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Islam "My ways are not your ways..." (Isaiah) Yet Some Claim to Own Allah ?

Discussion in 'Interfaith Dialogues' started by spnadmin, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Note to mods and admin, please do not move this thread to Malaysia. Thanks :winkingkaur:


    Listen, Learn and Do no Harm

    Jeswan Kaur

    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2013/11/17/listen-learn-and-do-no-harm/

    First God was ‘put on trial. Then came the politicising of to whom God or Allah ‘belongs’ to. And despite there being sufficient proof that shows Allah is not exclusive to the Malays, the truth has been hard to digest by zealots who continue to stake claim on ‘Allah’.

    The country’s leaders and the judiciary remain adamant that only Muslims can utter the word ‘Allah’.

    The High Court even refused the Herald, a weekly publication of the Catholic Church the right to use ‘Allah’ in its writings.

    Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak had said previously that the ruling would not affect Sabah and Sarawak, while separately another Cabinet minister claimed that Christians from the Borneo states could also use the word in peninsula Malaysia.

    They were silent, however, on whether the Herald ruling meant the publication could be distributed in Sabah and Sarawak.

    According to a 2010 census, Muslims are Malaysia’s largest religious group, followed by Buddhists. Christians are the third largest at 2.6 million, which comes up to about 10% of the entire Malaysian population.

    Bumiputera Christians, who form about 64% or close to two-thirds of the Christian community in Malaysia, have been using the word “Allah” in praying and when speaking in the national language and in their native tongues for centuries.

    The situation remains tense with the Federal Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) continuing to misuse Friday sermons to strike war between the non-Malays and Malays.

    In its latest Friday sermon, Jakim urged the federal government to consider internet censorship to stop attacks against Islam.

    The sermon stated that given the challenges posed by anti-Islam groups through information technology, it was important for Muslims to use whatever reasonable strategy available including social media to counter, answer and ward off the propaganda by the enemies of Islam.

    Will non-Malays cower?

    With the ‘powers that be’, courts and authorities partial to Malay interests and trying to cower the non-Malays into subjugation, what more has to happen for the latter to awaken to the rude fact that they are indeed being played about?

    While the Oct 14 unjust ruling by the Court of Appeal hurt the non-Malays, did they resort to protests, threats or intimidation? No.

    And did the racial persecution end after the court ruled in favour of the Barisan Nasional administration?

    No. Instead, it has taken a life of its own, with Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Al-Haj, the Sultan of Selangor, decreeing twice that non-Malays in the nation’s richest state cannot use the word ‘Allah’ verbally and in writings.

    It was hitting below the belt when Selangor mufti Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid said it was alright for everyone to sing and mention the word ‘Allah’ in the state anthem as it had been integrated under the law.

    “Everyone can sing and say the word. It can be used. By singing the state anthem, everybody, including the non-Muslims, are praying for the sultan’s well-being. Thus it is not wrong,” he had said.

    The ludicrous rationale allowing the non-Malays to partake in the Selangor state anthem is appalling. The non-Malays there cannot mention the word ‘Allah’ because Sultan Sharafuddin takes offense; yet the Sultan has no objection to the non-Malays uttering ‘Allah’ while singing the state anthem because it concerns his well-being.

    Such self-interest rings true the words of the Bar Council Human Rights Committee co-chair Andrew Khoo who believes Sultan Sharafuddin may not have been fully advised by the state’s Islamic authorities, leading him to only hear one side of the issue.

    “All I would say is that he has not been properly advised… Perhaps he had only heard from one side. I think it would be appropriate for His Royal Highness to talk to more people, like other communities.

    “I don’t think he has talked to the Muslim community, but just the people who control Islam, people who manage Islam in the state. That is not the same as talking to Muslims, ” Khoo had told The Malay Mail Online.

    Power vs faith

    The word “Allah” is currently used in the Malay version of the Bible, known as the Al-Kitab which is imported from Indonesia.

    Sultan Sharafuddin justified his decree by claiming that it was to avoid causing confusion among Muslims in Selangor.

    “His Majesty urges all citizens residing especially in Selangor to respect and follow the decision made by the Muzakarah (Conference) of the National Fatwa Council, the Selangor State Fatwa Committee, the laws and the unanimous decision of the Court of Appeal,” said a statement from the state palace here.

    The decision by the state Ruler comes after a discussion with the Selangor Royal Council on Monday, which decided that Selangor citizens should abide by the Selangor Non-Islamic Religion (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988 which applies to every religion or race.

    The sultan reminded his citizens of the Selangor Islamic Religious Council gazzetted ruling in February 2010 barring non-Muslims from using the word Allah to refer to God.

    Once again, the non-Malays were ‘reminded’ that the special position of Islam in the country was protected under Article 3 of the Federal Constitution.

    By urging the Muslims in Selangor to unite against “bad elements” who misuse the word Allah, the Sultan has ignited a war of faiths between non-Malays and Malays.

    How should the non-Malays react when their fundamental right to belief and faith is dictated to by a third party?

    Should they continue to subdue themselves to the powers that be, their forced subordination akin to a ticking time bomb?

    Listen, listen

    Meanwhile, the Malaysian Bar has concluded that political considerations may have prompted the Selangor Ruler to make the blanket decree as such limitations are not rooted in Islamic theology.

    “(It was) a decision that is not supported by Islamic theology or history. Very sad. It may possibly be supported by political consideration in Malaysia. It is therefore disappointing.

    “Ever since the decision by the Court of Appeal in the Herald case, comments from UAE, Indonesia, Bahrain, UK have been that the prohibition on use of the word ‘Allah’ is not part of the Islamic theology,” Bar president Christopher Leong told The Malay Mail Online in text message.

    However will Sultan Sharafuddin bother making an about-turn on the ‘Allah’ issue or is he determined to let his superficial understanding misguide him on an issue so very sensitive?

    “Islam is a fair religion and as a Muslim we cannot deny the rights of non-Muslims,” and this is the belief that guides independent religious teacher Ustaz Wan Ji Wan Hussein who holds firm that there is nothing wrong in non-Muslims using the word ‘Allah’.

    Wan Ji said non-Muslims have been using the word for many centuries and were entitled to it adding that non-Muslims could even take oath using the word Allah during trials.

    Wan Ji, known for his outspoken ideas and views, said even the Christian Arabs and Jewish had been using Allah long before the birth of Prophet Muhammad.

    “There is a lot of evidence that the non-Muslims have been using the word Allah and there is nothing wrong.

    “The Quran permits it. It is proven by the hadith and even back then the prophet’s companions did not stop non-Muslims from using the word Allah.”

    To American Muslim religious scholar, Dr Reza Aslan — who has written two books on Islam and one on Christianity, it was “almost a blasphemous thought to think that Allah has a name”.

    “Allah is a construction of the word al-Ilah… Al-Ilah means ‘The God’. Allah is not the name of God,” Aslan told radio station BFM last month.

    Meanwhile, Swiss-Muslim theologian Dr Tariq Ramadan, who lectures on contemporary Islamic studies at Oxford University was not buying the Malaysian government’s stand that “Allah” cannot be used by followers of other faiths as it will cause confusion to Muslims.

    And yet the Malaysian Barisan Nasional government, state rulers and bigots refuse to listen and learn.
     
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  3. spnadmin

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    Show some guts, DAP tells Mary Yap

    Alfian ZM Tahir

    http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/11/16/show-some-guts-dap-tells-mary-yap/


    DAP vice chairman M Kulasegaran ticks off deputy education minister for refusing to respond to allegations that Malay and non-Malay students were segregated for an exam.

    PETALING JAYA: Deputy Education Minister Mary Yap was lambasted for refusing to answer to allegations that Malay and non-Malay students were segregated during a matriculation exam conducted on Wednesday.

    “The issue is not about politics but the courage to speak out and answer questions in regards to matters of public interest. And it is obvious that Yap does not have the courage to answer,” said DAP vice chairman M Kulasegaran.

    On Monday, a Tamil daily reported that a matriculation college in Gopeng, Perak had conducted a separate matriculation exam for Malay and non-Malay students.

    Following the allegation, Perak DAP vice chairman A Sivanesan alleged that he had received complaints that it has happened in several other matriculation colleges nationwide.

    Queried on the matter, Yap had refused to comment and deflected it by saying, “I place education above politics.”

    Pouring scorn on the deputy minister, Kulasegaran said that, “the least Yap can do is to say that she will investigate the matter.”

    On the segregation of students, Kulasegaran said it was a shocking practice and dubbed it as an ‘exam apartheid’.

    “What are the grounds for that shocking practice? If the objective is to somehow let the examiners know the racial identity of the students, parents will be worried.

    “I certainly hope that this is not the case but I do not see any reason which can justify such a shocking and even dangerous practice,” said the Ipoh Barat MP.

    Kulasegaran said that Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister, should come clean on the matter soon.

    “Muhyiddin chose to remain silent on the SK Seri Pristana issue and the recent ritual of slaughtering cows in school compounds.

    “Exam apartheid is a serious issue and we deserve answers. Muhyiddin cannot choose to remain silent this time around and must come clean on the matter,” he said.
     
  4. spnadmin

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    Zaid: Ignoring Sultan’s ‘Allah’ decree is not treason

    http://www.malaysiaedition.net/zaid-ignoring-sultans-allah-decree-is-not-treason-62039/


    KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Muslim hardliners here have insisted it would be treasonous to ignore the Selangor Sultan’s “Allah” decree but a former Umno law minister believes otherwise, and even doubts that the ruler’s order is legally binding on non-Muslims.

    Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, a known critic of groups like Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) and Perkasa, said an act of treason typically means leading a rebellion against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong or any state ruler, for whatever reason.

    “There is a specific definition under the Penal Code for treason: if you lead an armed rebellion against the King or Sultan, then that’s treason.

    “Not following the decree is not treason,” Zaid told The Malay Mail Online.

    He added that Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah’s blanket ban on the use of “Allah” in the state may not apply to non-Muslims as Islamic laws or religious edicts are only legally binding on Muslims.

    Zaid also questioned if a royal decree is considered a law and argued that even if this was the case, the order contravenes the Federal Constitution, which states that non-Muslims cannot be bound by any Islamic laws.

    ISMA yesterday claimed that non-Muslims would be committing treason if they dared to disobey the Selangor Sultan’s decree banning their use of “Allah”, in apparent warning against attempts to challenge the exclusive right of Muslims to use the Arabic term for God.

    ISMA deputy president Aminuddin Yahaya said the blanket ban by Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah must be respected by all Selangor folk in light of his position as the state’s ruler and highest religious authority.

    But Zaid said it must first be established if the decree is binding.

    “Is the decree law? Even if it is law, it cannot be applicable on non-Muslims. How can you make an Islamic law and apply it on non-Muslims?” he said.

    The maverick politician had taken to Twitter yesterday to scoff at ISMA’s claim, even openly telling the Islamist group not to be bullies.

    “ISMA dont bully people la. Its not treason not to follow decree,” he had said in a posting.

    He earned a reply from renowned lawyer and human rights activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenavasan who tweeted, “@zaidibrahim There is a new extremist kid on the block. There seems to be a highly organised plot to irritate us on a daily basis.”

    Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had on Thursday renewed his decree barring the Arabic word for God to all non-Muslims in the country’s wealthiest state and for an immediate stop to usage in the Malay language Bible al-Kitab and the Catholic weekly, Herald, in a move set to complicate Putrajaya’s bid to calm east Malaysian unease over the religious row.

    The decree is also set to revive a longstanding and confusing debate on the jurisdiction overlap between the country’s civil and syariah legal system.

    In Selangor’s case, the Sultan’s decree could be binding as the Selangor Non-Islamic Religion (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988 applies to every religion or race.

    But as Zaid pointed out, the Federal Constitution states that only Muslims can be governed by syariah laws.

    Asked if this meant that non-Muslims in Selangor should ignore the decree, Zaid refused comment but said:

    “All I’m saying is that even if the decree is law, it cannot be applicable to non-Muslims. If that is the state law then it is against the Constitution. Because it is state law doesn’t mean it can’t be challenged”.

    In October, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Home Ministry’s decision to ban the use of the word in the Herald was justified, as the use of the word “Allah” was not integral to the practice of the Christian faith.

    The ruling — which overturned an earlier High Court decision that the ban was unconstitutional — has since sparked confusion over the use of the word by Christians in their worship, especially with conflicting opinions within the government itself on how far the ruling would affect practising Christians.

    Putrajaya had insisted that the ruling was restricted to Herald but detractors believed otherwise.

    With the Sultan’s decree that non-Muslims cannot use “Allah” not only in their newspaper, but also in nearly all aspects of their religious life, there were questions if the blanket ban could override the Court of Appeal’s decision.

    Legal observers have now called for Putrajaya’s immediate clarification on the matter.

    Since the ruling, churches in Sabah and Sarawak have become more vocal in pressing for their right to use the term that they say is entrenched in the 20- and 18-point agreements with the two states, insisting they will continue their age-old practice of referring to God as “Allah” in their worship and in their holy scriptures.

    Bumiputera Christians are said to number around 1.6 million and have been using the word “Allah” in the national language and their native tongues for centuries for the practice of their religion.

    Peninsular Malaysia is also host to large pockets of Christians from Sabah and Sarawak who have moved here in search of employment and formed local communities in several states.

    With them, they have brought their style of worship and the Al-Kitab Malay-language bibles that also contained the word “Allah”.

    In 2011, the Cabinet decided on a 10-point solution allowing Christians in Sabah and Sarawak to keep using the Al-Kitab, but it is unclear if that also meant they may do so when they are in the peninsula.

    Several ministers also said recently that the 10-point solution issued by Putrajaya in 2011 — which allows the printing, importation and distribution of the Al-Kitab, the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Christian bible, containing the word “Allah” — should stand, despite the appellate court ruling.

    The Catholic Church has since appealed to the country’s top court this week for clarity on the religious row that has drawn deep lines between Malaysia’s non-Muslim minorities and its 60 per cent Muslim population.

    The Allah row erupted in 2008 when the Home Ministry threatened to revoke the Herald’s newspaper permit, prompting the Catholic Church to sue the government for violating its Constitutional rights.

    In 2009, the High Court here upheld the Catholic Church’s constitutional right to use the word “Allah”, shocking Muslims who considered the word to only refer to the Muslim God.

    According to a 2010 census, Muslims are Malaysia’s largest religious group, followed by Buddhists. Christians are the third largest at 2.6 million, which comes up to about 10 per cent of the entire Malaysian population.

    Bumiputera Christians, who form about 64 per cent or close to two-thirds of the Christian community in Malaysia, have used the word “Allah” when praying and speaking in the national language and their native tongues for centuries.
     
  5. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Jati: Comango members are bunch of traitors


    Alfian ZM Tahir

    www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2013/11/16/jati-comongo-members-are-bunch-of-traitors/

    Islamic NGO slams coalition, branding them as traitors and criminals who should not be given any space to live in Malaysia.

    PETALING JAYA: Comango members who attended and submitted a report to the United Nation (UN) during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva last month are out to turn Malaysia into an immoral state, said Jalur Tiga Malaysia (Jati) today.

    The right wing organisation added that the coalition of 54 NGOs were trying to set up a liberal nation which acknowledged the rights of gays, lesbians and transgenders (LGBT) and promoting the teaching of Shi’ite or Syiah.

    “We are deeply concerned with these group of NGOs in Geneva recently. Their main effort is to try to make Malaysia a liberal state just like the west while promoting the values of so called human rights,” said Hassan Ali, the president of Jati.

    “Besides that, they are promoting freedom of religion where Muslims can leave Islam whenever they want while acknowledging LGBT’s right to exists and Syiah teachings.

    “They are also asking the UN to review Syariah law which for us is completely disrespectful,” Hassan Ali told reporters this afternoon.

    The group slammed the coalition, branding them as traitors and criminals and that they should not be given any space to live in Malaysia.

    “These people in Comango should not be treated as Malaysians because they are a bunch of traitors. Malaysia should not have these people,” Hassan added.

    The ex motivational speaker said that the coalition had its own personal motives to set up inverse ideology after receiving their education in the west.

    When asked if Comango was supported by the opposition party, Hassan Ali said it seems like they had received a green light from them.

    “Seems like it, because Pakatan Rakyat did not object their trip to Geneva but we have no clear evidence. However, there’s a Malay saying ‘diam tanda setuju’. Pakatan has yet to say anything about Comongo’s suggestions to the UN,” added Hassan.

    Comango is the largest coalition of Malaysian NGOs to submit a UPR report. The group met in July last year to outline the content of the report.

    The Bar Council, and NGOs including the Child Rights Coalition, the Migration Working Group and Jaringan Utara untuk Migran dan Pelarian (Northern Network for Migrants and Refugees), Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (Network of Indigenous People Villages in Peninsular Malaysia), and Knowledge & Rights with Young people through Safer Spaces (KRYSS) also submitted separate UPR reports to the UN.
     
  6. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    This needs to be posted as a matter of simple justice.

    Marina to ISMA: Retract Comango link or face legal action

    By Ida Lim

    Marina, the eldest daughter of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, described ISMA’s allegation that she was one of the masterminds behind the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs in the Universal Periodic Review Process (COMANGO) as “wholly untrue”.

    “Although I am a Board member of Sisters in Islam, one of the NGOs in the coalition, I was not involved in any way in the COMANGO process.

    “Therefore I view this allegation by ISMA as defamatory and demand that ISMA and its office bearers withdraw it immediately with a public clarification in all media, including social media, on my terms. Failure to do so will result in my taking legal action against them,” Marina wrote in a brief statement in reply to The Malay Mail Online’s query.

    On Friday, ISMA distributed 70,000 leaflets at mosques throughout the country after Friday prayers that slammed COMANGO for calling for the freedom to renounce Islam; the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) rights; the removal of Malay privileges; the freedom to embrace Syiah teachings; and the right for Catholics to refer to God as “Allah”, among others

    The leaflets featured pictures of Marina, prominent lawyer and co-chairman of election reform group Bersih Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, and several others named by Isma.

    The Islamist activist group also named several non-government organisations including Sisters in Islam (SIS) as supporting COMANGO.

    Today, Marina said the republication of Isma’s claims by news agencies was also “defamatory”, adding that legal action will be taken if they did not publish her clarification.

    “I also view very seriously the republication of Isma’s flyers in various media, both mainstream and online, and regard this also as defamatory.

    “I therefore request that all media publish my clarification immediately as well or also face legal action,” she said in the same statement.

    Isma has been at the forefront of attempts to discredit COMANGO, which has also come under fire from other Muslim activists here who claim the group’s human rights recommendations to the United Nations ran counter to the “true” teachings of Islam and the sovereignty of the Federal Constitution.

    Isma, which has since signed on with a coalition of Muslim NGOs called MuslimUPRo, also accused Comango of attempting to spread “liberalism teachings” backed by Western powers.

    COMANGO countered that their report was merely an effort to encourage Malaysia to prove its commitment towards improving the lot of all Malaysians via the UPR.

    - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/m...ink-or-face-legal-action#sthash.fu4f7Vd7.dpuf
     
  7. spnadmin

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    Utusan: ‘Allah’ row now a national security issue

    By Boo Su-Lyn

    KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 17 — Umno-owned daily Mingguan Malaysia urged the authorities today to take action against those who questioned the Court of Appeal ruling on the “Allah” case, saying it has now become an issue of national security.

    The editors of Mingguan Malaysia, the weekend edition of Malay-language daily Utusan Malaysia, also called for the Selangor Sultan’s recent decree - which banned the Arabic word for God to all non-Muslims in the country’s richest state, including in the Malay-language bible, the Al-Kitab, and in the Catholic weekly, the Herald - to be respected.

    “Awang hopes that the authorities will take stern and more pre-emptive action because it is now a national security issue,” said Awang Selamat, a pseudonym used to relay the paper’s collective editorial voice.

    “Awang is very disturbed by the reaction of certain non-Muslims who have challenged the ban, even though it has already been decided by the Court of Appeal on October 14.

    “This provocation is expected to continue in various forms. How long must the Muslims be patient? Their patience has its limits,” they added.

    Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah’s renewed decree on Thursday came after a discussion with the Selangor Royal Council, where it was decided that Selangor citizens should abide by the Selangor Non-Islamic Religion (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988, which applies to every religion or race.

    The decree by the Selangor Sultan, who is head of Islam, has complicated Putrajaya’s attempt to reassure East Malaysian Christians on their right to refer to God as “Allah”, and is also set to revive a longstanding debate on the overlap between the country’s civil and syariah legal system.

    “The latest reminder by the Selangor Sultan is very clear and stern. It is hoped that no one will take the decree lightly for the sake of preserving harmony,” said Awang Selamat.

    Former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said yesterday, however, that the royal decree could not be applicable to non-Muslims and noted that according to the Federal Constitution, only Muslims can be governed by syariah laws.

    He also said it was not treason for non-Muslims to disobey the Selangor Sultan’s decree, as claimed by Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA).

    In October, the Court of Appeal ruled that the Home Ministry’s decision to ban the Herald from referring to God as “Allah” was justified, finding that the use of the word was not integral to the practice of the Christian faith.

    The ruling — which overturned an earlier High Court decision that the ban was unconstitutional — has since sparked confusion over the use of the word by Christians in their worship, especially with conflicting opinions within the government itself on how far the ruling would affect practising Christians.

    Putrajaya had insisted that the ruling was restricted to Herald, but detractors believed otherwise.

    With the Sultan’s decree that non-Muslims cannot use “Allah” not only in their newspaper, but also in nearly all aspects of their religious life, there are questions if the blanket ban could override the Court of Appeal’s decision.

    - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/m...-national-security-issue#sthash.QeOfX8Ut.dpuf
     

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