground.
It is the work of a certain faction of our community either behind the scene or in direct confrontation, which is trying to cling on to power. They have vested interest. I must thank Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali who recently said that it is not a sin to give UiTM projects to UMNO members!
Tracing back the Allah controversy, Mahathir, who was then Home Affairs Minister, was the first to ban the Indonesian Alkitab in 1982, barely one year after he became the fourth prime minister of Malaysia. This has helped him achieve his objectives. In his early years, Mahathir had initially faced resistance from within UMNO, especially those who were Malays and pro-Tunku.
By making it illegal to possess or distribute the Alkitab, Mahathir managed to consolidate his power based with the support from the Malays by championing Islam.
In 1986, when Mahathir was again challenged by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah from Team B, he saw another opportunity to use the same tactic to unite the Muslims to defend his position. Within the next few years, one State Enactment after another was passed. The rest is history.
Today, the scenario is different. In 2007, when UMNO Home Minister, Syed Hamid Albar slapped a prohibition order on the Herald, it kickstarted a lengthy and painful litigation which ended with the controversial Federal Court ruling.
Although The Catholic Herald was never intended for proselytisation of Muslims, it earned the ire of authorities because of the Bahasa Malaysia section that is supposed to cater to the Catholic congregation in East Malaysia. Most of us who are not Catholics have never even heard of the Catholic Herald until the High Court ruling in 2008. How the publication could be used to proselytize the Muslims, I just wonder when everything in it is hardly even comprehensible by non-church goers!
It’s all an UMNO game. The same observation is made by Shah Alam MP, Khalid Abdul Samad, who openly said that UMNO is using the same strategy plan to attack on the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor government.
“UMNO,” he said, “which lost the state government wants to regain its power through the backdoor, so it uses the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais)... The head of Mais is not appointed by the state but by the sultan. The chairperson Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa is an Umno member.”
There you go! The same reason is what motivated the Selangor Religious Enforcement division (JAIS) being used to raid the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and a Hindu wedding. It is sad that under such circumstances, even the Sultans as constitutional monarchs, are being used pawns for UMNO’s political mileage.
Apart from Perkasa, Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) has been very vocal. Along with MAIS, it was involved in a Christian bashing seminar held at UiTM.
I must thank Isma president, Ustaz Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman for revealing who his true political master is when he is quoted saying that both Chinese-based parties should be grateful to UMNO: "Even when MCA and Gerakan suffered heavy losses in the last general election, they were still given cabinet positions.
Do we not remember that Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali, who lost in the recent General Election, was made a candidate on an UMNO ticket? Dr Mahathir personally went down to the ground to campaign for Ibrahim, but he lost to PAS. This is a slap on the face of Mahathir and Najib. Ibrahim’s selection as candidate certainly did not happen without the knowledge of Najib.
Reaping What You Sow
At the end of the day, it is what we sow, that we will also reap. We cannot blame the BN Government for everything that is happening today.
Our East Malaysians have voted the present regime into power. Although it was Syed Hamid who first prohibited The Catholic Herald from using the name Allah, now, the East Malaysian church cannot blame the Apex court decision for ruling that Allah is now a banned word as far as all non-Muslims are concerned, since its decision is binding on a lower court and the Federal Court is the supreme authority in this country.
No state, including Sabah and Sarawak, can cushion itself against the ruling of the Federal Court. The moment a group of Muslim extremists in Sabah or Sarawak complain against the church for using the name Allah, or choose to bring this matter to the court, the decision by the Apex court will be binding.
As usual, after the Apex court ruling, the government read out its part of the script: “Christians can still use the term 'Allah' in their churches and (we are still) committed to the 10-point solution.” Let it be known that no amount of balm from Putrajaya will be able to comfort the non-Muslim community, unless the Apex Court’s decision is overturned.
Are we are not reaping what we sow when we voted politicians in both Peninsular and East Malaysia who are aligned to UMNO and Barisan Nasional? We have put them in Putrajaya, and now we are blaming them for all the woes that we suffer today? How ironic!
Be United
Following the Apex court ruling, I therefore urge my fellow Christians and other non-Muslim communities to unite together with our other Muslim brethren, who are equally persecuted and whose religion being used in the political game to divide the nation, to pray against a regime that is given to wickedness.
Controversial Muslim, Kassim Ahmad was invited as a guest speaker at Perdana Leadership; thereafter, when he was arrested, the same man behind foundation himself, Dr Mahathir did not even come out aggressively to defend Kassim. One can only ask, “Did Mahathir plan it that way?” Only God knows!
As peaceful people, we will not take arms or go to war with the Government of the day, but our votes will count when we rise up from our slumber – both East and Peninsular Malaysia. While Pakatan has its weaknesses too, the sins of BN for the past 60 years are far too many for us to “close an eye” (quoting the words of former Jasin MP from UMNO).
If in the past, East Malaysians have helped to prop up UMNO and BN’s grip on Putrajaya, let us be awakened from our slumber and shake this nation with our prayers. Please share this letter with all your brothers and sisters. “When one member suffers, all suffer together; when one member is honoured, all rejoice together.” (1 Corinthians 12:26).
If the Inspector-General of Police, Khalid Abu Bakar refuses to act on Perkasa Information chief, Ruslan Kassim who threatened decapitation as the punishment for anyone ridiculing Islam and the Selangor Sultan, or acting on the court order to arrest the former husband of M Indira Gandhi, we know that God will!
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14)
Never mind about the 321 Alkitab, if they choose to keep the Bibles or even destroy them, we can easily download it in any language and version, from approved Bible portals such as www.youversion.com and www.bible.com.
Ramadan is a Good Time
For our Muslim brethren, Ramadan is a good time to get close to God. Our God is a great God, who will forgive when we turn to Him.
I would not risk using the name Allah here, but you know I am referring to the One and Almighty God. You can start thinking back the words of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who used the example of a terrorist group to urge UMNO to be brave and willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of UMNO.
But like many other critics, I wonder if Najib, as a leader, would even have the guts to sacrifice his own life for his party. Why should anyone die for him, while he and his cronies are basking in the luxuries of the world?
Frankly, would any educated and dignified person be so stupid as to sacrifice his own life to save Najib’s own skin? I hope that is not what Najib had in mind, but his reference to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) has certainly earned him a lot of criticisms.
We, Malaysians, who know how UMNO operates and we would not buy into its dirty politics. At the end of the day, we will still want CHANGE, and together with Harris Ibrahim, we will have Anything But UMNO.
Yes, while we may hit out at Selangor MB, it is only a warning that if anyone behaves like UMNO or BN leaders in matters of public interest like KIDEX. We know that, until we remain united as one, replacing the all-powerful UMNO and BN at Putrajaya is nearly impossible.
My greatest fear is that UMNO will change its game plan and turn on a new leaf now but will it? - MAILBAG

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