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The importance of “Allah”

WITH the attack of molotov cocktails on the Church of the Assumption in Penang last week, it’s not difficult to imagine that violence between Muslim and non-Muslims may just break out in Malaysia. And with such a scenario seemingly becoming more and more likely, it’s easy to believe that Christians should back down from contesting the ban on “Allah”.

Turning the other cheek and giving in, the argument goes, is the best way to avert worsening tensions. Really, who could be faulted for thinking that the swiftest way to placate those who want exclusive use of “Allah” is to give in to their demands? In the interest of cooling tempers and easing strained relations, throwing in the towel can seem tempting and logical.

Yet, there is much more at stake than the Christians’ constitutional right to peacefully worship in whatever way they choose. This fight over a word that has denoted God to both Christians and Muslims for centuries is critical for all Malaysians. Why? Because it will determine whether we subject ourselves to autocratic rule or whether we continue to live in a democracy.

Assumption01

Church of the Assumption in Penang, with the area where the Molotov cocktail was thrown cordoned off

Tyranny

How do we know that the demands for exclusive use of “Allah” is also a way to exert authoritarian rule?

Firstly, what’s happening is the increasing use of a particular kind of logic that screams tyranny. That logic is demonstrated by the argument that just because an individual or organisation or government agency says “Allah” is off limits to non-Muslims, it must automatically be so. It doesn’t matter that their arguments are flawed from a historical, theological or constitutional perspective. It also doesn’t matter that many of these parties are deliberately misleading and are out to rob fellow citizens of their constitutional rights based on fallacies.

Similarly, it’s of no consequences that many of these individuals and organisations are neither elected representatives nor entrusted with public office to be able to dictate what policies should govern the lives of non-Muslims. And, in the case of the rulers who have declared that “Allah” is exclusive to Muslims alone, it seems immaterial that their jurisdiction is firstly bound by the constitution, and secondly that their position as head of Islam in their states cannot be extended to non-Muslims.

Yet, because they say “Allah” can only be used in Malaysia by Muslims, so it must be. This is in spite of what the highest laws of the land stipulate, and no matter that in other parts of the world, Muslim clerics and theologians are perplexed over what’s happening in Malaysia.

It would seem that in this country, our lives are to be subjected and governed not by logic, intelligence, fair play, justice or fairness. Rather, our lives are to be dictated, willy nilly, by individuals and agents who have been able to expand the scope of laws, policies and public practices – even when they have neither the ability nor authority to do so.

Violence

How have they been able to exert this tyranny? They have promised violence, harassment and arrests, and demonstrated they will deliver on that promise.

We should remember that the attack on the Church of the Assumption isn’t the first time a molotov cocktail has been lobbed at a place of worship. In 2010, several churches nationwide and a Sikh gurdwara were attacked after the High Court upheld the right of the Catholic Church to use “Allah”. Three churches even suffered arson attacks, with the worst-hit being the Metro Tabernacle Church in Kuala Lumpur.

The aftermath of the attack on Metro Tabernacle Church in 2010 (Pic courtesy of Sivin Kit)

Additionally, Malaysians are being told that if they speak up for their constitutional rights, these groups, chief among them Umno and Perkasa members, will respond with threats of violence. Where’s the evidence? Catholic priest Father Lawrence Andrew has been continuously demonised and has had his safety threatened by right-wing elements including Umno Selangor, who have gone as far as to burn his effigy.

These groups are also pressuring the state to arrest Andrew for sedition, which he may be charged with as the police investigate him. His purported offence or crime that needed 100 police reports to be lodged against him? Andrew had declared that all churches in Selangor would continue to use “Allah” in their Bahasa Malaysia services because of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion for all Malaysians.

Even if Christians abide by government policy such as the 10-Point Agreement, that is not enough. The Bible Society of Malaysia was raided and ransacked, and its bibles thrown about and confiscated, despite adhering to the Home Ministry requirements for the import and publication of Malay-language bibles.

And should Malay-speaking Christians continue to worship using “Allah” as they have for generations, they can expect to do so in fear of state or non-state reprisals. Already, Muslim groups have descended on churches to demonstrate against peaceful Christians as they worship at mass.

What’s the message in all of these incidents? “Do what we say, even if it means giving up your constitutional rights as a citizen of Malaysia. And if you don’t, we’ll respond with threats, violence and attacks until you back down.” Anybody who has read or watched the history of Nazi Germany will recognise these tactics for what they are – fascism. And if we know what happened under the Third Reich, my question is, do we want the same thing for Malaysia? Do we want to be ruled by fear, threats and violence? Or do want to be ruled by rule of law, fairness, justice and constitutional guarantees to freedoms we hold dear?

Leadership

John F Kennedy (Wiki commons)

John F Kennedy (Wiki commons)

In the United States, President John F Kennedy was faced with the challenge of violence and discrimination against black Americans during the 1960s. Despite the political pressures he faced in supporting the civil rights movement, he eventually used the power of his office to do right by his nation.

Kennedy described the discrimination, threats and violence that blacks faced as a “moral crisis” to the country and its people. “It is a time to act in the Congress, in your state and local legislative body and, above all, in all of our daily lives. It is not enough to pin the blame on others, to say this is a problem of one section of the country or another, or deplore the facts that we face … Those who do nothing are inviting shame, as well as violence. Those who act boldly are recognising right, as well as reality,” he said in a June 1963 address to the nation.

And act boldly Kennedy did, to ensure that the Oval Office under his leadership would end the fear and discrimination that minorities suffered in the US.

Unfortunately, I doubt that we can trust the same kind of leadership from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who has already reneged on the spirit of his administration’s 10-Point Agreement with Christians. And it is left to be seen if the Selangor government under Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim will “act boldly”.

If our politicians fail us, as they are wont to do, then even more so it is imperative for Christians in Malaysia to contest the ban on “Allah”. The importance of “Allah” isn’t just in ensuring all Malaysians have a right to worship peacefully in the way they choose. The importance of fighting the ban and being courageous in the face of threats lies in the fact that unless Christians fight back, we can be certain our lives will dictated by authoritarian tyranny and rule. The Nut Graph


Jacqueline Ann Surin wonders if Muslims who are confused with the use of “Allah” by non-Muslims may similarly be confused or feel provoked by non-Muslims who fast for religious reasons. It is conceivable that fasting may also be made exclusive in Malaysia to Muslims only for the same reasons that “Allah” and other Arabic words have been banned among non-Muslims.

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72 Responses to “The importance of “Allah””

  1. Sunna Sutta says:

    I would describe the current situation as a Mexican standoff which we often see in Hollywood action movies and serials. A Mexican standoff is a three-way duel; in this case it involves the Islamic religious authorities (JAIS, MAIS, JAKIM), the BN-led federal government and the PR-led state government of Selangor. Each party has the option of being the first to fire one fatal shot to kill one opponent but unlike a straight duel, the party that fires first to kill one opponent will be shot dead by the second party to fire. The “winner” is thus the second party but the victory will be a Pyrrhic one as it is achieved at a devastating cost – many Malaysians of all faiths will lose their lives as in the May 13 inter-ethnic violence. Given the MAD (mutual assured destruction) scenario, I foresee the Mexican standoff will continue indefinitely. However, the delicate stalemate can be broken by a fourth hidden assassin which I do not care to elaborate.

  2. Flag of Truth says:

    Seriously? :) … you are claiming that the Christians are being discriminated against over their rights according to the Constitution. Well let me ask you Miss Surin. What about the Muslim’s rights?. Are we going to let the rights of the Muslims be ignored?. Furthermore this issue which the church is trying to pursue is based on a very weak foundation. You can not build a case (or win an argument) based on something that is not justified. Why do I say that it is not justified? :)

    Christians (majority of them in my opinion, especially in Selangor) don’t believe in using the word Allah in their daily prayers. The Catholic church created this issue just to incite hatred in society, to make the Sabahan and Sarawakian Christians hate the government. Now we will have to depend on the wisdom and determination of Malaysians to tell the church that they are following a very dangerous path.

    Seriously, … comparing this situation with the Third Reich or the discrimination against blacks in the US? This is a joke. This article only breeds hatred.

    [...]

    • You cannot claim a Muslim right over the exclusive use of “Allah” when none existed in the first place. So your question, “What about the Muslim’s rights?” is moot. Unless you first establish that Muslims have an exclusive right over the use of “Allah”, your argument is weak and false.

      Before you retort, please give us proof of this exclusive Muslim right. Then we can talk further.

      Secondly, please provide proof of the following:

      1. That the Catholic church “created this issue” when it is public knowledge that the situation was created by the BN-led federal government when it first banned the word in the early 1980s.

      2. That “This article only breeds hatred.” How so? And where is the proof.

      • Flag of Truth says:

        @ Jacqueline

        How can Christians (especially in Semenanjung) want their ‘right’ to use Allah to be acknowledged by Muslims and the government. How can this be? In order to make this a solid argument, we must look at the original verses in the Christians’ holy book. There is no proof that the bible uses Allah to refer to Lord or God. The Quran spelled out clearly throughout the holy book that Allah refers to the one and only God.

        Second argument is, Christians want their right to have bible in Bahasa Melayu not only in Sabah and Sarawak but also in Semnenajung and they claim that 70% of Christians speak the language. How can this be, when Christians are just 9% of the population of Malaysia. and most of them are Iban and Kadazan. These people don’t converse in Bahasa Melayu among themselves. How can this be accepted?

        By giving in to these illogical demands, the government will make the Muslims who are the majority, feel betrayed. That is why I am confident that the government will never give in to these demands :) . They are baseless and lack justification :)

        • Yacob says:

          [I think] you don’t know your own religion, that’s why you are confused! There is only One God i.e Allah in Arabic and used by Jews and the world internationally. So can Malaysian Muslims own Allah? Don’t make fools of yourselves and become the laughing stock of the world. What Muslim rights are you talking about? It’s a language(word) used to communicate and be understood and it has been used many centuries ago. By forbidding non-muslims from using kalimah Allah, do you guarantee you are going to syurga/heaven? You are mocking Allah of his mercy. That’s blasphemy. Don’t be a hypocrite! telling people that you are good outside but inside you are full of hatred and revenge! That’s what your religion teaches you? Islam is a religion of peace! But you and your confused leaders make it a religion of conflict! Don’t tell the non-muslims what they should believe, neither should the non-muslims tell you what you should believe! We all have One God/Allah. That’s it…

          • Flag of Truth says:

            @ Yacob

            You claimed that I don’t know my own religion :) . And I am confused. :) . How can I be confused?. Am I the one who confused or it is you or other people that supported this idea (to use Allah in christian’s prayer). I have laid out the facts but still you feel that I am confused of my own religion :) .

            I will say this openly. Christian in Malaysia are catholics or do they belong to the old churches that existed well before the time of the Nicean council’s decision (that chose to adopt the trinity concept)? Since the nicean creed there is not even a single word in the gospel and bible that mentioned about Allah. So the question is, if you claimed that Catholics worshipped Allah well before Islam, why on earth there is no mention of His name in the holy book? Is this a mistake? and if it is, how on earth that this simple mistake was made without anyone noticing?

            I will tell you why. The emperor constantine chose to adopt the trinity concept because he was so familiar with the pagan gods that the roman worshiped like jupiter, neptune, mars and so on. So obsessed until he rejected the idea of One and Only God. This is the turning point on how the Catholics are diverted from the true teaching of Christ. And this is why Allah decides to reveal Quran to Muhammad, with only one objective. To bring back mankind to the righteous path again. :)

        • anomie says:

          Need to clarify one thing that has been consistently raised here – ‘So the question is, if you claimed that Catholics worshipped Allah well before Islam, why on earth there is no mention of His name in the holy book?’

          The Bible flourished throughout the world via Roman believers. The medium of communication then was Greek. Thus God, as Allah used in Aramaic or any other dialects of Canaanite that the people of Judah and Israel spoke, was translated to suit local needs.

          So Allah was translated to Deo etc in the early Scripture. Later on, it was translated as The God in English.

          Similar to the [case] of the East M’sian native’s Bible contextual usage.

          Thus it’s NOT correct to say that there is no mention of His name in the holy book!

          Whereas Islam was transmitted largely via Arabic influence, thus 1 of the 99 TITLES of the Almighty – Allah – was frequently used and stuck ever since. Fact is it’s the most convenient of all the 99 – being the shortest calling sign.

          So note this Allah is a title of the Almighty – Islam forbids direct NAME worshipping, it’s considered syirik & most blasphemous.

          BTW, Trinity is a FAITH concept similar to many of the illogical (if judging from scientific angle) religious concepts.

          Islam has many of the same too. Trinity is 3 in 1, NOT 3 different entities as you keep repeating.

    • andre das says:

      I think you are missing the point.
      When you talk about Muslim rights, was there ever a situation whereby Muslims were prevented to practise their religion without freedom and needed to follow what was being directed to by the Christians? I think not! Do christians using whatever terms in their prayers impinge on any other religious right if it does not involve proselytising? I think not. A compromise would be that everyone should not use Allah if there is the presence of people of other faith, but I do not want to go there. The only people controlling how the Muslims practise their religion would be the respective state bodies but I do not want to go there also as whatever way they regulate your practise does not impinge on my constitutional right to practise my religion… except now they are telling that I should practise my religion according to what they think is right. Isn’t that fascism when we do not follow the constitution and allow whims and fancies of any ruling govt to decide what is right or wrong. NUFF SAID!

      • Flag of Truth says:

        # andre das,

        I am talking about muslim’s right to worship Allah the one and only God. I have stressed again and again in this forum :) , on why on earth christians want to associate their trinity Gods with Allah?. I believe that majority of christians starts to feel that this word is so alien to them.

        There will be no compromise andre :) . This is for sure. There are 70% muslims, majority of them are against this issue. There will be no changes in the government nor the court’s ruling since any ruling or decisions that will sideline the majority will only make things worst for this country.

  3. Tolerant Muslim says:

    I don’t understand why non-Muslims fail to comprehend why it is so important for Malaysian Muslims to exclusively use the word Allah. It’s not about politics or tyranny. We were brought up learning Allah as the name of our Muslim God. It’s is blasphemous for us to allow Christians to use the name. We don’t even understand WHY! Can’t Christians use the word “Tuhan”, which means God? We feel it is an invasion on our rights to believe that Allah is our one God. So please stop politicizing this issue.

    It is simple: The cornerstone of our believe in our Kalimah,‘There is absolutely no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and Mohamed (saws) is the Messenger of Allah.’

    Our Kalimah says that our God is Allah – it is the name of the Muslim God.

    Letting Christians use “Allah” is not going to happen in Malaysia. Please, for the sake of peace, do refrain. Christians have used God or Tuhan before, not using Allah will not obstruct any rituals. Muslims feel that Christians are using this issue to gain power, a one up on Muslims. We will not let it happen. NEVER.

    Please drop the issue and let’s get back to peace. By politicizing this issue, you make it worse.

    • I don’t understand why Muslims such as yourself fail to comprehend why it is so important for Malay-speaking Christians to use the word Allah. It’s not about one-upmanship or proselytisation. They were brought up learning Allah as the name of God. It’s ridiculous for Muslims to declare that only Muslims can use a word that predates Islam and does not belong exclusively to Muslims.

      And just because you don’t understand why Malay-speaking Christians use “Allah” in their worship isn’t legitimate grounds enough for their constitutional right to be taken away from them. If you don’t understand, I urge you to take responsibility for your lack of comprehension instead of insisting on oppressing a minority group.

      Here is an article to help you get over your lack of understanding: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/251317

      There is no invasion of rights except the invasion of non-Muslim right. For Muslim rights to be invaded in this instance, you have to first prove that Muslims have an exclusive right over the word. You don’t since the word predates Islam and has been used for generations by both Muslims, Christians and Sikhs throughout the world.

      Please, for the sake of peace, do refrain from oppressing Christians and Sikhs in the name of Islam. After all, it is not for you or any other Muslim to determine how Christians and other non-Muslims choose to worship and refer to God. So please stop politicising this issue in the name of Islam. Please drop the issue. By politicising this issue, Muslims such as yourself give Islam and other Muslims a bad name when that is not a true reflection of either Islam or Muslims.

    • Sunna Sutta says:

      You claim to speak on behalf of “Malaysian Muslims”. The truth is you only represent Malay Muslims as East Malaysian bumiputera Muslims are tolerant towards the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims ((http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/02/06/Learn-from-Sabah-and-accept-diversity/).

      While a majority of Malay Muslims appear to be insistent on the exclusivity of Kalimah Allah, a few Malays have bravely stepped forward to provide a correct interpretation of the Constitution that allows the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims to refer to their respective deities within (but not outside) their own faiths. (http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/understanding-the-constitutional-freedom-to-use-allah-bernama)

      Given that renowned Muslim theologians and scholars all over the world have criticised Malaysia over the ‘Allah’ controversy, it appears that Malay Muslims are the only group of Muslims in the whole world who display such obsessive possessiveness over the ‘Allah’ word. Why is this so? Perhaps it is because the Malay identity rests on 3 foundations – tradition, language and Islam. These are by no means rock-solid foundations as the insecure Malay psyche still frets over the lamentation of the mythical Hang Tuah, “Tidak akan Melayu hilang di dunia!”

      With respect to Malay tradition, Malaysia only claims the Mak Yong as a UNESCO-recognised intangible artifact of culture. To the chagrin of Malays in Malaysia, Indonesia is recognised for the keris, wayang kulit and batik. (http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=en&pg=00011).

      In regard to language, attempts made to standardise Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia during the 1970s were unsuccessful and there remain significant differences between the 2 languages. Again, it is Bahasa Indonesia that is given more recognition by the UN as the regional language of Southeast Asia.

      Perhaps some Malays need to be seen to be more Muslim than other Muslims in order to salvage what remains of the Malay identity.

    • andre das says:

      As far as I know, the Holy Quran does not forbid explicitly, non-believers from using Allah. Furthermore by placing such emphasis on a WORD rather than a concept or belief, is it not equivalent to idolatry which is explicitly forbidden by the Holy Quran? I pray to God and not a “Word”, and that is how I interpret idolatry. Words are used as a medium of communication with God and not to be idolised!

      • Flag of Truth says:

        @ andre das

        You are totally wrong about this when you claimed that [the] Quran doesn’t forbid explicitly non believers from using Allah. In fact Allah wants mankind to return to the righteous path and worship Him, and with the revelation of Quran, Allah showed us that Islam is the way to seek Him.

        I have explained before how [in my view, the] Christian church and Jews (people of the book) have been diverted far from the actual teaching of [the] prophet[s] Jesus and Moses. For your information, this was mentioned in [the] Quran, not an allegation made by ‘insecure’ Muslims :) . If you doubt Islam then you should find out whether [the] Quran is genuine or not. Trust me, you will find that there is no contradiction whatsoever in [the] Quran compared to other Holy books.

        Now taking this into consideration, should we worship Allah in the form of [the] trinity or if you are indeed honest in worshipping Allah then the better solution is by embracing Islam.

        This is the logic behind Muslims’ resistance to this issue. We are just following what has been told to us by Allah through [the] Quran.

  4. Liau WF says:

    The issue of using the word is just a political mover to garner greater support from lost “Muslim” votes. It is a numbers game. And it is working well for the ruling party . After GE13, government analysis showed that the opposition party has an approximate of 53% to 47% (non-referenced) voter support, unprecedented so far in the history of Malaysia, a number that is expected to grow with further local economic fallout and increase in the price of daily goods.

    As we all know, the opposition is a coalition of 3 main parties. In political governance they may stand as one but in the issue of religion, they may not …

    Let’s put it this way , the total population of bumiputra to non-bumis is 72% to 28% ( lets assume all non-bumis stand as 1 and all “Muslims unite”), so the “Allah” issue will tip the scale from a 54:47 to a 30:70 … I wonder who will be the winner in this game? And why is the favoured team NOT doing anything to stop this crisis?

    [...]

    • Flag of truth says:

      @ Liau WF

      This issue is beyond politics. I do have to agree that the Muslims are rather uneasy with the current situation and they will eventually support whichever groups/parties whose actions are in favor of Muslims.

      97% of Chinese (about 20% of voters) choose to vote PR against the ruling parties. This will leave 30% (majority of them Muslims) of the votes in favour of PR.

      With what is happening now, I bet you that the Muslims will be very cautious to cast their vote in favor of PR in the next GE. I mentioned this in my previous comment here in The Nut Graph.. You have to play your cards right.

    • Sunna Sutta says:

      @Liau WF

      I think your math or rather arithmetic is rather simplistic. It is true that bumiputeras form 72% of Malaysia’s population but do not forget that slightly more than half of East Malaysian bumiputeras are Christians. So I would reckon that Muslims make up about 65% of the population of the nation. As indicated by the Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah, most Muslims in East Malaysia are not against the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims. (http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2014/02/06/Learn-from-Sabah-and-accept-diversity/)

      Taking away East Malaysian Muslims, this leaves us with only about 55% of Muslims in West Malaysia – the Malays – most of whom are strongly insistent on the exclusivity of Kalimah Allah. Assuming that 90% of the Malays are in the said category, this means that we have more or less an exact balance of Malaysians who are in the ‘for’, ‘against’, and ‘neutral’ camps.

      I doubt whether the ‘Allah’ controversy has any negative effects on PR’s chances in forthcoming by-elections and GEs. The truth is the Darwinian calculus of political survival has influenced both BN and PR component parties to largely maintain a deafening silence over the ‘Allah’ issue. While a few DAP state assemblymen did initially call for a repeal of Selangor’s 1988 Enactment, all PR MPs and state assemblymen – especially the non-Muslims – have since then been told to maintain strict silence over the matter. The same is also true of Christians in the federal government. While a number of Christians in the state governments of Sabah and Sarawak expressed their unhappiness over the ‘Allah’ controversy, Christian federal ministers have kept mum. Notice that Idris Jala, the architect of the 10-point solution, has not uttered so much as a single word throughout the entire period of the crisis. Ironically, only Muslims in the federal government and opposition have said anything significant but mostly to express caution.

      • Flag of Truth says:

        @ sunna

        You are quite confident that Muslims are divided regarding this issue. Clearly you do not understand. The majority of Muslim are uneasy with other people telling them what they should do or they are insecure just because they confused about their faith :) .

        Just continue to play this issue and you will see the majority of Muslim votes will swing back to the government in the next GE. The Govt is aware not to touch on muslim sensitivities. The British were wise enough to leave this alone. :)

  5. Kunta Kinte says:

    http://sozcyili.blogspot.com/2013/01/kenyataan-dr-yusof-al-qardhawi.html#idc-cover

    Allah adalah kalimah milik seluruh umat manusia, bukan milik umat Islam semata-mata. Ini dinyatakan jelas menerusi surah yang menjadi pembuka bagi kitab Al-Quran, الحمد لله رب العالمين iaitu segala pujian hanyalah bagi Tuhan sekalian alam, bukan Tuhan sekalian umat Islam.

    Arack – ﻋﺮﻕ
    [Arabic ‘araq, sweat, strong clear liquor made from raisins,
    अरक – arak in Hindi
    A clear, unsweetened aniseed-flavoured alcoholic drink, produced and consumed primarily in the Middle East

    It’s all in the language – a name.
    Why not scramble the dictionaries and forbid all other races NOT to use any Arabic words ?

    The issue has got to do with pampered mentalities which forbids them to be universal and accepting of other human existence.

  6. What Christian insistence on the provocative use of the word Allah has done is to enliven the debate of whether Malaysia should remain a secular state or become a theocracy.

    By their conduct the Christians have clearly indicated a move to the Christian “right” over a secular prohibition that they not use the word, citing the constitutional condition attached to freedom of assembly, speech and religion (worship) which allows these freedoms only subject to the peace and security condition.

    If you argue that the Muslims of Malaysia are denying the Christians the “right to peaceful worship” whatever that means, you must balance that argument with the obligation (as implied in the right to peacefully worship) that Christians also not create a situation whereby the peace harmony and public order is not threatened.

    When Fr. Lawrence Andrew was joined by the Bishop Rev. Ng Moon Hing in defying the exercise of a constitutional power by government injuncting the use of the word “Allah” in Christian publications, they brought into very sharp public focus the fiction of the doctrine of separation of church and state.

    By their defiance of local law and the constitution they may well have awakened a sleeping giant. The Malays of Malaysia long in pursuit of their right to an Islamic state supported by the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

    The defiance of law and authority under the misguided influence of Moon Hing and Andrew, ably supported by the opposition, is nothing short of Christians having trampled on, discarding in the process the federal constitution and the lawful authority of the Court of Appeal of Malaysia in preference for the authority of their churches and their theology. Gone is the separation of church and state.

    There is no denying now that the Christians have bitten off more than they can chew. It is now a question of whose theocracy should prevail, the minority Christian one or the majority Muslim theocracy.In a democracy, it is the majority view, always.

    • andre das says:

      How is a practice limited to only Christians impinging on other rights. How is it that there has never been any problems before in the many hundred years of use (Please correct me if I am wrong by quoting references of actual incidents) and now you are saying that the Christians are creating disharmony by its usage. If Christians use it for proselytizing or even in derogatory references to other religions, then YES that is unacceptable. Otherwise, any practice within their community should not be perceived as creating disharmony.

      • Flag of Truth says:

        @ andre das

        I assume that you are Christian, and I believe from what you wrote, that you yourself don’t even know the history of christ. It is important to know that Jesus Christ worshiped Allah, the same God that Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and many more prophets worshiped. Christians began to change when they adopt the trinity concept which is contrary to the actual teaching of the christ.

        Of course it is logical for the people around the Arabian peninsular to worship Allah as one and only God, since they have been doing this for quite some time. Allah that these people worshiped is not the same as what the Catholic Church worships. Let me emphasise on this matter once more. Allah that these people worship is the same god that Adam, Noah, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad worshiped. How hard is it to understand? that doesn’t mean that the Allah word predates Islam, but it more likely a continuation of what other prophets teach.

        So it is unlikely for the catholic church to continue with this argument since the claim is based on a very weak foundation.

  7. Iqraq says:

    It is not about semantics, Jacqueline, it is and always has been about theology. Christians are welcome to use Allah when they accept that Allah is the only deity worthy of worship with no partners ascribed to Him, no sons, no daughters, no holy spirits. Allah is One. The Trinity is blasphemy to Muslims, it is ‘shirk’, it is an abomination (I’m sorry to be harsh but it says so in the Qur’an). When will you understand that that is the real issue? It’s not about politics, UMNO, DAP, PKR or ‘one-upmanship’ of one religion over another. The national language has a word for God- Tuhan which even Malay Muslims use regularly. It is good enough for us, why is it not good enough for you? If you really want a proper noun, take it from the revealed language of the Bible – use Elohim or YHWH or Jehovah. Why must you use an Arabic word?

  8. Ong Guan Sin says:

    Post-GE12, this issue was played up by certain groups and many knew its purpose then was to stir up religious tension to benefit UMNO, which was under threat. Most of us remained silent so as not to fall into the trap. Post-GE13, the issue has been played up with a new twist, which crosses the line. The participation of some govt agencies and the interpretation of the law by them started to set dangerous precedence and legal ramifications to the issue. This will change the very nature of what Malaysia is, by law. And silence is no longer an option. But I would still want to argue for a delicate balancing act. Stand firm to state our constitutional rights, but not to attack (or even contest) the issue with a confrontational approach.

  9. Chandra says:

    Whatever the arguments for and against, Christians should refrain from using the A word. It is not a case of turning cheeks but referring to one’s God correctly. If a similar situation had happened in India, would they have been happy to use Murugan or Thor in Scandivian folklore? If they do research into the A word and see where it is derived from, they will stop using the word.

    • And that’s just your opinion. Only Christians have a right to determine for themselves how they will worship and what they will call God in their worship. The same is true for any other religious group. It’s not for anybody else to determine for any faith adherent how s/he should worship and what to call God in her/his worship, no matter the origins of the word. It’s as simple as that.

      • Chandra says:

        I would suggest you research the word ALLAH as to why non-Muslims should not use the word as a name to call their God. Jesus said “Eloi Eloi lema sabachthani”.

        • And I would suggest you, too study the origins of the word “Allah” which predates Islam, and referred to one god in a pantheon of gods the Arabs worshipped before Islam was founded. The issue isn’t about the origin of the word. The issue is who has a right to determine how a faith adherent worships and what s/he chooses to call God in that worship. Regardless of what Jesus was recorded to have said, it’s not up to you or me to dictate how someone else should worship and what name they call God. That is the issue at hand. To suggest that you or I have a right to dictate how others should worship is to indicate that one believes in autocracy and dictatorship.

          • Flag of Truth says:

            @ Jacqueline.

            You got it all wrong :) . Allah is not just some pagan God that the people in the Middle East worshipped. You are totally clueless when presenting your argument thus making it (the argument) irrelevant. To claim that Allah is just one pagan god is unacceptable. People in the Arabian peninsula worshiped Al-Latta, Al-Huzza and many more Pagan gods, but these pagan people never worshiped “Allah”. It was actually the people that follow the “teaching of Prophet Abraham” who continue to worship ‘Allah’. They are also known as ‘People of the Book’. This is also the reason why in the early stages of Islam, some People of the Book willingly converted to Islam.

            It is so sad to know that certain people want to further confuse the Christians into believing that they should pursue this issue. Christians should ask themselves whether it is justifiable to use the word since the Vatican doesn’t even pray to Allah. They should ask themselves whether what they are doing is the actual teaching of Jesus or not? Christian missionaries are well-known for altering their own religion just to have more converts. They are doing this for such a long time and it must be stopped.

            You asked Muslims to leave the Christian church [alone] and [allow] its missionaries to have free reign to do what they want to do. Unfortunately not only we Muslims can’t allow that to happen, anyone who has common sense should not allow this thing to prevail. It is an irony since you yourself are actively seen to intervene in Muslims affairs.

            • By telling Christians how they should worship, are you not yourself intervening in Christian affairs?

              Contrary to your argument, those of us who argue against the “Allah” ban are not interfering in Muslims affairs. We are upholding the right of non-Muslims to use a word that does not belong exclusively to any group. If anything at all, I’m “meddling” in the right of Christian to worship in the way they choose. Equally, I would speak up if Muslims in a predominantly Christian society were told they cannot use “Allah” in their worship.

              I’m definitely not telling Muslims how they should worship because I don’t have a right to. Neither do you have a right to tell Christians how to worship or what they should think/believe of their religion.

              For you to keep doing so demonstrates that it is you, and others who think like you, who are the ones interfering in another religion’s affairs.

  10. Flag of Truth says:

    @ Jacqueline

    What do you want actually? :) . The last I checked, Christians in Malaysia belong to the Catholic Church. Just answer this question, do Catholics even acknowledge Allah as the one and only God? This is the problem with you Jacqueline, “menegakkan benang yang basah”. Catholics (especially in Semenanjung) do not believe in using the word “Allah”. In fact, if you did some research, it was never mentioned in the bible after the Nicean Creed. So the question is which church do Catholics in Malaysia belong to? The last time I checked, they belong to the Vatican Catholic but I suggest that (if they still want to pursue this issue) the Catholic church in Malaysia should declare themselves as an independent church free from Vatican rule. This is in fact the only logical thing to do because they are improvising their own religion. Christians did that in the past like what the Protestants did 300 years ago. :)

    My advice is, don’t accuse other people of being confused :) . [...]

    • The issue isn’t what I want for Christians in Malaysia. The issue also isn’t about what you want or think you know about Christians. The issue is, neither you nor I have a right to dictate to Christians or any other religious group how they worship and what they choose to call God. You can argue till the cows come home — just answer this question: what gives you the right to determine how citizens of another faith should worship? That right doesn’t belong to you nor does it belong to anyone else even if they constitute the majority in the country, and even if they are confused by how others choose to worship.

      Btw, you should check again. Christians in Malaysia don’t just belong to the Catholic Church. There are several different kinds of Christian churches in Malaysia, just as there are several different sects of Islam.

      • Sunna Sutta says:

        @Jacqueline

        Well said! It is quite fruitless to argue with people who not only have an ill-informed view of Christianity but also use their own warped personal interpretation of Islamic holy scripture to deny the right of Malay-speaking Christians to use ‘Allah’ as the name of the Christian God. Despite constant reminders (backed by solid historical evidence) that Arabic-speaking Christians first used ‘Allah’ 6 centuries before the emergence of Islam or that Malay-speaking Christians in Southeast Asia have been using the A-word for hundreds of years, they still persist in claiming exclusivity of ‘Allah’ as the name of the Islamic God. As I have mentioned before, a great number of Malay (i.e. not all Malaysian) Muslims fall into the only group of Muslims in the whole world with such extreme intolerance.

        The practice of biased and skewed interpretation by certain members of the Malay Muslim scholarly or ‘priesthood’ class to suit their own ultra-extremist views was recently criticised by Kassim Ahmad. It is not surprising that the said clerical class has a large following among undiscerning and uncritical supporters within the ummah. Ironically, Kassim Ahmad was defended by no less than Tun Mahathir Mohamad, a person who is not well-known for being sympathetic to the rights of religious minorities. (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/254752)

      • Flag of Truth says:

        @ Jacqueline

        And to which sect do the Christians who actually want to worship ‘Allah’ as their God [belong to] Jac? :) You tell me :) . Islam has several sects, you are right about that but every sect worships Allah, the one and only God. We Muslims, contrary to your belief, are not confused in choosing which God we want to worship.

        To answer your question on who gives me the right to determine how citizens from another faith want to worship. To me it is simple. To us, we see that the Christian missionary through the Catholic Church want to expand their influence which is an unlawful act according to the constitution. Why? Islam has been acknowledged as the official religion in the constitution. I just don’t understand, after I have laid out how unjustifiable this issue is, still the Cathoic Church insists on using this issue, so they can incite hatred among Muslims and Christians which have been living peacefully for generations.

        Now let me ask you Jac. Why do you like to meddle in Muslim affairs? If Muslims want hudud law like what was implemented in Brunei, so be it. Who are you to dictate what is best for Muslims? :)

        • It doesn’t matter which church the Christians who use “Allah” belong to. Your statement “The last I checked, Christians in Malaysia belong to the Catholic Church.” is factually inaccurate. So, please just admit that you were factually inaccurate as has been pointed out instead of trying to shift the goalpost.

          Please provide evidence that:

          1. Christian missionaries are expanding their influence among Muslims. Then we can talk. For so long as you are not able to provide evidence, you and others who use this argument are bluffing.

          2. And even if Christians are proselytising to Muslims, that doesn’t give you or me or anyone else the right to determine how Christians worship and what they choose to call God. Yes, under the law, the state could prosecute these Christians for trying to convert Muslims. But the state cannot dictate how Christians worship especially when there is no evidence that Christians are converting Muslims in this country.

          And if as you say, Muslims such as yourself are not confused, then how are Muslims being converted out of Islam in the first place? Do you mean that Muslims who are not confused can still be swayed? What kind of Muslim is that Muslim?

          • Flag of Truth says:

            @Jacqueline

            [...]

            Now your second statement confirms my assumption in the first place. That Christians are proselytising to Muslims, which is unfortunately an unlawful act under the constitution :) . Of course it is quite difficult to prove that Muslims convert to Christianity because the constitution does not permit such action :) . [...]

  11. idris says:

    2. And even if Christians are proselytising to Muslims, that doesn’t give you or me or anyone else the right to determine how Christians worship and what they choose to call God.

    (Let me just say first and foremost that I agree 100% with the above).

    Surely that was all that had to be said? Why continue with this:

    “then how are Muslims being converted out of Islam in the first place? Do you mean that Muslims who are not confused can still be swayed? What kind of Muslim is that Muslim?”

    Anyone and everyone can be swayed one way or another into something or another if the right buttons are pressed at the right time by the right person. There really is no need to go on with taunts like “What kind of Muslim is that Muslim?”, “Are muslims so easily confused” and all that.

    And then there’s this ‘Please provide evidence’ thing. What kind of evidence is sufficient? If, for example, all my friends tell me they have been approached directly by conmen, can I use this as evidence? Or wait, my friends are all liars? But yours aren’t? Wow.

    Just an aside… with regard to my belief (that anyone can be swayed) – I have no solid, scientific evidence. But you already know this. I have faith in science, though, and believe [...] that science will prove my belief true in time.

    • Why continue with “then how are Muslims being converted out of Islam in the first place? Do you mean that Muslims who are not confused can still be swayed? What kind of Muslim is that Muslim?”?

      Because non-Muslims are being told their freedom to worship has to be taken away because Muslims are “confused” over the use of “Allah” by non-Muslims. But Flag of Truth now declares Muslims are not confused. And yet, if Muslims are not easily confused, how come they are purportedly being converted? So, which is it?

      And if anybody’s right is going to be denied them, there needs to be evidence that provides real justification for such rights to be taken away. Sorry, but as in science, as I’m sure you know, anecdotal evidence from friends doesn’t cut it. I’m not the one calling your friends liars. I’m saying for so long as there is no concrete evidence of these attempted conversions by Christians, it is legitimate for anyone to call such arguments a bluff. Show us credible evidence instead of perpetuating a claim that has no verifiable proof.

      In any case, it doesn’t matter if Christians are converting Muslims, confused or otherwise — that still doesn’t give anyone the right to dictate how someone, in this case a Christian, should worship and call God.

      • Flag of Truth says:

        @ Jacqueline

        You are wrong in that sense :) It is sad to see how people like you fail to understand the gees of one’s argument [Editor's Note: It's "gist" not "gees".] Muslims are not confused about this issue. They always worshiped Allah as one and only God. But this is not the case with Catholics. Tell me, do Catholics worship Allah? Does your holy book ever mention about Allah? Then suddenly out of thin air, some missionary came here and revamped your own holy book and put the name Allah in that book? How strange is that? That is why I am asking you to prove which church do you or other people who still insist on pursuing this issue belong to?

        • It doesn’t matter what Catholics believe or who they worship. That’s their right. It also doesn’t matter whether their holy book mentions “Allah” or whether some missionary came here and introduced “Allah”. It is their right to do so. The word does not belong exclusively to anyone. And so it can be used by everyone no matter the differences they have in their beliefs.

          You need to first prove that Allah belongs exclusively to Muslims. Until and unless you can do that, you have no business questioning what others believe in and how they choose to worship.

          • Flag of Truth says:

            @ Jacqueline

            The word Allah has been mentioned in the Quran more than 1400 years ago :) . That is fact #1. The Christians Holy Bible never mentioned about Allah after the Nicean Creed (hence the Vatican has been enforcing their trinity belief as the Christian’s mainstream theology). This is Fact #2. The Christian missionaries in Malaysia, with their intention of converting people of different faiths to Christianity have adopted a really bizare strategy, making us believe that Allah is indeed the Lord that the Christians pray to. We can understand about the existance of certain differences especially in implimentation of religious beliefs between sects in the Christian world but to confuse God with Allah is certainly shaking the very foundation of Christianity itself. That is Fact #3.

            So you still belief that Muslims have no right to be concerned, Jacqueline? Do provide us with answers to which church do you or the people who actually believe in this issue belong to. :)

            • All your so-called “facts” do not negate the fact that Muslims in Malaysia have no business telling Christians how to worship and what to call God. Does “Allah” belong exclusively to Muslims? It doesn’t. And you still haven’t provided any evidence that it does. And unless “Allah” belongs exclusively to Muslim, like some kind of copyright, all your “facts” don’t mean a thing in the current debate about who has a right to use “Allah”.

              Kenapa nak sangat jaga tepi kain orang lain? Adakah orang Islam dipanggil oleh agama mereka untuk campurtangan dalam hal, sejarah, urusan dan kepercayaan agama lain? Semestinya tidak. And still you persist. One has to wonder why.

    • Sunna Sutta says:

      “with regard to my belief (that anyone can be swayed) – I have no solid, scientific evidence. But you already know this. I have faith in science, though, and believe [...] that science will prove my belief true in time.”

      As pointed out by Jacqueline, there is no verifiable evidence of any concerted efforts to convert Muslims to Christianity; anecdotal accounts are simply not admissible in court. Naturally, you are aware of that. However, I will even grant you the remote possibility that an individual may one day be caught openly propagating Christianity to Muslims in Malaysia.

      Even if that should happen this does not mean that a particular Christian Church or organisation is behind the act of such a person. [...] You are aware of course that now and then lone Christian missionaries acting without the backing of any Church get caught in North Korea for proselytisation, the latest one being Kenneth Bae. There will always be a loose cannon or two among the crowd but it is all too human to believe in conspiracy theories. [...]

      • idris says:

        No verifiable evidence. Yes, this shouldn’t be surprising. Even if organised proselytising were taking place, they (the proselytisers) would most certainly do their utmost to cover their tracks, knowing that their activities are illegal here in Malaysia.

        Note that I am not saying proselytising to Muslims (or anyone else for that matter) is immoral (although being an annoyance, persisting even when asked to stop, is, to my mind). Nor am I saying for a fact that it does or does not take place. And even if it does, it should have no bearing on the Allah issue.

        But providing ‘concrete’ evidence for something like this is really quite difficult, I would think. Unless you want JAKIM to double their manpower and start hiring professional snoops etc.

        Having said all that, I do believe proselytisation is going on. Organised proselytisation. My proof? All anecdotal. But that is enough for me – I (believe) I know my friends well enough. And what they have told me would be enough for me to react (if I had the want or will to react, which I don’t – proselytising in itself isn’t immoral, I think). This is something you might want to consider, too – the power of anecdotal evidence.

        • idris says:

          Ah, sorry. Let me qualify this statement:

          “Note that I am not saying proselytising to Muslims (or anyone else for that matter) is immoral (although being an annoyance, persisting even when asked to stop, is, to my mind).”

          There are some instances when proselytising can be, in a way, immoral. I think. One example I can think of is to proselytise to those in mourning.

          This doesn’t have anything (much) to do with the Allah issue, of course, apart from the possibility that the use of Allah in bibles just might (emphasis on might) make the work of proselytisers a tad easier. But again, that is no reason to disallow the use of the word by non-Muslims.

  12. Flag of Truth says:

    @ Jacqueline

    Kenapa nak jaga tepi kain orang lain? LOL.. I thought all this while you are the one who always jaga tepi kain orang Islam (dengan ambil kira artikel-artikel Jacqueline sebelum ni) :) . You are the one who said that whatever Muslims’ actions, it will affect the non-Muslims but it is strange that in this issue you are claiming that Muslims have no business to interfere.

    I have laid out the facts and I believe that readers can evaluate my answers :) . [...] Christians have no history of worshiping Allah because if they worshipped Allah then Allah would never have any reason to reveal the Quran to Muhammad SAW. In fact it is you who have to prove to us why the missionaries have used this strategy whereby it is clearly against the Vatican’s theological beliefs. And still you have failed to clarify to us to which church do the Christians who worship Allah belong. I just want a fair explanation. That is all.

    • The thing is, I write calling for everyone’s legitimate rights to be upheld and protected, including Muslims. You, however, are arguing for other people’s rights to be denied. Does Islam call on Muslims to deny others their rights? I know it doesn’t and yet from your comments it would seem you’re trying your darnest to prove that it does.

      So, the difference is when I supposedly “jaga tepi kain orang lain”, I’m speaking up for everyone’s fundamental rights to be upheld. Indeed, that is what Islam calls for — that people’s rights and freedoms are respected.

      You, on the other hand, are trying to deny and deprive others of their right to worship. And you do it all in the name of what? Fallacies and unsubstantiated claims. That’s how you “jaga tepi kain orang lain”.

      Just answer these two questions:

      1. What right do Malaysian Muslims have to claim exclusive right over the use of “Allah”? Show us proof of your copyright over the word.
      2. Does Islam call on Muslims to deny others their rights and freedoms? Show us proof that it does.

      Everything else you claim or demand an answer for is irrelevant to the central debate of who has a right to use “Allah”.

      • Flag of Truth says:

        @ Jacqueline

        You are actually in your own delusion Jacqueline. Do you even understand the concept of justice? :) . All this while you are stressing that the Muslims are insecure in their faith, discriminating everyone of different religion. But sadly you yourself failed to understand the concept of respecting boundaries set up by our [forebears]. [...]

        Any intellectual [person] can see the difference between my comments and yours Jacqueline. Sorry to say this but I honestly think you are diverting from the real issue here. You are asking why Christians are not allowed to use Allah in their prayers and even I have laid out facts that Christians have never worshipped Allah before since the era of emperor Constatntine. And worst still you are taking a very peculiar approach in answering my question which I and other people entitle to. To which church do you (I assume that you are a devoted Christian) and other people that pursue this issue belong to? I would like to stress here that this particular question has never been answered by you. I have my reason for asking this and I am sure it will lead to a very interesting debate. Why are you keeping it from us Jacqueline? :) .

        • Adam says:

          @FoT,

          I think Jacqueline has given up trying to reason with you unless you answer her 2 questions which you have not done.

          Anyway, even as I do not consider myself as an intellectual, I should have enough common sense to see the difference in stance taken by both you and Jacqueline. While you are trying to dictate why the Christians should not use the word, Jacqueline is speaking up for the rights of all, including Muslims to use the word in accordance to their own understanding with respect to their individual religion. Jacqueline’s stance, like mine, is inclusive and all-encompassing which would not lead to irreconcilable situations and circumstances unlike your insistence of limiting the word to Muslim’s use in the Peninsular only. Or are you advocating a complete ban for the whole country or even worldwide? Everyone can express their opinion whether the Christians or others could use the word or not, but the final decision must be left to those affected by the ban.

          It is universally accepted and understood that words could not be banned. Certain words especially rude and impolite words are only restricted in certain situations by social norms. Words are just combination of sounds spoken and read in different written scripts. There are also different pronunciations and intonations for the same words spoken in the various tongues. Words are not only spoken and written; they are also heard and thought of. Can you ban people from hearing and thinking of any word? It is practically impossible to do so. How do you discuss and preach your religion to others without them uttering those banned words? Why do something which will lead to the breakdown of communication? If you propose allowing usage in certain circumstances like singing the State anthems, it will lead to selective persecution and widespread confusion.

  13. Daniel says:

    [...] Jacqueline, why are you wasting time debating with [Flag of Truth] who obviously has no idea what he is talking about? He makes assertions and allegations and insists everything he says is the “truth” without understanding what truth really means.
    I am from Sarawak. We spoke Malay long before you were born and long before Malaysia came about. We in Sarawak had our Bible in Malay and had been using Allah for a long time. Because of your illogical logic and spurious and erroneous assertions, must we now change the name of God to another name? Why don’t you people in Malaya let Sarawak go independent? Then, you can have total ownership of that 5 letter word.

  14. zamorin says:

    Flag of truth,

    Stop beating around the bush and just answer the question. I don’t think you can do that because that will contradict your own [...]“theories”.

    As an atheist, I find this whole debate hilarious. Both the religious fanatics in this country don’t want to back down yet both claim to be accommodating when in fact neither are.

  15. Flag of Truth says:

    @ Adam, Daniel and Zamorin

    The debate is getting more interesting, :) . It is just a simple request. Why must give up? :) .

    Anyway to answer Daniel’s allegation of Native Sarawakians speaking Malay.. I never deny that they can speak Malay in the first place (they are Malaysian and Malay is the official language, and sabahans and sarawakians can speak Malay better than [some] non-malay [Malaysians] in Semenanjung). What I want to say is they do not use Malay as a medium of communication within their tribe or race. I do not need to prove it but I have been to various places in Sarawak and Sabah during my tours as a soldier, I have been to places that neither Mr Daniel or many people who are pressing on this issue have been to :) .

    Zamorin, It is funny that you as an atheist want to have a say in this issue :) .

    I will stress again.. It is important for me or other people to know to which church do these people belong to.

    If nobody can answer this then I rest my case :) .

    • Adam says:

      FoT,

      (1/2)
      You still do not get it. Although the East Malaysians may have their own dialect to communicate among themselves, they use the Malay Alkitab because that is the translation available, unlike the Ibans who have their own language translation, Bup Kudus. The Kadazans also have their own language translations too. To give you another clear example from the Peninsula, most Chinese and Indian Christians use the English Bibles although many will also use the Chinese and Indian Bibles depending on their proficiency of the language. In the years to come, the new generation Chinese and Indian Christians may be using the Alkitab too as their proficiency in English, Chinese and Indian may drop due to our education system. But most, if not all the Chinese and Indians will still be using their own language/dialects to communicate among themselves. Now, do you understand? [...]

      And yes, we should be proud to be Malaysians and be able to speak BM/Malay which is our national language. And of course the East Malaysians can generally speak better BM than the Non-Malays in the Peninsula because they have a much longer history with the language. According to Wikipedia on the Malay language at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_language “Malay historical linguists agree on the likelihood of the Malay homeland being in western Borneo.” But, the oldest inscriptions known in Malay were found in South Sumatra. A literary language was established in Malacca then shifted to the Johor Sultanate. That could be the reason why Indonesia, Malaya/Malaysia and Brunei adopted the language as their national languages.

    • Adam says:

      @FoT,

      (2/2)
      And please tell us why it is important for you or other people to know which church these people belong to. Everyone knows that the Herald case was initiated by the Catholic Church but they are supported by the Protestant Churches as well. During the recent appeal hearing reported at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/seven-man-federal-court-bench-hearing-allah-case-today there are many parties holding watching briefs on the proceedings and these included the World Council of Churches; Christian Federation of Malaysia; Council of Churches Malaysia; Sidang Injil Borneo (Peninsula); Sidang Injil Borneo (Sabah); Sidang Injil Borneo (Sarawak); Association of Churches of Sarawak; and Sabah Council of Churches‎.

      Now, tell me why the Sidang Injil Borneo case has been postponed again since December 2007 as reported at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/sidang-injil-borneos-case-delayed-again-in-high-court. Over six long years without being heard is justice denied. If it were a simple case, it would have been disposed of long ago. And what has happened to the Jill Ireland case which was filed about the same time as the SIB case? Can you answer that?

  16. idris says:

    FoT,

    Please do not misunderstand – it isn’t that no one can answer, it’s that no one is bothered to answer. Also, it would be funny, if not downright worrying, if there are Malaysians, atheist or otherwise, who do NOT want to have a say in this.

    Anyway. It’s good that you will now ‘rest your case’. But I have a suggestion, because unlike everyone else I am curious to know how one’s affiliation can matter. After all, as has been mentioned previously, even Sikhs use the A word. And theirs is a completely different religion. You seem to be suggesting, by your constant insistence that the church to which these people belong to is important, that perhaps if they belonged to a certain denomination it may actually be ok to use the word Allah. No?

    Instead of claiming victory simply because no one can (no, not bothered actually. Yes I am saying it again.) answer, why don’t you list down the possible churches one could be affiliated to and what this means with regard to the A word?

    • Flag of Truth says:

      @ Idris

      It’s got nothing to do with me claiming victorious against everyone here. I like to have healthy debate :) .

      Again, I would like to stress that the burden of proof lies on whoever is championing this cause.

      @ Adam

      You claimed that the Christians in semenanjung will eventually have to speak in Malay because their level of efficiency in English will drop?. I think everyone knows that this will never happen because certain groups will never give up their vernacular education system :) .

  17. Kong Kek Kuat says:

    Quote Of The Day:

    “There is only confusion if you want to see confusion,” said Hishamuddin Hussein.

    [...]

  18. kamaruzzaman says:

    Many pros and cons on the issue of Allah makes me wonder why started it in the first place. [To me,] the Muslims are being defensive and the Christians are being unreasonable. I attended many dialogues, seminars and discussions since. One thing that come to my mind is that nobody ever asked the Christians, who is their God. What is his name? Just ask them the name of their God and the issue can be resolved. The Muslims are unanimous that the name of God is ALLAH. It is a proper noun. It is not a translation for the English word God. Can any Christians here enlighten us on what is the name of God in Christianity? Please.

      • Flag of Truth says:

        @ semuaok

        When will all of you realise that this is not about monopolising Allah? Do you ever think that Allah, the one and only God can be perceived in that way?

        Do Christians worship Allah? I believe this will be the question that even the Vatican cannot answer. Not only will it shake the very basic foundation of Christianity itself but it will also make people question the popular beliefs that have been adopted by mainstream Christians.

        Please do a thorough study about which God the Christians worship before making unreasonable claims :)

        • What does it matter to you or any other Muslim what Christians worship? And how they worship or what the Vatican can or cannot answer? It’s the right of Christians to manage their own affairs and nobody else has a right to interfere.

          Unless you can show us proof that Muslims have a right to dictate how others, in this case Christians, manage their affairs, then all your arguments about this are irrelevant and frankly, really flawed.

          In fact, if you think Muslims have a right to interfere in the affairs of Christians, why shouldn’t Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Bahais etc also have a right to interfere with Muslim affairs? See, we only need to respect each other’s right to worship peacefully to ensure that such an unnecessary and untenable situation doesn’t arise.

          You demand for Muslims to have a right to interfere in how Christians worship. Would you agree then that Christians should also have a right to dictate how Muslims worship?

          • Flag of Truth says:

            @ Jacqueline

            It does matter to us Jacqueline, especially since you yourself can not give solid proof to justify the church’s adamant request on this issue. I have repetitiously stressed that Allah have never been part of Christian history ever since the church chose the Trinity doctrine.

            How come you worship a God that has never been part of “Christian teaching’?. :) .

            Those who think will know how to evaluate my last statement.

          • Adam says:

            @ FoT,

            Yes, it is alright to clarify certain aspects of other religions for better understanding but you cannot dictate how the others practice their individual religions. The Arab Christians have been using the word even after the Trinity concept has been established in 325 AD. That was how the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) came to know the word. The Arab pagans were also using the word as well. Even the English word God is said to have origins in Germanic paganism as per the Wikipedia article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_(word) The important thing is how we use the word or words as an expression of what we mean.

            You have said your piece. Let the Christians deal with it themselves. Only then can there be peace.

    • Adam says:

      Salam,

      (1/2)
      I beg to differ from your stance that Christians are being unreasonable on the use of the word. They have been using the word for generations, way before Malaya/Malaysia was formed and they have also explained at length that the word has been used to mean God and not the name of God as used by Muslims. The Wikipedia article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allah also explains clearly the usage of the word. Many Islamic organisations too have come out with statements that “Allah” is the Arabic word for God. One such statement from an Islamic source can be read at: http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/195/

      Regarding what the name of God in Christianity is, I must say most Christians would address God by honorifics or attributes and not by His name. A search would yield names such as YHWH/YHVH, Elohim and a few others from the Torah. The Jews would refrain from using the sacred name and have used Adonai meaning Lord. Through the centuries of non-use, the actual pronunciation of the tetragram YHWH has been lost and Hebrew scholars came up with the connotation Yahweh or Jehovah which the Jews would not use. Most Christians would also prefer not to use the name for fear of mispronouncing His sacred name. A long but interesting article on this topic can be read at: http://av1611.com/kjbp/ridiculous-kjv-bible-corrections/Yahweh-Jehova-YHVH.html

      • neptunian says:

        Trying to talk sense with people who fear their own shadows? It is like singing to a cow (non-NFC variety). Useless and gets you nowhere.

    • Adam says:

      Salam,

      (2/2)
      I personally feel that the Almighty should not have a name like us mortals. I think “Allah” originally refers to just “God”. After centuries of use, the word has become a proper name. I cannot understand why God would use a name which had been previously used to refer to the moon god just as Yahweh had been previously known as the storm god. It is highly likely that Muhammad (PBUH) used the word from the Arab Bible as most of the stories of the Prophets and Jesus found in the Koran were from the Arabic Bible. I wonder if the Arab Christians, when translating the original Bibles in Hebrew or Aramaic into Arabic, had used the tetragram YHWH or Elohim, what would the outcome have been? Just a thought.

  19. Flag of Truth says:

    @ adam

    I certainly do not agree that prophet Muhammad (pbuh) [knew about] the word Allah from the Arab Christians. My justification is based on one thing that is the Quran. In order to determine whether Muhammad brought a new religion or it is truly from Allah, we must look at the contents of the Quran. Let us play a game of dare. I dare you to point out a single defection in terms of content in the Quran. You can find scientific facts to everything that mankind needs to live in this life and the here after.

    And I would like to add one important fact. Muhammad (pbuh) cannot read nor write but Allah with all His wisdom and knowledge revealed verses of Quran to Muhammad.

    I believe that the truth can be found from studying and thinking. The rest I leave it to Allah.

    • Adam says:

      @ FoT,

      Well, there are many websites on the scientific claims of the Quran such as at: http://www.islamreligion.com/category/33/ and there are also some refuting such claims such as at: http://www.answering-islam.org/Science/index.html. It is up to readers to ponder on the claims and rebuttals made.

      As for the revealed verses to your Prophet, I have just one question. How were all the verses revealed regarding all the prophets of Judaism as well those of Jesus as in the Old and New Testaments of Christianity? Did the angel Gabriel reveal all those verses or did your Prophet get those from the Christians? I have read that some relatives of your Prophet were Christians.

      Yes, I am still studying and hope to find some higher “truth”.

      • Flag of Truth says:

        @ Adam

        If one wants to have better understanding of the history and connection between Islam, Judaism and Christianity, one should understand that they all came from Allah. Throughout the history of mankind, God sent to mankind prophets and messengers to continuously remind them about the righteous path. When one prophet dies, then after some time mankind will eventually forget about his teachings and will divert from Allah and another messenger has to be sent again to remind mankind about what is right and wrong.

        When Moses died then Allah sent Jesus of Nazareth to the people of Jerusalem and after they finally embraced him they began to divert from his teachings. Jesus died without leaving a proper record of his teachings and what is inside the Bible today are the works of his disciples and ordinary human beings that were canonized by the church. How can this be? The Gospel was rewritten again more than 100 years after Jesus’s death.

        And this will eventually lead us to why the Quran was revealed to Muhammad (pbuh) in the first place. The Gospel has been rewritten again and later known to be the Bible which is a combination between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Sorry if this offends people, but it was beyond repair. Allah in His wisdom found that there was a need to send another messenger (which is the last one) and decided to reveal the Quran to Muhammad, an orphaned and illiterate person.

        • Adam says:

          @ FoT,

          Firstly, if you understand that Islam, Judaism and Christianity all come from Allah, why are you so against certain Christians using the word?

          Secondly, it has been widely discussed and debated in many forums on whether the Bible or the Quran has been corrupted. One such discussion is at http://www.answering-islam.org/Walid/corruption.html [There are also Christian websites explaining] the issues pertaining to the Bible at http://answering-islam.org/Bible/

          Incidentally, there are many similarities as well as differences between the Bible and Quran narratives as listed down at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_narratives_and_the_Quran I would like to list down the common things the Bible and Quran have said about Jesus as follows:

          Made the dead to live
          Is the Messiah (the Christ)
          Healed the blind and lepers
          Filled with the Holy Spirit
          Is alive in heaven now

          With Jesus having such extraordinary credentials, Muslims should take another good look at the role Jesus plays in the grand scheme of things.

          • Flag of Truth says:

            @ Adam

            I am always waiting for someone like you to ask me this question :) . Why I am opposed [to] Christians using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to their God?

            It is because I care. I want everyone to know the truth, not only know but accept the truth, that Allah is one and only. It is important to note the reason Allah revealed the Quran to Muhammad. Of course, it will only add to confusion (the revelation of the Quran) IF the Gospel and Taurah are always in its original version. BUT the truth is these two books have been diverted far from the original version.

            We are here for only a short time. No one will live forever and one day we will all die and we will be brought in front of our Creator.. what will we say to him? That even though we know the truth, we did not dare to embrace it?

          • Adam says:

            @ FoT,

            I guess there will be many more opportunities for people to ask you that question in the years ahead. The Herald “Allah” appeal has not been settled as yet and is left hanging. The other 2 similar SIB and Jill Ireland cases have been postponed yet again and are waiting for new hearing dates. Mind you, these cases initiated in 2008, were even earlier than the Herald case. To me, it is much more than just about the use of a word.

            As for your contention that the Torah and Bible have been “diverted far from the original versions”, please refer to my last comment in the other Nut Graph article at: http://www.thenutgraph.com/allah-prs-failure/#comment-26657

            Yes, our days on earth are indeed numbered and we have to free ourselves from all religious dogmas and diligently seek the spiritual truths available to us. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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