Sunday, November 01, 2009

Pakatan should take a clear stand on the 'Allah' issue..., or is it the same as the BN position?

Allah issue...

Christians and Sikhs have been using the word 'Allah' to refer to God, but alas in Malaysia the BN Muslims are saying that only Muslims can use the word. In fact, there are State Enactments to that effect that covers several other words as well.

PAS is of the opinion that everyone can use the word Allah, and it is not exclusive to Muslims. I believe DAP is of the position. PKR, I am not really sure as they seem to take different positions at different forums.

Being a State enactment, it can be amended by simple majority - and that is what Pakatan Rakyat States should be doing. Amend that enactment to reflect Pakatan's position.

Recently, 15,000 15,000 bibles imported from Indonesia were confiscated because the word Allah was used. But alas, the Pakatan seems to be silent about this. Why? Are they afraid that taking a position would result in a loss of Muslim support? This is so wrong for they should come out and take a clear position...Silence with regard to 'controversial' issues is not what we want...

Anwar, Hadi and Kit Siang should come out strong and take a clear stand. Condemn the confiscation. Clearly state that the word Allah can be used by other religions not just Muslims. Table a bill to amend State Enactments to reflect this position.

Let me guess as to the reasons that Pakatan leaders may give for not taking a stance on this issue...

a- This is a sensitive issue which we will definitely address once we form the Federal Government. [State Enactments - hence you can do the amendments now in Pakatan ruled states.]

b- The matter is already before the court, and hence it is not right to comment on this issue. This is crap - as State bodies from Pakatan ruled States have actively intervened in this case taking of course the BN position, i.e. only Muslims have a right to use the word 'Allah'.

I believe that Pakatan must take a stand now - condemn the confiscation, and state clearly your position, and do the needful amendments to your State enactments...

The authorities have seized some 15,000 bibles imported from Indonesia because they use the word "Allah" as a translation for God which is banned here, a church leader said today.

"The church uses the bible and it is part of the worshipper's life. There is no reason why it should be confiscated," said Reverend Hermen Shastri, general secretary of the Council of Churches of Malaysia.

"The bibles are used in the church," he said, dismissing suggestions by Islamic officials that they could be used to help convert Muslims who make up some 60 percent of the 27 million population.

Shastri said the latest confiscation happened in September when airport authorities in Sarawak seized 10,000 copies of the Indonesian-language bibles which feature the disputed word "Allah".

Another 5,000 copies were confiscated in March, he said.

"The reason given for the detention of the Scriptures was because they contain banned words," he said.

'Allah' predates Islam

The Catholic Church has waged a two-year legal battle with Malaysian authorities over the use of the word "Allah" as a translation for "God" in its newspaper published here.

The Herald newspaper, circulated among the country's 850,000 Catholics, nearly lost its publishing licence last year for using the disputed word in its Malay-language edition.

The government has argued that the word "Allah" should be used only by Muslims, who dominate the population of multicultural Malaysia.

The row is one of a string of religious disputes that have erupted in recent years, straining relations between Muslim Malays and minority ethnic Chinese and Indians who fear the country is being "Islamised".

Shastri said there was no reason to seize the bibles because the use of the word "Allah" predates Islam.

"The word is not sensitive in Indonesia and the Christians use it in the Middle East. It is mainly driven by other motives ... (to project) the dominance of Islam in Malaysia," he said.

Officials at the Home Ministry, which Shastri said was involved in the seizure, were not immediately available for comment. - Malaysiakini, 29/10/2009, 'Allah' ban: 15,000 copies of bible seized

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