Friday, April 25, 2008

Hearing On the Use Of "Allah" Today

Today, the Kuala Lumpur High Court will hear the application for Judicial Review over the use of the word Allah by Catholic weekly, the Herald.

The application was filed on March 19 to challenge the decision of the Internal Security Minister (now merged into the Home Ministry) to prohibit publishers of the Herald from using the word "Allah" in its publication.

A publication permit dated Feb 12, 2008 (for the period Jan 1, 2008, to Dec 31, 2008) to the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur; the publisher of the Herald Catholic Weekly stated that "the Publication Permit is subject to Garis Panduan Penerbitan (Publication Guidelines) which prohibits the use of the word Allah in the Herald."

In a statement to the media sent out on Tuesday, Christian Federation of Malaysia executive secretary Rev. Dr Hermen Shastri said Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Rev Datuk Murphy Pakiam will be in the High Court for the hearing.

A team of five lawyers are representing Murphy who in his capacity as Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur is named as the applicant in this action. The lawyers are Porres Royan, Leonard Teoh, Annou Xavier, S.Selvarajah and Derek Fernandez.

The Herald and the Evangelical Church of Borneo (Sidang Injil Borneo or SIB) had also filed another suit challenging a government decision to prohibit importation of Christian educational materials for children containing the word "Allah".

In its lawsuit, SIB argues that Christian use of "Allah" predates Islam, as the word is used for God in the old as well as modern Arabic Bibles and thus not exclusive to the religion of Islam. This suit is pending.

(Source: The Sun)

40 comments:

Wak Segen said...

Ena,
This posting will surely invite comments which can be sensitive or offensive.However taking it from your graceful and moderate stand on all issues,lets hope any debates here will be less fiery than those in MT on the anti-hadith issues sometime back.
..SALAM...

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Wak Segen,

Yes, I am aware that there will be comments that can be inflammatory and offensive to both Muslims and non-Muslims, so I will do the right thing by not publishing such comments.

I do believe that people are free to express themselves but I also believe that there is a limit to, not how much we want to say,but what we need to say.

Sorry, folks, I will have to use my discretion because while I believe that not all criticisms and comments need to be constructive - they cannot be purposely aimed at inciting sentiments. and we know that inflammatory remarks on race and religion cannot lead us anywhere.


Thank You,

tarings said...

I'll just say, what's in a name. Will we Muslims be taking Allah's name for granted if non-Muslims start calling their Divine one the same? I'll just say, Allah's got another ninety nine other names. Do all Muslims able to recite all those names? I certainly couldn't except the first few.

Will it create confusion? Maybe. But it's a Catholic Weekly for crying out loud. Will every Muslims be tempted now to read that weekly, when the Holy Quran is the last thing on their mind? Some researchers maybe. Will it cause contempt for the name of Allah? In the same vein the word Jesus has been said in jest for decades? We Muslims do indulge in such contemptuous things, some too crude to mention.

To them Arabs, it's just another name for God. To Malay Muslims who had known Allah as the only name for God and vice versa, it may create some uneasiness, even anger or worse, fury. But me? I'll just say, what's in a name.

Anonymous said...

Hi Ena,
I am surprised tat this matter has gone to court for a decision when the answer is very obvious.

Many eminent muslim scholars have clearly expressed their view on this matter. It is unwise to defy the obvious.

A muslim is encouraged to seek knowledge. With knowledge, the obvious to this matter is ALLAH is not for Muslims' exclusive use.

I do not wish to put my fellow muslims in negative light but its my duty as a muslim to also seek my fellow muslim to strengthen their "iman" and not be distracted by arguements that the use of ALLAH by non-muslims would cause confusion.

Cheers
Habib RAK

praba ganesan said...

Who should be taking the leadership in this? It is a bit sticky to talk about, which I agree, however not talking about it does not make it go away.

Principle to the issue is the matter of ascendancy. If one one faith has predominance over other faiths, than in logical terms, limiting others from going about their own beliefs is acceptable.

Yet, any nation which persists on allowing one group/section/unit to have hegemony on basic activities like faith, in unlikely to presevere.

So it comes down to leadership. To make moral choices without worrying about political cost.

Malaysia cannot become something quite foreign to every other working democracy and then claim to have full democratic credentials.

francis said...

Is there really any need to litigate this case? The good archbishop must have other hidden agendas up his sleeves. Even the likes of Johnny Cochrane Jr will not win such a case in court.

Ruling in favor of the archbishop will ultimately set a precedance and open up new cans of worm for other litigations to follow. This looks to be the most acidic test yet for islam and the courts.

It will make for very fascinating reading.

Anonymous said...

Salam Kak Ena,

Muslims; irrespective of races have been instructed to recite all our 'fardhu' prayers in Arabic, the language of Islam. Although our God, Allah is also known by His many special sifat/characters (will someone knowledgeable correct me if I am wrong) such as Ar-Rahman (The Most Gracious), Ar-Rahim (the Most Merciful) or other befitting names, universally, He is called Allah. It is therefore appropriate only that the name of Christians's God be called by the name mentioned in the Bible. Allah is the God of Muslims (and the non-believers as well, in fact) as mentioned in the Qur'an and as told by the Prophet.

What puzzles us is why does this issue arise only recently and not addressed centuries ago?

Wassalam

Zaib

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

A rose by any other name will smell just as sweet
Our God by any correct name will be still the same
With one or more names the entire world to sweep
Into His fold He'll keep them from sin and shame

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng - 250408
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com
http://msi.Rocky101.com
Fri. 25th April 2008.

harakiri said...

Never has happened such a confusion in other countries where Christianity has being practiced widely. Why Malaysia? Why now? And why bring to court? Looks like somebody is taking advantage on the loose grip of the Muslim in Malaysia nowadays. This event will trigger the sensitivity among the muslim, especially the Malays.

It is not healthy at all. For decades we has been Malaysians, but never in history people goes to court to declare their God also Allah...why now?

Fact is fact said...

In order to be fair to all parties, one need to go down Sabah natives to understand how they practise Christianity and whether they use the world Allah all these while.

We should not look at sensitivity of one side only. If ultimately found out that Sabah natives use 'Allah' since day one, then we should explain the facts to Muslims.

If Arab Muslim can accept the use of Allah by Arab Christian, I don't see why this cannot be the same for Malaysia.

Anonymous said...

Why cant they accept TUHAN as the correct translation of God?

laimun said...

In every language, religion or non-believers, there is a word or name to recognize the ultimate being. I cannot for the life of me, understand why the 'word' is not allowed in the text of the defendant. Since when were Malaysian muslims accorded the exclusive use of a word used worldwide. Not even the Arabs, where the religion was bestowed upon them, have the audacity to make such a ruling. But of course, our mentality is such that we consider ourselves more Arabs than the Arabs. When in reality, the Arabs takes us as 2nd rate anyday. So please, the word has been around since the biblical age. And here we are, still wet behind the ears making earth shattering pronouncements.

donplaypuks said...

I am not a Muslim.

But whatever the history of it, in today's world 'Allah' almost everywhere(except for SIB and 1 or 2 others) means the God of Koran and Islam.

So, out of respect for Muslims and Islam, we should have no objection whatsoever over their desire to be solely identified with Allah and the usage of His name as their God.

It is a simple matter for non-Muslims to educate their followers to rectify the mix ups of the past.

Yet, plain mule-headed stubborness will prevail.

God help us!

Anonymous said...

God is not exclusive to anyone or any particular race for this matter, and by saying that a particular word referring to The Almighty is just reserved to certain people shows how shallow those certain people are.

Funny thing was, the word Allah was not even created by the Malays, and i don't see the Arabs going around bringing everyone to court or prosecuting them in any manner.

Hi&Lo said...

The Bahasa Bible is imported from Indonesia. That explains Allah is used. I understand the Catholic Herald's Bahasa section follows the norm in the Bahasa version of the Bible.

Anonymous said...

We all know that this is a thorny issue and what it can do to a country like Malaysia.

What is the real intent of bringing up this issue?

Who are the real puppet masters behind this demand?

Will this country dance to their music?

I am sure that someone somewhere has already got the answers ;-)

Regards,
Anxious Ampangite.

MarGeeMar said...

On April 9, 2008, this scribe wrote in http://margeemar.blogspot.com with the heading DR WAN AZIZAH FOR PM. It came as no surprise to this scribe when it was reported in Malaysiakini on April 24, 2008 that YB Datin Seri Dr. Wan Azizah is ready to assume the post of Prime Minister of Malaysia. I believe, with the support and guidance of not only Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Kak Wan will make a great Prime Minister.

Kak Wan will be an idle choice for PM. In this case DSAI will not have to rush in becoming PM even though this is what most of us are craving for. BN especially UMNO is now sinking into the abyss. We are seeing how down right dirty they can get in trying to paint the Pakatan Rakyat state governments in a bad light. Just take the Selangor pig farming issue as an example. Even though this project got the blessing of Khir Toyo and linked to a company owned by Umno members, the spin in the MSM especially by TV3 still continues by linking race and religion to the pig farming issue. You see, Umno and BN are going down therefore they will not stop hitting below the belt. They are bankrupt in ideas.

That is why I feel it is better for Kak Wan to be PM first before DSAI takes over in the near future. Should DSAI become PM any time soon, the Umno/BN goons and the 4th Floor Boys will have a field day concocting all sorts of crap to discredit and destroy a PR government with DSAI as PM. With Kak Wan, there ain't nothing these Umno/BN jabronees can conjure up that can discredit her.

To all the righteous Rakyat out there who believe that it is undemocratic and immoral for PR to form the Federal Government via crossovers from BN MP's, just remember that the just concluded GE may have been free but it sure wasn't fair. Haven't everyone forgotten about the 400,000 postal votes? Phantom voters? Illegal immigrants in Sabah and Sarawak getting MyKads to vote for BN? Use of government machinery for campaigning by BN leaders? BN Propaganda and smear campaigns against the opposition? A biased Elections Commission with electoral boundaries that favor Umno/BN?

Finally, after taking control of Kedah, Perak, Penang and Selangor, the PR government is beginning to unearth a lot of dirt. FELLOW MALAYSIANS, DO YOU WANT TO GIVE UMNO/BN ANOTHER 5 YEARS SO THAT THEY CAN COVER UP 50 YEARS OF CRONYISM, NEPOTISM AND CORRUPTION AND AT THE SAME ALLOW THEM TO WIPE CLEAN WHATEVER MONEY THAT'S LEFT IN THE COFFERS?

Please wake up Rakyat! Are we gonna stand by and watch these Umno/BN leeches bleed this nation dry by allowing them to rule for another 5 years!? If you love Malaysia, support the regime change that's coming our way. WAN AZIZAH FOR PM! PAKATAN RAKYAT FOR FEDERAL GOVERNMENT! HIDUP KETUANAN RAKYAT!

Ishak said...

Hai Nuraina.

Are you joining New Malay Mail Team under Dato Ibrahim

wak segen said...

Whoever have been calling the name 'Allah', ALLAH the all knowing knows who is refering to HIM and who is not...
..WALLAHUALAM..

Anonymous said...

the problem with this country is that... it's ruled by idiots and opposed by idiots.

thankfully, her citizens are not all idiots.

Christians and Muslims both believe in Adam and Eve (and, Jews, too!)

so, where do you think the word "Allah" originated from?

there you go!

there is NO God, BUT God!

therefore, there is only ONE God... not three as some people might have you believe.

did you know that the Bible was first revealed in the language called Aramaic?

but, the problem is... the language that was widely spoken during the time of Jesus became extinct!

yeah... even if a copy of it were to be found today... nobody could read it.

also, did you know that the Torah was first revealed in Hebrew?

however, that's not the Hebrew that is being spoken today.

did you know that the Jews don't know the real name of their God?

long story... go Gooogle it!

of course you know that the Koran was first revealed in Arabic... a language that is still widely spoken.

and, "Allah" is an Arabic word... so, go figure.

shahbandarmalakat said...

I dont mind if the christians want to call their God's name Allah. It is good thing for the religion of Islam,some progress,now being an icon.By all means, but make sure they change the name of their God to Allah immediately in the English Bible as through out the world; make an announcement that for some reason they are changing the name of their God to Allah. Other wise it only reflects ill intention and there is a hidden motive and agenda why they are doing it only in Malaysia.

literally translation of god in arabic is illah , in Malay means tuhan.When refering to Allah, this is the name that Allah likes to be called.The Arab people dont say it but only Quran says it that when it refer to 'illa' it is meant for other gods than Allah.

59.22. Huwallaa- hullazii laa ‘ilaha illaa huu - ‘Aalimul gaybi wash-shahaadat. HuwarRahmanur- Raheemu
Allah is He ,than Whom there is no other god: Who knows (all things) both secret and open.He most Gracious,Most Merciful.
59.23. Huwalla-hullazii laa’ ilaha ‘illaa huu- ‘Almalikul Qudduusus –Salaamu’ Mu’minul- muhay-minul-‘Aaziizul-Jabbaarul-Mutakabbir: Subhana llahi ‘ammaayushrikuun.
Allah is He ,then whom there is no other God ;- the Sovereign ,the Holy one, the Source of Peace( Perfection),the Guardian of Faith, the Preserver of Safety ,the Exalted in Might, the Irresistible, the justly Proud glory to Allah!(High is He) above the partners they attribute to him.
59.24. Huwal –laahul-khaliqul-Baari-‘ul-Musawwiru lahul-‘Asmaaa-‘ul-Husnaa : yusabbihu lahuu maa fis-samaawaati wal-arz wa Huwal ‘Aziizul-Hakiim.
He is Allah, the Creator, the Originator the Fashioner. To Him belong the Most Beautiful Names; whatever is in the heavens or on earth, doth declare His Praise and Glory; and He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise.

Anonymous said...

It really surprises me that some people keep arguing over who has first dibs on the name "Allah", with the assumption that whoever can prove they used it first has the right to use it exclusively forevermore. Whatever happened to respect for different religious belief? Why do some people, both Muslim and non-Muslim, find it so difficult to believe that East Malaysians and other BM-speaking congregations have been practicing their religion in this manner for generations? The argument that it will confuse Muslims and that East Malaysian Christians must change the way they practice their religion is an insult to East Malaysian Muslims and non-Muslims who have have lived in harmony with each other for many years.

I am truly disappointed with the reactions of some parties who accuse BM-speaking congregations of having an ulterior motive to use the name Allah to practice their religion. Have they even bothered to talk with East Malaysian Christians and Muslims groups to get their point of view?

Wakmasnoor said...

Hi Ena,

First of all, dont expect this kind of topic will exerts to be fairly constructive in both mind and writing, to all. No such religion trivia opened up for debates, shall have much likely. Just a note.

I am not going to plunder in 1000 words or so, just to lust others into later committing unconstructive arguments, idiocies of judgment, fulminating spoken and endless misinterpretations. Enough of saying that once you had laws, rules and guidelines set upon you, the right thing to do is to obey them. In a multi racial country with Moslem as the predominance (larger) adherences, it wise not to be smarting about thing that has kept this country peaceful and prospered. We cannot perceived whatever allowed in other countries as adaptable, constructible and should be able to, here in Malaysia. Comparison is not always wise and make sense. Would we had all Moslem women to wear 'purdah' (covering body from top to bottom) just because Moslem's nation such as Iran, insisted on doing so? Would we make compulsory 'the public canning' just because Saudi Arabia had done so? Would we allow prostitution to be made legal just because other developed predominance Christian countries see nothing wrong with it?

As much as the matter seen as subjective to ones thinking, extending towards a 'yes' or 'no'; collectively it may seen as very much otherwise by overwhelming others. If the usage of the word 'Allah' in such publication, collectively and undoubtedly against the wishes and understanding of others, especially if those others are portions representing the majority of people; then to respect and gain respect, is to apply one action and practice towards accommodating those harmless wishes. What more, when particular issue in hand, involved the very sensitive nature of other religion. What so hard about it? Why so complicated to understand it? Where so the fault in not embraces it?

Laws and guidelines on religion matters are there for a reason. And those same laws and guidelines have kept us together for decades. Do not breach beyond the comfort zone and into the twilight.

Anonymous said...

Salam Kak Ena,

A name is a name. But what differentiates one to another is the beholder that comes with certain characters, powers, and etc, etc, etc ... that will bring much effect to the believers' faith in having to accept the truth that they need to submit to the Oneness of God.

We Muslims believe that messages of God or Allah, (since day one the first human being was created) were conveyed to majority of the human clans then (who tended to go astray from what were taught), in different languages of the respective clans and relayed through chosen individuals within the clans to guide their followers to the right path.

As the number of clans grew bigger, people became more astray and fought with one another (like we are today), and forgot that their mission on earth is actually to submit to the Oneness of God, and not to anything else. Allah had also given his promise (to the Muslims' belief) that Qur'an is the final testaments that suits all humankinds, irrespective of races, ethnics, social status or regional locations; and no other Kitabs (Book of Knowledge on God's Revelations) are applicable anymore other than the Qur'an as it gives a complete guidance on our way of life till end of the day. Hence, other books which were sent down for certain clans and suited for certain periods became null and void. That's what we Muslims believe. There's no offence, even though non-believers may have different views altogether.

It is therefore not appropriate to use a similar name of God that brings different interpretation of who He really is and what He has taught in guiding us to the right path of life.

The answer to a comment by one respondent who says that even non-Muslim Sabahans call their God Allah: The answer is because they are one of the many Malay clans who professed the religion as a result of western missionaries' package of appeals to simplify their propagation. The Filipinos are also Malays (many Tagalog words are in fact similar to Malay words) and I'm not surprised if they call their God Allah. The Missionaries were actually responsible in making them identify their God as Allah.

Since Muhammad, the last Prophet is an Arab and he was instructed to spread his teachings in Arabic, that’s why our fardhu prayers are recited in Arabic. (Of course we can also communicate with God in any languages, except during ritual [fardhu] ones).

So please stop all the confusions. At the same time, we do respect religions of other believers, so long as religion of Muslims in Malaysia are treated with respect. Being a nation with majority number of Muslims and Islam being its official religion, it is therefore appropriate for non-believers to give the religion their due respect.

Salam

Zaib

Anonymous said...

Shalom. I happen to be Catholic Christian and bumped into your blog. I have been wondering i.e. everything comes from God (the God of Abraham shared by Christians and Muslims)including words such as Allah. I just cannot imagine God not allowing His word to be used by anyone of His creation. Does He say that the word Allah exclusive to Islam? We all should be trembling with fear being answerable to Him when we see Him face to face one day for being overbearing (word used by Nik Aziz referring to BN). I just received an sms from a friend which says, "Christianity in use of word Allah 700 yrs bfr Muslim came into the world. So highly improbable for us superimpose word from our Muslim brothers." God bless us all. Love you, sister.

tikki said...

I spoke to a Coptic Christian friend recently about this issue. She is Egyptian and her native language is Arabic. She says that the Arabic Old Testament uses the word Allah to refer to God while the New Testament mostly uses Rabb. But to her, Allah just means God, not Muslim God, Christian God or Jewish God. She feels that this issue arose in Malaysia due to the lack of understanding of the Arabic language. She also feels that in Arabic-speaking countries, this will never happen because they are all Arabs regardless of religion and they can utter whatever Arabic word they want. As for me, I feel that the government's initial statement that Allah can only be used exclusively by Muslims is wrong for the reasons stated by my Egyptian friend. I don't now if the term 'Allah' has been constantly used in the Christian bible in Malaysia (be it Iban bible or Malay language bible or any other), but if it has not, I wonder why they wish to use the term now. But if it has been in constant use, there is no reason why they should be banned from using the term. In any case, should any one group of people have the monopoly or exclusive right over certain words? Doesn't really make sense.

team bsg said...

We of the simple minds thought that God or Allah or Tuhan refer to the creator of human beings and the world as such ? Why is that such a problem with translations in different languages, unless some Perverts ( aka sex perverts or psychopaths ) have their ulterior motives which has nothing to do with the Creator or their professed religion ? What right does a race/group has to ban the use of a single word of another's own language ?

donplaypuks said...

dear margeemar

WTF??!!

Please explain the relevance of your comments here about Wan Azizah to this blog on usage of the word 'Allah'.

If you have a lot to say, why don't you start your own blog, instead of irritating others with irrelevant essays?

suaramalaysia said...

if we are to beleive some who commented on this issue here, one would assume that Malaysian muslims are some sort of jihad-sensitive ticking bomb about to go off at the slightest provation....

can you fathom such comments like "don't offend the sensitives of the muslim, don't offend the malay..." have we not have enough of this crap on May 13 that we are to hear it now on Islam, on changing goverment....

what shall we hear next from the fanatical fringe brigade? don't change condom brands or we will go amok and breakdown your bedroom doors, (like the way we did to that American tourist couple vacationing in Langkawai?)

if we are to beleive this horse dung crap, then malaysia would have long been a washed out taliban nation. malaysians have a robust tradition of speaking out the truth, and what aggrivates me is this incessant intimidation by mental midgets that label the speaking out of legitimate issues as a threat to national, racial and religous harmony.

on the contray, the more the so-called pious patriotic parrots intimidate others from bringing out legitimate concerns, the more the nation is steered into the danger zone.

history reveals the sad and bloody trail of peoples who have been intimidated harassed and deprived of the right to speak against perceived injustices against them. the UN Charter ensures that each people group has the right to practise their faith according to their teaching and conscience

concerning the definition and usage of the word "Allah", it is without a doubt that Christians in the Middle East and other countries have been using it to refer to God. Arabic and other language Bibles have used that word to refer to God long before Islam did.

now as to what attributes and theological definition the Christians or Muslims give or ascribe to that word is of another issue altogether. that belong in the realm and context of theological discourse and of scholarly interaction, if at all some quarters have the courage to do so.

no country or religous institution has the right to demand or impose that a people or religous group refrain from using "Allah" on the basis that Islam consider its own or restricted to and for Muslims.

there is no religous or anthropological copyright on the word Allah and as such those attempting to do so are violating the legitimate and sovereign rights of others. if some Muslims continue to tread on this path it will lead to both religous and political confrontation and unrest.

it would be liken to the Hindu community insisting that only they have a legitimate right to Sanskirit-derived words that makes up to over eighty percent of the Malay language. i wonder where that would leave those who use the Malay language.

no religion, including Islam or Muslims have the right to dictate to Christians and to other faiths on the usage of language, just as Islam and Muslims should not be dictated to alter its language and practice and worship based on another religion's viewpoint or worldview.

let common sense prevail, and kindly refer all wannabe keris-weilding jihadists to counseling and theraphy, and medication lest they run amok on an unsuspecting peaceful nation.

All The Cars In The World said...

I don't really understand why the big fuss about this? Allah or God or Tuhan or Almighty is still the same.

Please,can we all stop all this nonsense?

Let them use it, it is not going to make you a Christian anyway.

Besides there are more things to worry about rather than this one such as world poverty, food crisis, oil prices etc...

Rifdee said...

'Allah' simply means God in Arabic. Was it ever meant to be exclusively linked to any religion?

Anonymous said...

What an amusing circus and a silly joke ... nitpicking over a 5-letter word! They (combatants in court) are merely turning themselves into a hilarious laughing stock in the eyes of the sane. Surely they must have more serious and meaningful business to attend to!

metallurgist88 said...

It is amusing these days when one uses a 'global' approach to defend an issue. Those who disagree with this approach will be labelled 'ketinggalan zaman' or narrow minded or even unglobalize ( substitute for uncivilize).

In this context many contributors uses the argument that the word 'Allah' and 'God' is synonymous. It is the arabic for god, and many middle eastern non muslims have used the phrase 'Allah'as a universal reference to god. This is a factual statement and I do not disagree.

Even in this globalization era, sometimes it is wise to look within our own boundary to addres certain issues. In Malaysia, 'Allah' has always been associated with muslims and not any other religion...It is a holy name, revered by all muslims. It is not simply a term used to substitute the word god.. Therefore if any person/institution in Malaysia who does not profess Islam as their religion of choice, they should then restrain themselves form using 'Allah' as reference to god..

Let me take you to another example. (this may be sensitive but i assure all malaysians that i am not a racist). Why do the Malaysian Indian community in general easily get offended when the are refered to or call upon as 'Keling'..For them being call a 'keling' is despicable and dishonorable. I was told that the term "keling" was coined centuries age by locals with reference to a trading community that arrived from the great'kalingga empire' from India. If this story is true, then the term 'keling' should indeed be an honorable one. But in our society we do not utter this term to refer to our brothers of Indian community, for fear that it is an insult to them and repercussions may occur. In India this is never an issue.

It is all about respecting each other. I do not see why the publisher cannot replace the word "allah" swt with a better substitute. Wouldn't it make better sense and avoid a polemic of discussions and deter provocations from Muslim. By defending their right to use 'Allah'(even to the High Court) instead of simply issuing an apology, and replace it with a suitable unprovoking substitue, their motives are being suspect.

The fuss is not about the terminology. It is about being sensitive to others. One person meat is another persons' poison... Globalization or not.... what is taboo in our own society should alwayss be respected and not cross.. That is the secret to a harmonious multiracial & multifaith society.

Metallurgist 88

Anonymous said...

I agree with you bro. metallurgist. A simple yet enlightening explanation.

What was the term used before this? Stick to it and stop making anymore fuss.

Zaib

Anonymous said...

metallurgist88,

You seem to have overlooked the fact that Christians in the Malay archipelago have been referring to their God as Allah for many centuries. Your argument that we should look at cultural and historical context is a well-considered one. However, it should be pointed out that respecting cultural context and sensitivity is also a point that can be used to argue in favour of allowing Malaysian Christians to continue using the term Allah when referring to their God.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
We tend to forget, that the religions of Jews, Christians and Muslims are the religions that share the same root. They are all called agama Samawi or "agama yang turun dari langit". We all believe in Adam, Hawa (Eve) the parents of all mankind. It should be understandable why the most of the times the religions share the name Allah for God.
But saying the usage of Allah in the Catholic weekly would confuse the Muslims is totally bullshit. Mana ada org Islam baca bende tu. Kalau takde macam mana nak konfius.
Barring the usage Allah in nthe holy book is really an insult to East Malaysian Christians and Muslims because both have long accepted it.

FJ MARTIN

Anonymous said...

In Malaysia, there had never been a Bahasa Melayu Bible until recently. What was the term used before, then?

suaramalaysia said...

if metallurgist88 and others would be prepared to do some indept independent research on the word Allah it would shed more light than culture-centered ignorance and malice.

the context of Muhammed employing or using the word Allah to describe the deity of Islam is highly suspect and debatable.

in mecca various deities were being worship, including the moon-cresent god Hubal and his wifes Al Uzziah. there is sufficient evidence to corrolate that the usage of Allah was established and evident among the Jews and Christians before the Muslims was aware such a God existed.

it is clear that Muhammed alleviated the "Muslim deity" to the God status of the Jews and Christians. in fact the battle cry "Allah Akbar" means Allah is greater, not that Allah is the Almighty or God.

the context of this pronunciation was that this cheif Muslim deity was chosen as a cheif representative over all of the othervarious idols and deities already present there.

so it is true to state that the God of the Jews and Christians, Yahweh or Elohim is not the God of Muslims.

so, if you are humble enough to see the truth, it was the Muslim prophet Muhammed and muslims who "borrowed" or adopted this name from the Jews and Christians, not vice-versa.

Anonymous said...

SuaraMalaysia, you should read the Qur'an to better understand Islam and one more thing that I'd like to advise you is to observe the manner you highlight your facts (please check your facts from translated Qur'an verses and not from sources written by non-Muslims. If you are really a sincere person, please read what the Qur'an says about Islam. then make your own judgement: please learn to respect the religion of the majority Malaysians as provided under the nation's Constitution.

To correct your ignorance, Muhammad had never bowed to any deities.

How could we figure out how Allah looks like when His existence is beyond our imagination? Anything that has look, shape, properties, etc, etc is not God and definitely not Allah, but we could feel His presence and are aware that we have been created with one purpose, i.e. to submit to the Oneness of Allah, irrespective of situations or conditions we are subjected to.

Allah is the God we've always believe in even before the creation of Adam. And this has never changed.

Kak Ena, I think you should not accept anymore new postings on this issue because I believe it may invite more controversies.

Thanks

Zaib

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Dear All,

I am closing the comment box and will not publish any more comment on the issue.

I think further debate on the issue will lead us nowhere.

thank you..