I normally do not write anything touching on religions because most people feel it is a very sensitive issue and many do not even know what they are talking about when talking about religion (in my humble, arrogant opinion – oh yeah!) But this take the cake. Seriously Malaysia is becoming the laughing stock of the world because of the quality of our leaders and ministers. By now you should already aware of the issue of Herald newspaper vs Internal Ministry. If you don’t know WTF I am talking about, go find out about it, or put your head in the nearest toilet bowl and flush it.
It is about “The Herald” which is an in-house Catholic newsletter application for the annual renewal of its printing and publications license has been unreasonably witheld. The basis given by the Ministry of Internal Security for witholding its permit? Simply that the newsletter must stop publishing the The Herald in the national language. For those who are unaware, The Herald has 4 language sections within its paper, English, Chinese, Tamil and Bahasa Malaysia.
The pretext provided by the Deputy Internal Security Minister, Johari Baharom was that the word “Allah” can only be used by Muslims! How absolutely arrogant and preposterous!
This should not be an issue in the 1st place. Why? 1st, The Herald readers are Christian. It is a Christian newspaper. So obviously when they use Allah in their newspaper, they are referring to the Allah for Christians, not the Allah for Muslims. The reason given by the dumbass Deputy Internal Minister Johari Bahrom that the usage will confuse people is downright stupid. Of course you should know when you are reading a Christian publication the Allah in it refers to Christian God. Right? If you don’t agree, then you are in the same league which Johari Bahrom.
For those who are not familiar, the word “Allah” originates from the Arabic word “al-Lah” and it was used even in pre-Islamic times in the Middle East.
Allah (Arabic: ????, All?h) is the standard Arabic word for “God”. The term is most likely derived from a contraction of the Arabic article al- and ?il?h “deity, god” to al-l?h meaning “the [sole] deity, God” (ho theos monos); another theory traces the etymology of the word to the Aramaic Al?h?. (wikipedia)
Read the below article for more understanding.
Malaysia Takes God’s Name in Vain
Posted:15:59 Dec-24-2007 Filed under: Islam Badawi
AsiaSentinel, Dec 24.
The Malaysian authorities’ refusal to renew the publication of the weekly Catholic newspaper The Herald unless it stops using the word Allah as the word for God in the Malay language is a demonstration of racism and linguistic ignorance, not religious purity.According to Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharum, “Only Muslims can use ‘Allah’. It’s a Muslim word, you see. It’s from (the Arabic language). We cannot let other religions use it because it will confuse people,” he was reported as saying. “We cannot allow this use of ‘Allah’ in non-Muslim publications, nobody except Muslims. The word ‘Allah’ is published by the Catholics. It’s not right.”
But what Johari revealed was his ignorance of his own professed religion, of the Arabic language in which the Koran is written, and of the history and culture of Muslims throughout most of the world. God and Allah mean the same in different languages.
Muslims, like Christians do not worship a person called Allah. They worship a single supreme being which the Arabic language denotes as Allah. The very word Allah derives from the singular nature of the monotheistic deity. In the Arab world Allah has always been used by Christians (a significant minority) and Jews (a smaller but important minority until the creation of Israel) to denote the one God which the religions share. Ditto in Farsi.
In Indonesia 100 million Muslims have no problem with their Christian brothers using Allah to denote the supreme being in Bahasa Indonesia, the Indonesian version of the Malay language. So why should a United Malays National Organisation politician unless for some reason to ramp up Malay prejudice against non-Muslims and reinforce the notion that all Malays are and always will be Muslims?
Likewise among the (Roman) Catholics, the word in Latin (lingua franca of the Roman church) for God is Deus and is used without discrimination between Christians Muslims and Jews.
The Johari version of the world displays the same kind of ignorance as found among Christian fundamentalists in the United States and elsewhere who insist on saying that Muslims worship Allah rather than the God (an English word) that the two religions share. An English Koran uses the words “In the name of God the compassionate and merciful,” not “In the name of Allah the compassionate and merciful.”
If Malaysian Malays are confused about the distinction between Islam and Christianity because they use the same word to describe the one God, clearly there is a lot wrong with the educational system. But if a minister is so ignorant, how can the rakyat – Malaysia’s citizenry - be expected to know better?
For Muslims, Jesus was a prophet of Islam. For Johari on the eve of the birthday of Jesus to make this astonishing decision is an insult to his own religion as well as to the Christian one from which Islam sprang.
So why has this become an issue now? This is similar to the issue of crucifixes in mission schools. Why suddenly brought these issues? To divide and rule? Only BN will benefit from divide and rule, that is why they choose to do that. To quote a blog I read :
“In recent weeks, we have seen Malaysians of all ethnic groups demonstrating for justice and accountability. The BN’s PR has been disastrous: it has succeeded in alienating, in turn, workers demanding a minimum wage, the lawyers, civil society groups clamouring for electoral reforms (backed mainly by Malays), Indian Malaysians and now, the Christians. What better time, from the BN’s point view, to try and prevent all these Malaysians from coming together. So the coalition raises divisive issues. And it is so ironic that it is using a widely accepted term for God to divide His people.”Malaysia have a constitution that guarantees freedom of worship and religion, but the ruling government never practice it. Article 11 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia allows freedom of religion. but, they ignored applications for building licenses to Christians who need to build churches, they demolished Hindu temples, they allowed stupid and bigoted ulama to issue fatwa such as ‘Buddhist statues are haram’. (Try google Sabah Mufti’s Fatwa: Buddhist Statues are HARAM)
Ironic heh, the largest Buddhist statue is in the ‘Islamic’ State of Kelantan. (And yet) UMNO says that PAS is an extremist party and very intolerant towards non-Muslims or towards other non-Islamic religions.
So, why should I vote for this government? When most of the ministers are stupid and ignorant. And the PM is sleeping. (and dumb too). Why?