I was born on the prairies, where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures. [GERONIMO]
Friday, March 18, 2011
And here comes Hanussani Zakaria to add more fuel
When a group of American Evangelical Christians worked tirelessly to prevent the threatened burning of the Quran by Pastor Terry Jones, of the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida, Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak was quick to praise the Evangelists.
Today we have our equivalent of Pastor Jones.
He is Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria who has warned that the release of the confiscated 35,100 Malay-language bibles could lead to “Malay anger and fearsome consequences.”
“I am scared... everything can happen here. People are very unhappy and everything can happen,” warned Harussani who was “afraid” the community would rise in opposition of the ministry’s decision and create tension.
Harussani stressed that Muslims were not opposed to the use of the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia, but specifically wanted the word “Allah” to be replaced with another term, like “Tuhan”, which also refers to God.
“We are not against the bible but there are state enactments that say they cannot use ‘Allah’. It is haram (forbidden)”, said the controversial Perak Mufti who disregarded the matter’s legal status, and believed that Malay Muslims exclusively owned the word “Allah”.
Harussani is typical of the abhorrent Malay Muslim and there are plenty of them running loose and creating havoc in Malaysia.
Perhaps Harussani should contact and consult some true religious scholars in the middle-east. The word “Allah” did indeed exist in the Arabic Talmud and the other Jewish Holy Scriptures.
Also, the Christians' Arabic Bible at that time used the word “Allah” for GOD. Even today's Christians' Arabic Bibles use the word “Allah” for GOD. Today in the middle-east, Christians sometimes name their kids “Abdallah”. Also there are Christian families with “Abdallah” as the last name.
In today's Arabic Bible, the word “Allah” is used for both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The person who could untangle this mess is Najib.
But he seems reticent to act in this potentially tinderbox situation. He is acting so unlike the image he wanted the whole world to see last September.
At that time, Najib made his maiden speech at the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York, and he stressed on the need to choose moderation over extremism.
“We must, and I repeat, we must urgently reclaim the centre and the moral high ground that has been usurped from us,” said Najib saying it is was time for moderates to reclaim the agenda for peace and pragmatism.
He said we needed to marginalise the extremists, saying a “global movement of the moderates” of all faiths was needed to work together to make this a success.”
Najib said the real issue was not between Muslims and non-Muslims but between the moderates and extremists of all religions, be it Islam, Christianity or Judaism.
He said, “Across all religions, we have inadvertently allowed the ugly voices of the periphery to drown out the many voices of reason and common sense. This is a clear example of what can be achieved when moderates in each faith stand up to the extremists who are trying to hijack the universal values of our religions.”
Harussani brushes aside the religious rights of the other Malaysians: “Already they question the Malay ‘special rights’ in the Constitution. We have never said anything about the other religions... we do not stop them from doing anything. They act as if this country is a Christian country.”
Now that Najib is faced with extremism in his own backyard, he should warn Harussani about Article 11 in our Consitution which guarantees every Malaysian of their right to practice their own religion.
Will Najib show a firm hand to these extremists? Or is firm action something Najib only shows people who oppose his rule like the Hindraf protesters or the people who went on a peaceful demonstration to protest about the Selangor water problems.
Perhaps, like former British Prime minister Tony Blair, Najib too, “does not do religion”?
Harussani has a very low opinion of the Muslims in this country. He was horrified that once the ministry released the Bibles, Muslims would gain easy access to them.
“What guarantee do they have? What guarantee do they have that they (Christians) will not spread it to the Muslims?” he barked.
But why should it bother Harussani if the Muslims did gain access to the Bibles?
If he isn’t already aware, Muslims can downloadcopies of the Malay Bible on the Internet if they so desisred.
Does Harussani think that Malay Muslims have such a fragile grasp of their faith that were they to stumble upon the Holy Bible, they would denounce their own religion and convert to Christianity? Has Harussani no faith in his fellow Muslim?
But more importantly, will Najib act on his famous last words to stamp out extremism?