Sent from a reader:
I write to alert you to the latest development in Malaysia whereby the religious authorities of Selangor (a state closest to the capital) raided the Bible Society and confiscated 300 bibles in Malay and Iban (an indigenous language). Allah is used in Malay and other Malaysian indigenous languages – it has been used for over 100 years, even before Malaysia was formed as a country. This might be due to Arab influence on the local languages when traders came to the Malayan peninsula in the 1300s.
In this country, Allah has been used to refer to God, whereas Tuhan, which the ruling party wants Catholics/Christians to use, is a generic term which is non specific, hence the refusal by the Malay/indigenous language speaking Catholics and Christians to budge.
via Jais has no right to raid Bible Society of Malaysia premises, says council of churches
Today’s raid comes after the editor of Catholic weekly, Herald, Rev Father Lawrence Andrew said that Catholic churches in Selangor would continue to use the word “Allah” in their weekend services in Bahasa Malaysia, which are primarily attended by Sabah and Sarawak folk.
The comments came following a statement from the new director of Jais Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad, who said the state religious authorities would draw up a list of Selangor churches before writing to ask them to comply with the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988.
“We will write to all the churches in Selangor to respect the law that is in force in relation to this,” he was quoted as saying.
The enactment, which was passed by the then Barisan Nasional state government, prohibits non-Muslims in Selangor from using 35 Arabic words and phrases, including “Allah”, “Nabi” (prophet), “Injil” (gospel) and “Insya’Allah” (God willing).
No compulsion in Islam? Sharia brings equality? All Abrahamic faiths worship the same god? Commenter continues:
Father Lawrence, the editor of the Catholic Herald, who has spearheaded the issue in courts, has been accused of treason. This is just ludricrous!
via Herald editor in ‘Allah’ storm accused of treason against Selangor Sultan
Subang Umno chief Datuk Zein Isma Ismail said Lawrence’s recent statement was akin to going against the Selangor Sultan’s decree banning non-Muslims in the state from using the Arabic word.
“This is a penderhakaan (treason) towards the Sultan’s decree and we demand that the related quarter apologise,” Zein was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.
Yesterday, all 22 Selangor Umno divisions reportedly lodged police reports against Father Lawrence Andrew, demanding that the editor of Catholic Church weekly Herald apologise for saying that Catholic churches in the state will continue to use the word “Allah” in their masses.
Prof Tan Sri Dr Abdul Shukor Hussin, the chairman of the National Fatwa Council, also expressed worry that apparent inaction over Andrew’s comments, including the use of the Sedition Act 1948, could see unrest ultimately arising from a challenge of Selangor’s religious edict banning the non-Muslims’ use of the Arabic word for God.
…and UMNO (ruling political party) is going hold protests at all churches in the state of Selangor
via Umno Selangor threatens to protest over use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims
Umno Selangor is threatening to protest at all churches in the state on Sunday unless a senior Catholic priest apologises for insisting that Christians can use the word “Allah”, reported Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia today.
More via Police to act on ‘Allah’ issue if state Islamic department asks, says Zahid Hamidi – Bernama
Police will take action over the “Allah” word issue in Selangor if its Islamic Religious Department (Jais) requests police to intervene in enforcing the ruling on the issue.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) said this was because Islamic religious matters were under the jurisdiction of the state government, and police respected its jurisdiction over the issue.
“All quarters should stop playing up this sensitive issue… those involved should adhere to the decree by the Sultan of Selangor (Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah) and the court order for (non-Muslims) not to use the ‘kalimah Allah’ (in their scriptures),” he told reporters today.
Update: As 50 Muslims protest, 900 Catholics pray for priest
Catholic priest, Father Lawrence Andrew, leads morning mass at the Church of St Anne in Port Klang, Selangor, January 5, 2013. — Picture by Choo Choy May
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