APAKAH kerana orang Melayu suka filem hantu membuatkan ramai pemimpin-pemimpin Melayu atau orang-orang yang mengaku mewakili umat Islam di Malaysia menggunakan taktik menakutkan-nakutkan masyarakat Melayu Islam dengan menjadikan masyarakat bukan Islam sebagai “hantu” atau “bogey” yang akan menghancurkan umat Islam di Malaysia? Begitu tak masuk akalnya “plot” cerita rekaan mereka dan betapa “over-acting”nya lakonan pemimpin-pemimpin yang nak sangat tunjuk mereka itu hero orang Melayu Islam.
Maka, mereka sebagai hero kononnya hendak melindungi akidah orang Melayu Islam dari serangan orang Kristian yang mahu menggunakan “Allah” untuk ibadat mereka. Bukan itu sahaja. Mereka juga cuba melarang orang Islam dari menyambut perayaan tahun baru kerana kononnya perayaan tahun baru itu satu amalan Yahudi yang bertujuan untuk melemahkan akidah umat Islam di Malaysia. Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim) pun telah mengeluarkan panduan pada umat Islam di Malaysia, mengarahkan orang Islam supaya jangan sama-sama merayakan perayaan sahabat mereka yang mempunyai kepercayaan agama lain. Alasan sama diberikan. Menurut mereka, perayaan-perayaan ini bertentangan dengan akidah Islam dan hukum syarak, dan “bercanggah dengan pembinaan akhlak dan budaya masyarakat Islam”.
Sentimen begini semakin hari semakin menebal di Malaysia. Mengapa sesetengah ulama, akademik, jabatan agama serta ahli politik memainkan sentimen ini? Apakah dengan menakutkan umat Islam betapa Islam itu terancam dan patut ditegakkan sebagai agama yang utama di Malaysia, memberi mereka lesen untuk menindas hak orang lain, sehinggakan Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (Jais) boleh menyerbu Persatuan Bible Malaysia, merampas lebih 300 naskah-naskah Bible, dan menggunakan pihak polis untuk menahan orang bukan Islam?
Persoalannya, benarkah orang-orang dan perayaan bukan Islam menggugat Islam di Malaysia? Dan apakah patut pemimpin Islam melakukan kekerasan dan diskriminasi terhadap orang bukan Islam sepertimana yang dilakukan oleh Jais terhadap Persatuan Bible Malaysia minggu lalu?
Allah Tuhan semua umat manusia
Dalam suasana masyarakat majmuk yang aman damai, tidak ada sebab pemimpin dan umat Islam hendak bermusuhan dengan orang bukan Islam.
Al-Qur’an Surah Yunus 10:99 menyatakan: “Dan (bukanlah tanggungjawabmu wahai Muhammad menjadikan seluruh umat manusia beriman), jika Tuhanmu menghendaki nescaya berimanlah sekalian manusia yang ada di bumi. Maka patutkah engkau pula hendak memaksa manusia supaya mereka menjadi orang-orang yang beriman?”
Hidayah keimanan itu urusan Allah swt semata-mata dan manusia tidak punya kuasa untuk memaksa atau menghukum orang yang menganuti agama lain. Allah sendiri mengakui DiriNya sebagai Rabbul Alamin iaini Tuhan pada sekelian alam, yang pastinya merangkumi orang Islam dan penganut-penganut agama lain juga.
Dalam Al-Qur’an Surat Al-Baqarah 2:62 juga, Allah berfirman bahawa, “Sesungguhnya orang-orang yang beriman, dan orang-orang Yahudi dan orang-orang Nasora (Nasrani/Kristian), dan orang-orang Saabien sesiapa di antara mereka itu beriman kepada Allah dan (beriman kepada) hari akhirat serta beramal soleh, maka bagi mereka pahala balasannya di sisi Tuhan mereka, dan tidak ada kebimbangan (dari berlakunya kejadian yang tidak baik) kepada mereka, dan mereka pula tidak akan berdukacita.”
Justeru, jika al-Qur’an sendiri mengiktiraf hak kewujudan agama-agama lain, mengapa ulama Islam Malaysia melarang kita untuk mengakui kewujudan mereka? Bahkan, melarang umat Islam untuk menunjuk penghormatan kepada umat bukan Islam bagaikan mereka itu musuh kepada orang Islam.
Mengakui dan mengiktiraf keberadaan agama selain agama anutan kita bukan bererti mengimani agama lain itu. Jika ada pemimpin agama Islam yang berfikiran sempit sedemikian, maka umat Islam dan rakyat biasa berhak untuk menolaknya.
Budaya tempatan sesuai dengan Islam
Sejak merdeka, rakyat Malaysia berbilang kaum dan agama telah sama-sama meraikan Hari Raya, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Deepavali dan Krismas. Dan sejak berabad lagi, orang bukan Islam telahpun menggunakan “Allah” dalam ibadat mereka.
Malah mungkin Malaysia satu-satunya negara yang meraikan Kongsi Raya dan Deepa Raya dan mempunyai rumah ibadat pelbagai agama bersebelahan satu sama yang lain. Pemimpin-pemimpin negara dan rakyat dari pelbagai agama sering membuat rumah terbuka. Sudah menjadi budaya bagi rakyat saling meraikan dan mengucapkan selamat menyambut perayaan disertai dengan makan minum dan berbual mesra. Tradisi ini patut dibanggakan dan dikekalkan kerana ia bukti rakyat berbilang agama boleh hidup rukun dan saling menghormati.
Kalau dalam Islam, tradisi ini dikatakan sebagai “urf”. Urf adalah adat kebiasaan tempatan yang mana sekiranya baik dan tidak membawa mudarat, boleh diterima sebagai sesuatu yang baik dalam Islam. Malah, mengikut ustaz Wan Ji At-ta’aduddi, memang tidak haram memberi ucapan selamat menyambut perayaan orang bukan Islam.
Ramai orang Islam juga tahu kisah Sayidina Umar yang bersembahyang di tangga gereja di kota Konstantinopel. Apabila ditanya oleh paderi mengapa beliau tidak mahu sembahyang di dalam ruang gereja, Umar menjawab bahawa dia mahu mengelak dari umat Islam yang fanatik nanti mahu mengambilalih gereja kerana beliau telah bersembahyang di dalamnya.
Bayangkan, jika ulama Islam di Malaysia khuatir bahawa mengucapkan Selamat Hari Krismas itu bermakna orang Islam mengiktiraf dan mengakui kebenaran agama Kristian, maka bagaimana dengan Sayidina Umar yang melawat dan malah sembahyang di gereja? Tindakan Umar itu menunjukkan beliau mengiktiraf dan mengakui kedududukan gereja malah prihatin agar jangan sampai orang Islam mencerobohinya.
Apa yang Malaysia perlukan
Dalam keadaan politik di Malaysia di mana agama Islam sering digunapakai sebagai alasan untuk mengancam hak-hak orang bukan Islam, Malaysia memerlukan tokoh-tokoh agama dan ahli-ahli politik yang menyebarkan pesanan kedamaian. Kita memerlukan pemimpin yang punya prinsip dan kefahaman mendalam tentang keadilan sosial dan yang akan sentiasa konsisten dengan prinsip-prinsip keadilan, kesetaraan gender dan hak asasi manusia.
Di negara lain ramai tokoh-tokoh seperti ini. Contohnya, Gus Dur atau Abdur Rahman Wahid, mantan presiden Indonesia yang juga merupakan ulama besar. Gus Dur pernah menyatakan, “Tidak penting apapun agama atau sukumu. Kalau kamu boleh melakukan sesuatu yang baik untuk semua orang, orang tidak akan mempersoalkan apa agamamu.”
Siapa yang tak kenal dan hormati Nelson Mandela? Perjuangan dan nilai-nilai baik yang beliau anjurkan disanjungi oleh umat dunia, tanpa mengira agama.
Di kalangan tokoh agama dunia pula, Pope Katolik yang baru, Pope Francis, merupakan tokoh yang semakin popular. Beliau bukan sekadar beri ceramah dari mimbar, tetapi beliau menunjukkan sendiri dengan perbuatannya yang beliau prihatin dan kasih pada orang-orang yang terpinggir. Beliau memeluk serta mencium orang-orang miskin dan orang yang berpenyakit, beliau merendahkan diri dengan mencuci kaki orang-orang biasa malah termasuk remaja nakal dan juga kaki orang Islam! Pope Francis juga mengkritik sistem kapitalisma yang menindas dan enggan menggunakan kenderaan dan pakaian mewah seperti yang biasa digunakan oleh pope-pope sebelumnya.
Pope Francis bukan saja popular di kalangan penganut Kristian, tetapi dipuji, dihormati dan disukai juga oleh penganut-penganut agama lain termasuklah orang-orang Islam dan juga orang-orang atheis. Mungkin tidak semua pendirian Pope Francis kita persetujui, akan tetapi kepimpinan beliau telah memberi harapan pada umat manusia.
Tetapi di Malaysia, yang kita lihat ialah sesetengah tokoh agama dan ahli politik Islam lebih suka bermain politik dan mahu menunjukkan kuasa dari mahu menegakkan keadilan dan membawa mesej perdamaian antara kaum dan agama. Tokoh-tokoh agama Islam yang sepatutnya menyeru ke arah perdamaian antara agama pula yang malah mengapi-apikan semangat kebencian dan permusuhan dengan penganut agama lain.
Larangan untuk mengucapkan selamat terhadap perayaan-perayaan keagamaan lain serta rampasan Bible berbahasa Melayu dan Iban tidak akan membuatkan imej Islam menjadi mulia atau membuatkan orang bukan Islam lebih mencintai dan menghormati Islam.
Jika keangkuhan penguasa-penguasa agama berterusan, janganlah terkejut apabila suatu hari nanti orang-orang Islam pula semakin menolak institusi agama. Sejarah itu telah dilalui oleh agama Kristian di Eropah yang mana rakyatnya memberontak dan menolak kuasa gereja apabila paderi-paderi, penguasa serta institusi gereja terlalu angkuh dengan kekuasaan dan menindas rakyat.
Islam bukan milik tokoh agama saja
Salah satu prinsip Islam yang baik ialah setiap orang digalakkan mempunyai hubungan terus dengan Al-Qur’an dan juga Tuhan tanpa memerlukan orang tengah seperti ulama, imam atau paderi. Tradisi Islam malah menunjukkan umat Islam sentiasa dituntut agar menjadi agen kebenaran yang harus membetulkan pemimpin politik dan agama, malah imam sembahyang pun, jika mereka berbuat silap dan salah.
Islam agama praktikal yang menerima hakikat bahawa pemimpin juga manusia biasa yang tidak lari dari lupa, kesalahfahaman, kepentingan diri, kepentingan politik dan sebagainya. Justeru perlunya masyarakat umum menjadi agen aktif dalam menentukan hala tuju agama dan masyarakat dalam mencapai kesejahteraan dan keadilan di Malaysia.
Jika anda sebagai orang Islam akui bahawa kedamaian, keharmonian, keadilan, kesetaraan dan sikap saling menghormati antara penganut agama berlainan adalah nilai kebanggaan Islam, maka buktikanlah yang anda sendiri memang mendukung nilai-nilai itu. Jadi, bila ada orang Islam sendiri, termasuklah tokoh agama yang menghasut ke arah kekerasan atau melakukan tindakan yang bertentangan dengan nilai-nilai Islam yang baik, maka seharusnya anda menolaknya kerana mereka telah mencemarkan imej agama anda.
Norhayati Kaprawi adalah seorang aktivis wanita dan juga pembuat filem.
Sunna Sutta says
A very well-written article!
I most certainly agree with the writer’s contention that for Muslims, “memang tidak haram memberi ucapan selamat menyambut perayaan orang bukan Islam”. Similarly, it is not wrong for non-Muslims to use any one of the 35 banned Arabic words as long as the purpose is not to proselytize non-Islamic religions to Muslims.
It seems that there are also many other unfounded sensitivities, for example certain Muslims do not approve of non-Muslims greeting them with “Assalamualaikum” when all it means is, “May peace be upon you!”
Nevertheless, in the interest of The Nut Graph, the picture of the al-Kitab containing that forbidden ‘A’ word should perhaps be removed as it may be used by fanatics to accuse TNG of attempting to propagate a non-Islamic religion to Muslims in a public forum.
Although the article is published in The Nut Graph, it is written by a Muslim writer who I presume, has put in the photo of the Alkitab to compare with the other Bible versions. It is used not to propagate but to prove a point.
And this is a virtual public forum and people from all over the world could write their comments here. Maybe, West Malaysians could not use the word and East Malaysians could as with the rest of the world. Or perhaps, we should check where the server is located before we decide to comment or not. This is getting a bit ridiculous, don’t you think so?
Sunna Sutta says
@Adam, I was merely pointing out that Perkasa-like fanatics may grab at every little excuse to agitate that the Nut Graph is attempting to proselytize a non-Muslim faith among Muslims by displaying actual verses from the al-Kitab containing that banned A-word. You have no idea how low some of these people will go, for example an Islamic magazine group sent two Muslim spies into a Catholic Church to attend mass back in 2009 to investigate whether the Church was trying to convert Muslims to the Christian faith. The Church was outraged that the two men consumed the Holy Communion and spat it out, a picture of which was published in the report of the two spies in the said magazine. All media, virtual or otherwise, is actively monitored by these extremist vigilante groups. My only point is: Better be safe than sorry!
Irene Chin says
Puan Sri,Datin, Puan,
Terima kasih atas tulisan Puan Sri, Datin, Puan. Saya bersykhor yang terdapat lagi seorang dengan minda terbuka. Tetapi kemana Puan Sri, Datin, Puan selama ini, tak memberi komen terhadap kriuhan Orang- orang Islam termasuk orang- orang kenamaan dan pemimpin-pemimpin negara atas penghinaan dan penghasutan mereka terhadap yang bukan Islam??
Yang paling saya hairankan ialah mereka yang ribut pasal nama allah itu , tiada satu keluhan tentang korrupsi, penyalahgunaan kuasa, dll oleh orang yang kononnya mempertahankan ugama Islam.
Kan baiknya jika terdapat lebih banyak orang Islam yang dapat mempertahankan digniti kemanuasiaan seperti Puan Seri, Datin, Puan.
Sekali lagi, ribuan terima kasih.
Why is nutgraph again pushing for only one view and not the view of the other overwhelming Muslim majority? Why is it so wrong to be truthful, fair, balanced and objective. We know Norhayati has always been selective in her quranic recitation. Here too she is the same. Pretending to show those Muslims who have scholarships in Islam having no basis at all. Nutgraph and pro PR media are then trying to picture the majority Muslims as extremists. This is a sickening agenda.
Though I can agree with some of her stands but the condescending manner always inflames people and provide false support for non Muslims.
Since she is repeating her main contention, I will repeat and summarize some of her [points I find ridiculous]. In all debates I had all over, the word Allah has never been an important part of the Christian faith. This is used here due to translation purposes. It has not been used here for hundreds of years as claimed. This is a false allegation as Christianity was introduced much later and even then to ethnic groups who don’t use BM. The pro Christians in the course of debate then had to amend the sources to fabricate its used for hundred of years as in their attempt in Wikipedia but even then got caught with various historical nonsense misalignment.
Two in peninsular all this while when we refer to Allah all my non Muslims friends without exception know the meaning of Allah as used in English dictionary ie the muslim god. As Norhayati argued we have an urf even by non Muslims here. It means the world to the Muslims here. If you want to change the meaning justify them but not based on fabricated history. Not by suddenly forgetting our history and tradition. Not by suddenly pretending you believe in the malay language. Not bu suddenly following arabic language and culture. Not by suddenly forgetting our encounter from school days. Highly hypocritical. Pretending to forget all this. Denying all the time this view is held by Muslims is an overwhelming view. Even PAS shares this though their liberals often get quoted by non Muslims and left wing media.. Survey after survey showed this but they don’t […] care.
And this is the problem. nutgraph and the left wing media try to ridicule at every instance the feelings and stand of the majority. Portraying time and again their intolerance and stupidity. They selectively used Muslim liberals to push their case. Sungguh kurang ajar. The more they push the more resentment it becomes. And worse they think they are the only one who has moral ground. They portray that they are the one who is peace loving and tolerant whilst always pushing and pushing to a point of no return. Their approach is truly disgusting and I again [criticise] this writer. […]
And another thing. Sister in Islam does not represent the whole of Islam. Not even a minuscule [portion]? Rather than questioning others ask yourself siapa yang mencemar Islam. Do Muslims here see you as a proponent of Islam? Why? We all know the answer.
Masalahnya, minda yang tertutup tidak akan nampak hipokrisi diri sendiri. Saya tidak dapat nak setuju dengan pendapat anda, Ellese. Adakah anda seorang sahaja yang memahami ajaran agama Islam? Penulisan Norhayati mengajak semua agar menggunakan akal untuk berfikir. Hal nama ‘allah’ telah dipolitikkan dan memang amat memalukan sekali.
I admire your courage based on your universal understanding over matters [that] interest [you].
I can’t help but agree with you on the uncalled-for actions undertaken by these Islamic bodies.
But a humble note of reminder.
Berdoalah setiap hari agar kita dan mereka yang kita sayangi diselamatkan dari Fitnah Dajjal Al-Masih.
Looks and thoughts can sometimes be deceiving. Fitnah Dajjal Al-Masih they come hand-in-hand seperti isi dengan kuku.
From my experience many of those who are most supposedly the most vociferous are the greatest hypocrites. Doing so to show others that they are holier than thous.
Why do these sinners think Allah needed them to defend Him? Misplaced PRIDE.
Terima kasih hallo. Seperti yang saya katakan sebahagiannya boleh dipersetujui. Tetapi ini bukan kali pertama Norhayati menulis. Setiap kali Norhayati menulis beliau akan pasti mengatakan bahawa ulama’ sebagai bodoh dan beliau betul. Tanpa “exception” di setiap artikel beliau baru2 ini. Beliau tahu ulama’ mempunyai alasan fiqh. Dari berhujah terus berdasarkan fiqh, beliau terus menepikannya. Ini amat salah. Seperti juga isu Allah. Lebih memburukkan ialah penggunaan kaedah fiqh secara separuh dan selektif. Misalnya kalau menepati kehendaknya maka Norhayati mengatakan ada urf. Tetapi jika tidak menyukainya tiada urf. Untuk isu Allah bukan sahaja ada urf tetapi “arguably” suatu ijma pun ada. Bukan kah ijma lebih tinggi. Ini lah akibat kejumudan ilmu.
eng boon says
Hi ellese, if you have a beef against the writer, then like the writer, extract the relevant paragraphs from the Quran which support your views and set it out here. Don’t just name call and label. Whenever in doubt, go to the source. I, for one, would be highly interested in seeing the relevant paragraphs. Thanks!
Dear Eng Boon,
Thank you but I did give an example. Probably I’ll explain deeper. If you read properly, she argued that Muslims should respect the urf of celebrating other religions. Harmony and religious tolerance must be shown in our action. Urf essentially means tradition or custom and a recognised form of a source of fiqh or Islamic ruling. Thus she’s saying we must or should abide by as we can find jurisprudential basis for it.
I don’t mind this argument but the selective application by her is the problem. If she likes it she uses urf but if she doesn’t she gives one hundred and one excuses. Let me elaborate.
Now the practice of using Allah exclusively has been prominent and widespread in the peninsula. This tradition can even be traced back to kanun Melaka. Even non-Muslim friends know this. From school until the issue became politicised, whenever we mention Allah it means the Muslim god just as defined in the English language. It doesn’t mean non-Muslims cannot utter it but the meaning refers to elements of Islamic religion. It’s not only Allah but includes such words as shariah, kaabah, solat etc etc. We have lived harmoniously and peacefully for as long as we can remember. In other words urf has existed for a long time. Every jurisprudential basis of the urf exists.
Now this is her problem. Selectivity. She simply argues from one point of view. What we have is a conflicting practice by a minority against a much longer practice of a majority. (We’ve debated here long ago). If she wants to argue urf she must recognise both sides. That’s been my beef with her in a number of articles.
You must argue with parity. Be fair and don’t be selective. How she deals with contrarian views is to disregard, side step it, gloss over and dismiss it. Why can’t we be honest and have a dialectic discourse? We try to understand each other to achieve a peaceful solution. Taking the dismissive approach will not achieve a peaceful, amicable solution.
I really marvel at the writer for coming up with yet another jewel of an article on the current controversial issue plaguing our nation. As a film producer, I am sure she has travelled all over and has experienced the various cultures and traditions of communities around the world. We should therefore consider her views as encompassing and inclusive of the aspirations and feelings of all people. She is a bridge-builder and when she sees her own community putting up dividing walls, she has to pen her thoughts and even do something about it. As an active member of SIS, she has also been doing her part in educating their womenfolk about their rights. Nowadays, women have to work to support the family in addition to their usual duties in caring for their children and husbands, too. To me, women are “more equal” than men. And considering that women are about half the population, they are indeed a force to be reckoned with. Sorry, I digress.
So, who is tarnishing the image of Islam? Looking at the few hot issues, I dare say, it is self-inflicted. On the Allah issue, it is such a clear-cut case that it boggles the mind that some people are still so adamant about claiming exclusivity of the word. Firstly, any word in whatever language or written script cannot be banned. Also, if any word has been in wide use, no one can claim it. Further, the Christians in the Nusantara have been using the word in their Alkitab since their first translation in 1629. The history of the Alkitab can be read at: http://sejarah.co/sejarah/indonesia.htm with photo shots of the various versions available. They have versions in Arabic Jawi script as well as in Baba Malay published in 1913. With such records, I just cannot imagine how anyone, including the COA judges, can state that the word Allah has never been an important part of the Christian faith. Someone has even accused the Christians of falsifying their records just because he has misread certain references in Wikipedia.
And just because one has not, all his/her life, come across Christians using the word, does not mean the word has never been used. For 60 years of my life, I personally did not know that the Malay-speaking Christians had been using the word until the issue came up. Since searching on the subject, I realised how ignorant I was. On why the word was used, we have to search for the origins and development of the Malay language. In Wikipedia on the Malay language at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malay_language it is stated that “Malay historical linguists agree on the likelihood of the Malay homeland being in western Borneo. However, the oldest inscriptions known in Malay, Kedukan Bukit Inscription, dating from the end of the 7th century AD, were found on the banks of the River Tatang, a tributary of the River Musi, South Sumatra.” So, our East Malaysians could have first claim to the language. What a revelation. Anyway, Indonesia has adopted the Malay language as their national language and renamed it Bahasa Indonesia, while still recognising Bahasa Melayu as a local dialect in Sumatra.
The Malay language had Sanskrit/Hindu origins during the Srivijayan period and subsequently, had Arabic influence with the arrival of Arab traders to the region. That was when the written Pallava/Kawi script was changed to the Arabic Jawi script which was later also adapted to Latin. Brunei has adopted both Jawi and Latin scripts for their national language while Malaysia is using the Latin script for official communication but Jawi is still being used mainly for religious texts. As reported recently, Malacca is trying to encourage the wider use of Jawi.
So, the use of the word was definitely influenced by the Arabic language and it was not only yesterday that the Christians decided to use the word. It is silly to think that they have purposely used the word to attempt converting Muslims. It is like saying Christians are calling their God by a wrong name just to get converts. No religion would do that.
Therefore, Muslims have no reason whatsoever to ban the Christians from using the word. By forcing a ban, the authorities have created a situation whereby Christians have no choice but to defend their rights and other Non-Muslims have taken their side. Even Muslims, especially from around the world have also spoken negatively of the ban. This has caused so much disrepute to the country as well as to the religion; all for the use of a word. How sad and how tragic.
If I’m not mistaken, we have had this debate before. If not, please tell me. I’m restating the position as is. The issue we have now is the use of Allah by Christians in Sabah and Sarawak. It is not Christians in the peninsula. The Christians who are from peninsular Malaysia use the English Bible in the main. Almost all don’t use Malay as their language.
So the argument of the Bible of the 16th century is irrelevant and a red herring. Christianity was introduced to Sabah and Sarawak much much later. Basel introduced it in 1880 to the Hakkas, and it is inconceivable they used the BM bible. Brooks introduced Christianity in Sarawak in the 19th century. Proselytisation amongst indigenous peoples was done by SIB only in the 1920s and 30s. Translation exercise undertaken by SIB was done circa 1950s. The recent argument that Spain introduced Christianity in Sabah pre-1880 doesn’t make sense and contradicts with so many historical facts. Spain has no recorded de jure control pre-1880. Christianity propagated by Spain can’t even penetrate southern Philippines where until now it is still a strong Muslim area. It’s unfathomable that the Spanish even speak Bahasa what more preached [in the language]. The amendments to Wikipedia with unsubstantiated references was a feeble attempt to mislead. (I’ve left it as is to allow people to evaluate themselves).
In the peninsular, the Orang Asli were introduced to Christianity in the 1930s. Before the Chinese and Indians (which form the [majority of] present Christians), it was Tanah Melayu where Islamic law was the law of the land. (See case law during British era recognising this. Of course, under occupied territory the penjajah has different form of control and laws.) At that time, all Malays were Muslims save maybe an extremely negligible portion.
Thus in whatever instance, there is no proof there is long-held and widespread practice of Christians using Allah for hundreds of years. It’s a recent 20th century phenomenon. But in the peninsular the widespread practice that Allah is used to refer exclusively to the Muslim God is undeniable. It has a longer history since the Malacca empire. To deny this is dishonest.
So once again, in all debates without exception, Allah has never been an article of faith to the Christians. It’s been a translation issue and the current translation conflicts with the prevailing practice of the overwhelming majority. If you do not recognise this, there is no reason for Muslims even to recognise the short historical basis of the Christians on this issue. The use of a red herring argument of the Al Kitab being used even before Christianity was introduced to those facing this issue is dishonest and deceitful.
Well, it has been exactly one year ago that we have had that long series of exchanges on the same subject under the article at http://www.thenutgraph.com/allah-issue-the-battle-over-bahasa/ Over 200 comments have been posted for that article. Perhaps, we could continue our exchange over here.
In addition to the East Malaysian Malay-speaking Christians using the word, the Babas in the Peninsular have also been using the word for generations. They have their own Alkitab version printed in 1913. Details of this version are available at http://www.sabda.org/sejarah/sejarah/ver_melayu_baba.htm
It is relevant and good to know when the Christians have started to use the word and how it has spread throughout the region. From the link I have posted in my earlier comment, most translations had been done by the Dutch when they were in control of Indonesia (Batavia). The Alkitab would have been introduced to Sarawak through Kalimantan. According to Wikipedia on Christianity in Indonesia, missionaries were into Kalimantan from early 19th century.
On Sabah, I still maintain that Spanish missionaries had introduced Christianity to Sabah earlier than the British. The following 2 webpages confirm it. http://www.kkdiocese.net/about/roots-mission.cnt and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianity_in_Malaysia You must know that the Spanish and Portuguese were of the Catholic faith while British and Dutch were of the Protestant faith. That is why the majority of Kadazans are Roman Catholics and they have their own language Bible.
So, say what you will, the Malay/Iban/Baba speaking Christians have been using their respective Holy Books for generations well before Malaya/Malaysia came into being. And to say that Allah has never been an article of faith to these Christians is not only an insult to them but it also reflects the lack of objectivity that you have, given that you are obviously a highly educated person.
The ban of the word or any other word for that matter is untenable, impractical and cannot be implemented without serious repercussions. Looking at the history of the ban from the 1980’s, there has been no problems when the ban has not been implemented. But, once they try to impose the ban by confiscating thousands of the Malay Bibles, issues begin to fester. The fact that the issue could not be put to rest for so many years indicates the impossibility of the ban, resulting in so many catch-22 situations. The sad part is that the issue has brought out the worst of human nature. You just have to refer to the comments made by people in the various news forums; the demonstrations organised by the NGO’s; the conflicting statements made by politicians; the flimsy COA judgement; the controversial raid by Jais and recently, the involvement of Royalty. When will people realise the futility of such a ban?
What has happened to my response to Ellese?
I had penned a response to you earlier but for some reasons, it was not published. The Editor may have felt that I am only repeating myself in responding to your repetitive statements about Christians having mistranslated the word god in their Alkitab and they being dishonest and deceitful in declaring their history in this region.
Anyway, the Christians have given all their reasons for using the word at: http://www.krisispraxis.com/archives/2013/01/collated-resources-christians-from-pre-islam-arab-christians-to-bumiputera-christians-have-the-right-to-use-allah/ and you should substantiate your claims of deceit by the Christians instead of making fleeting statements.
My consistent view is that banning the word is untenable and any ban enforced such as the recent raid and confiscation of 300 over copies of the Alkitab by Jais, would only result in the image of Islam being tarnished. When you institute unjust laws and regulations, you should expect all sorts of unfavorable repercussions which would snowball into a vicious cycle like what is happening now with the Allah posters in Penang. There is only one viable solution to the issue. Just rescind the ban and all negative comments will cease. The choice is for the Federal government to make.
Sunna Sutta says
I believe that TNG usually has good reasons not to publish certain comments and perhaps your conjecture as to why your earlier comments were not published is quite likely.
I recently had a rather interesting experience with TNG. What happened was as follows. I usually tick the box to request for email notification from TNG to alert me on any replies to my comments. There was one instance in another column when I received notification from TNG that someone had replied to my comment. I was all riled up when I read the said user’s comment embedded in the said email notification. Far from engaging me in intelligent discourse, the said user’s reply to me was full of derogatory, below-the-belt personal attacks on me.
I immediately went into the relevant column of the TNG with the intention of sounding out to both the said user and TNG of my great displeasure over the unkind and disparaging remarks on my integrity. To my surprise, I could not locate the said user’s comment as per the email notification from TNG. I continued searching for the next three days but to no avail. I concluded that TNG had probably made an error in the email notification to me and had all along not intended to publish the said user’s denigratory remarks.
Adam’s comments have been published. Thank you for being patient.
@ Sunna Sutta,
Yes, TNG Editors have good reasons not to publish comments which are deemed sensitive or offensive in nature. They do not normally censor out-of-topic comments but they do truncate comments which resort to sexist, racist or ad hominem attacks. Sometimes, they may take a couple of days to vet through the comments before publishing them because they do not have any full time editors due to lack of financial support. Most of the writers here are on purely voluntary basis.
Perhaps, we should consider contributing to their noble efforts in still maintaining this website.
I think I know what has happened in your interesting experience. When one responds to a comment, that comment is only visible to the responder with a note that it is awaiting moderation. But the auto-email notification is generated even when the comment has not been moderated yet. Hence what you had received was the un-moderated response. It is good to receive the un-moderated responses as you could prepare your own responses in advance and you also get to read the “raw” replies. I would henceforth tick that small box.
Sunna Sutta says
In all instances, save one, the email notifications that arrive in my mailbox consist of only moderated comments as they bear the tell-tale signs of prior editing and deleting. In that one particular case that apparently slipped through the net (in which I received the aforementioned comment that was full of disparaging personal attacks on my integrity), I believe that the moderator intended to hit the ‘delete’ key but somehow pressed the ‘publish’ key instead which subsequently launched the automatic email notification to me. The said user’s comment was then probably deleted but the notification could not be rescinded. It is quite unlikely that you will get the opportunity to share my rare but unfortunate experience by ticking the little box.
Nevertheless, I concur with you that TNG’s moderation practice is the best. News portals like CNN do not employ moderators at all with the result that discussion threads often degenerate into a free-for-all exchange of vulgar and obscene insults that have nothing at all to do with the topic under discussion. Cyber bullies and trolls easily get around CNN’s auto obscene word filter by inserting spaces into four letter words, adding extra consonants or using special characters that resemble vowels.
The only thing that surprises me is TNG sometimes allows certain users to hurl curse words and even the four-lettered c-word on its own writers. I can think of a number of possible reasons why TNG allows it but I would rather not speculate.
Flag of Truth says
No. :). Malaysia will never remove the ban. Learn to live with it or accept the consequences. I would say that the majority of Muslims are still in their right sense of mind. I would like to remind you that the Malay Muslims chose to let the Chinese govern Penang. The fact is the Malay Muslims outnumbered Penang Chinese by 30000 now and it will still increase. Don’t force something that will spark irreparable affects. 🙂
By the way. How accurate is your source that says Spanish missionaries came to Sabah and Sarawak?.. They were even struggling to put down Muslims resistance up north in Mindanao and Palawan. Get credible sources rather than just picking up any info.
@ Flag of Truth,
How sure are you that the government will never remove the ban which is basically wrong on so many counts? You must be blind not to see the disrepute the ban has caused to the religion, the Judiciary, our Constitution and the nation. If the Federal government insists on maintaining the ban, they are the ones to face the consequences of East Malaysia leaving the federation. Or are you advocating the use of force to keep them as you are the majority and have the military means? [What] kind of mentality [is this] in this modern age.
And what has Penang being potentially to be governed by Muslins to do with the ban? You mean to say that you will not be happy until all the States are governed by Muslims? While people are looking for good governance irrespective of race and religion, you are going after race and religion irrespective of good governance. What kind of outdated mentality is this? […]
As for the Spanish missionary’s presence in Sabah, here is another Wikipedia article in support: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlos_Cuarteron
Flag of Truth says
[…] You can not use any reference to support your argument. Wikipedia is not a reliable source.
And yes, I still believe that the result will still be the same. Actually the court has decided because in the first place this issue doesn’t have solid justifications. Secondly, the court has the responsibility to ensure not just fairness but the outcome of this issue. It will surely violate the rights of the Muslims. We can not control the reaction from Muslims if the court decides on behalf of the church.
So, heed my advice :). Obey the law
Wikipedia is a reasonable source of information with references included for cross-checking. Anyway, here is another non-Wikipedia news reference for you: http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=10211
You only talk about the rights of Muslims. What about the rights of the Christians and the others? While you are trying to deprive them of their rights to use the word, they are not violating your rights to use the same word. And please do not use the same threats of possible violence as a reason to get your way. It is only those who do not have strong points to support their cause, who would resort to that.
TNG has just published yet another article on the same issue. As I say, the issue will not rest until the ban is lifted.
Flag of Truth says
Reasonable source according to who? :). […]
So according to your logic, just ignore the rights of Muslims? Yeah dream on :).
What I wrote is not a threat but it is a reality that we are about to face. You and your kind of people are still in denial :), we can see hatred everywhere now and still want to go on until the situation is beyond control. :).
Christians who are still adamant about this issue can always try :). But the government will never remove the ban :).
You still do not get it. Your rights have not been denied. On the contrary, the rights of the Christians and others have been violated. The hatred and ill-feelings have been perpetuated by those who have imposed the unreasonable and unjustified ban. The word has been used peacefully by the Christians for centuries without any issues. Now, they are being prevented from using the word just because you feel that it might confuse you? It is like banning others from driving because they might contribute to you having accidents. How illogical and unreasonable can [that be]?
Sunna Sutta says
Contrary to the assertions of a certain user, Wikipedia articles are generally reliable and unbiased sources of information. Wikipedia entries can be written, edited and rewritten by the public. Sometimes a Wikipedia entry undergoes a “revert” tug of war ad infinitum, in which an entry can be completed rewritten over and over again from opposite sides of the polarised continuum. A good example was the see-saw ‘kangkung’ battle in Wikipedia in the wake of the PM’s championing of the humble vegetable as the consumers’ food of (cheap) choice. (http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2014/01/16/in-malaysia-spinach-sparks-tussle-on-wikipedia-jeers-on-social-media/)
Of course, it would be good to use supplementary sources that are regarded to be more “academic”.
And why didn’t the Malay Muslims chose to let the Sabahan Christians rule Sabah. We all remember the mud slinging UMNO engaged in during the 80s when the Sabahans voted the BN government back then. And we also remember that Sigar ‘worn’ by Tengku Razaleigh which mysteriously got emblazoned with a cross. We can see the double standards practiced by the media towards even BN non-Malays leaders!. Why was the Finance Ministry taken away from MCA? You want to talk about accpetance, good, go and amend the constitutions of Perak and Selangor so as to enable the appointment of a non-Malay Mentri Besar first.
You are fortunate that your repetitive argument which I have rebutted can be published. Your arguments have been for years rebutted. But for me I have been continuously censored even for giving examples which is deemed offensive to Christians. But when its offensive to Muslims its fine to publish. If you really want to debate fairly, please ask TNG not to censor. If you want so much to win by unfair rules, go ahead lah. You’re bound to meet me elsewhere. If that is a fair forum, I will always invoke how you ‘won’ here by unfair means.
Of course, my main contention that the word cannot be banned is always repeated but I have always included additional information to support my view whereas you doggedly maintain that it is a mistranslation issue. People have been telling you that you are just repeating yourself without any added input but I will patiently respond to you until the unjustified ban is rescinded. And there are so many supporting information being revealed as the issue drags on. Like now, people are questioning the legitimacy of the State laws over Federal laws. The East Malaysians have also woken up and are demanding a re-examination of their 18/20 point agreements.
I find that TNG is one of the fairer online publications in terms of comment censorship. They even go to the extent of correcting spelling and grammatical errors of comments. You have also sung their praises quite a few times. Just because they censor you a couple of times, you are now complaining. I have absolutely no means to ask TNG how to moderate the comments. You are lucky to have most of your comments published as many with personal attacks on the writers should have been censored.
And it is not about winning. It is all about justice and fairness to people. You seem to be only interested in winning an argument at all cost. […]
Untuk memahami Al Qur’an (memetik ayat ayatnya dan memberi komentari) bukan lah semudah menyandarkan kepada terjemahan Al Qur’an sendiri atau pun kitab kitab tafsir yang telah dialih bahasa. Ianya memerlukan banyak ilmu ilmu lain yang bersangkutan. Perkara paling asas semestinya bahasa Arab perlu diketahui dengan mendalam. Orang Islam bernasib baik kerana kitab sucinya masih kekal didalam bahasa asal ianya diturunkan. Tetap ada dikalangan orang Muslim, mereka yang mendalami bahasa Arab dan segala selok belok bahasa itu, walau pun di Malaysia ini. Jika ada perbalahan atau perbezaan masih boleh lagi merujuk kepada yang asal. Tidak saperti kitab Bible (Alkitab) yang mana naskah asalnya telah tiada lagi. Ini bukan kenyataan saya tetapi saya petik dari sarjana Kristian sendiri (rujuk: Rev. David J Fant, Litt.D , General Secretary , New York Bible Society)
Daripada pengalaman saya dengan orang Kristian , saya dapati bila saya pergi ke gereja ayat yang sama ditafsirkan lain oleh gereja yang berbeza. Seolah olah tafsiran itu dibuat ikut selera paderinya sahaja. Adakah di Malaysia ini dikalangan sarjana Kristian yang boleh dianggap pakar (diakui) didalam bahasa Greek, Aramaic atau Hebrew.
Penyakit yang serupa saya dapati didalam blog ini bila ayat ayat al Qur’an di petik dan ditafsir. Penafsiran diberi samada “incomplete”, outright false” atau “misleading”. Saya tidak menyatakan kita jauhi dari membaca kitab terjemahan tetapi adalah baik dan “civilised” jika kita jumpa dengan mereka yang arif mengenai selok belok agama itu sendiri untuk mendapat kepastian. “Common sense” memerlukan kita bertindak begitu.
Orang Islam bernasib baik kerana kitab sucinya masih kekal didalam bahasa asal ianya diturunkan.
Walau pun baik, tetapi itu masih tidak dapat berhentikan pepecahan antara orang Islam yang juga kafir mengkafirkan sesama sendiri seperti diantara Arab Saudi dan Iran, antara Syiah dan Sunnah dan juga golongan Muhammadiah.
Ini menunjukkan walau pun bahasa asal dikekalkan, ia tidak dapat menghalang perpecahan di kalangan orang Islam. Ini bermakna, pentafsiran juga ada perbezaan.