MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Monday, June 30, 2014

It’s all a political game in Allah row

Umno playing same strategy to woo Muslims.
By Stephen Ng
kalimah allah perkasaAlthough 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 victimise 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 being referred to? Why is that 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 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 Kelantan Menteri Besar Nik Aziz Nik Mat who, disagreeing with Umno ministers, quoted the Prophet as saying: “Our Allah and your Allah is one.”
In Malaysia, it is the politicians who have led the Muslims astray. 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 strategy no longer works.
Tracing back the Allah controversy, Mahathir, who was then Home Minister, was the first to ban the Indonesian Alkitab in 1982, barely one year after he became the fourth Prime Minister. 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 (Abdul Rahman).
By making it illegal to possess or distribute the Alkitab, Mahathir managed to consolidate his power with the support of the Malays by championing Islam.
Different scenario
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 Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar slapped a prohibition order on the Herald, it kick-started a lengthy and painful litigation, which ended in 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 could the publication be used to proselytise the Muslims?
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 to attack 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 chairman, Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa, is an Umno member.”
There you go! The same reason is what motivated the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) to raid the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and a Hindu wedding.
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.
Government script
We cannot blame the BN government for everything that is happening today.
Our fellow citizens in East Malaysia 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 churches cannot blame the Federal 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 Federal Court’s decision is overturned.
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.

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