Thursday, January 28, 2010

Muslim overseers blame Christians for Allah row, and my rebuttal

My rebuttal in brown .....

A forum was recently organised for civil servants here by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) which suggested that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government was lax in defending Islam, after the High Court ruling allowing a Catholic weekly to use “Allah” in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

Mohd Aizam Masod, an officer from Jakim’s research department, said the argument that Arab Christians and Jews also used the word “Allah” had no domestic merits given that Malaysia is not an Arabic speaking nation.

[What about Indonesia then which is also a non-Arabic speaking country. So is Mohd Aizam trying to tell us that there are two type of Islam, one the universal and the other, Malaysian Islam?]

“For Christians, this is just a question of translation but for us Muslims, the term Allah is integral to our akidah (faith),” he said, arguing that the usage of “Allah” by non-Muslims can and does confuse Muslims.

[To the Christians, "Allah" is not a translation as it has been used since pre-Islamic period which just means God in its generic sense. As with regards to the Malaysian Muslims being confused, I find this utterly strange. Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak do not appear confused despite the fact that a majority of the population are Christians who worship in BM and use the word "Allah" in their prayers. The same thing applies to The Herald which has been in restricted circulation amongst the churches for 16 years. It is incredible that only now, in the 21st century, that Malaysian Muslims or should I say semenanjung Muslims, start to get confused. Our prime minister, Najib Abdul Razak, received his early education from St John's Institution under the tutorship of the La Salle Brothers; and Rafidah Aziz received her early education from Bukit Nanas Convent under the watchful eyes of the Mother Superior and her nuns. I don't find these two leaders being confused.]

“Imagine if Jesus Christ, which under the Unitarian concept is considered as God to the Christians, be called ‘Allah’, wouldn’t it be confusing? Allah is by definition a description of a singular Muslim God, but non-Muslims usage will pluralise it,” he said.

[This shows how little the semenanjung Muslims know about the Catholic Church. We do not address Jesus Christ as Allah. We invite you to attend one of our masses to see and hear for yourself]

Deputy chief of Syariah Research Department of the Attorney-General’s office, Mahamad Nasir Disa, who spoke on the issue from a legal perspective, agreed with his fellow panellists that the issue was an act of provocation by Christians.

“Often the argument given by them is that to deny the usage is to deny their rights to practise their religion but our argument is that the word ‘Allah’ is not an integral part of their religion as compared to us.

“If that is the case, then we can talk about rights. If not, don’t talk about rights,” he said.

[Your rights, my rights ... for one moment, what about the rights of our East Malaysian brethren? They have been using the word for 400 years and to have it suddenly yanked away lacks empathy on the part of these Muslims]

He said that preventing non-Muslims from using the word “Allah” would ease ethnic tensions.

[Instead of talking about this issue from your home turf in semenanjung, why don't you take a trip to Sabah and Sarawak, stand in front of the native Christians there and tell them in the face that they are forbidden to use the word "Allah"].

In his remarks, Mohd Aizam also used alleged “historical facts” to say that Christians had tried to convert Muslims in the region since the colonial days by translating their bibles into local languages.

[If the Catholic Church wanted to convert Muslims to be Christians, many of the Muslim leaders in the country would have become easy target when they were schooling in missionary schools and convents. We have what we call a "captive" market but I am sure our prime minister and the former minister of MITI can vouch that no such thing took place at all. Mod Aizam, you are suffering from a paranoia and stereo-typing the Christians. You said it - "colonial days". We are now living as a free nation and we follow the laws of the land].

But Zamihan went as far as suggesting that a repeat of the May 13 racial riots was possible if the Christians, which to him practised extremism in the matter, did not back down.

["Extremism" is subjective. It is all up to the individual to interpret one's intention. If you want to interpret that going to court to protect our rights is "extremism" and fire-bombing a church is not, then what is there for us to say?]

“Who knows, there might be a Feb 13?” said Zamihan.

[Either your are a "Nostradamus" in the making or you are going to be a party to it?]

[Source : The Malaysian Insider]

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