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Islamic INTRAfaith Dialogue
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Chrysalis
 
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Topic: Malaysia "Allah" Issue
    Posted: 14 January 2010 at 10:46pm

Malaysia "Allah" row spills on to Facebook

KUALA LUMPUR
Mon Jan 4, 2010 7:28am EST


KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - More than 43,000 Malaysians protested online over a court ruling allowing a Catholic paper to use the word "Allah" to describe the Christian God, signaling growing Islamic anger in this mostly Muslim Southeast Asian country.

Media

A group page on social networking site Facebook was drawing 1,500 new supporters an hour on Monday as last week's court ruling split political parties and even families.

Among those who signed up for the protest were Deputy Trade Minister Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of Malaysia's longest serving prime minister, Mahathir Mohamed, while Mahathir's daughter Marina called critics of the court decision "idiots" in her weblog (rantingsbymm.blogspot.com/)

The government said on Monday it had filed an appeal against the court ruling amid concerns the issue could cause religious and racial conflict in this country of 28 million which has large Christian, Buddhist and Hindu minorities.

"The problem is that there will be lots of doctrines and principles promoted that would totally contradict Islamic theology... there is a danger to public order here," said Shad Saleem Faruqi, a constitutional law lecturer with Universiti Tekonologi Malaysia.

The Facebook page, named in Malay as "Protesting the use of the name Allah by non-Muslims," said that the group was for Muslims "who realize that this is propaganda to confuse Muslims now and in future."

The Catholic Church, which publishes a Malay version of its newspaper, The Herald, says that it uses the word "Allah" for the Christian God to meet the needs of its Malay speaking worshippers on the island of Borneo.

"There should not be a cause for concern because some people have got the idea that we are out to convert (Muslims), but not at all, there is no question of this," Father Lawrence Andrew, the newspaper's editor, told Reuters.

The ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court followed a ban imposed by the government on the weekly Herald in January last year over the use of the word "Allah" by Christians.

The government had argued that the use of the Arabic word might offend the sensitivities of Muslims who make up 60 percent of Malaysia's 28 million population, while Christians -- including about 800,000 Catholics -- make up about 9.1 percent.

The Herald circulates in Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo Island where the indigenous population converted to Christianity more than a century ago and where the word has been commonly used in prayer for decades.

Malaysia's ethnic Chinese and Indian communities abandoned the ruling coalition in the 2008 general elections in part due to unease over an increasing Islamization in the country.

In 2008, the government that has ruled Malaysia for 52 years suffered its worst ever results in national and state elections and Prime Minister Najib Razak has sought to address the fears of minority groups by adopting an inclusive racial program called "1Malaysia."

Najib has appealed for calm pending the appeal but the government, like the country's three-party opposition grouping, is wary of upsetting the Malays, who form a critical vote bank.

Mahfuz Omar, the vice-president of the opposition Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), said the main government party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), was politicizing the issue.

"This shows that UMNO is taking opportunity on this issue to whip up Muslim sentiment so that they unite and see UMNO as the champion of Islam," said Mahfuz in a statement on Monday.

(Reporting by Razak Ahmad; Editing by Nick Macfie)


Ouch




Edited by Chrysalis - 14 January 2010 at 10:49pm
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Chrysalis
 
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 14 January 2010 at 10:54pm

Can Christians Say 'Allah'? In Malaysia, Muslims Say No


Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1952497,00.html#ixzz0cf3nuSSj

"Why are the Christians claiming Allah?" asks businessman Rahim Ismail, 47, his face contorted in rage and disbelief. He shakes his head and raises his voice while waiting for a taxi along Jalan Tun Razak, a main thoroughfare in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital. "Everybody in the world knows Allah is the Muslim God and belongs to Muslims. I cannot understand why the Christians want to claim Allah as their God," Rahim says as passersby, mostly Muslims, gather around and nod in agreement.

The reason for their anger is a recent judgment by Malaysia's high court that the word Allah is not exclusive to Muslims. Judge Lau Bee Lan ruled that others, including Catholics who had been prohibited by the Home Ministry from using the word in their publications since 2007, can now use the term. She also rescinded the prohibition order that forbade the Malay-language edition of the Catholic monthly the Herald to use Allah to denote the Christian God. After widespread protests, however, the judge granted a stay order on Jan. 7, the same day the government appealed to the higher Court of Appeal to overturn the ruling.

The anger seemed to turn into violence late Thursday night after masked men on motorcycles firebombed three churches in the city, gutting the ground floor of the Metro Tabernacle Church, located in a commercial building in the Desa Melawati suburb of the capital. The attacks, which police said appeared uncoordinated, were condemned by the government, opposition MPs and Muslim clerics alike. On Friday, Muslims demonstrated in scores of mosques across the country, but the protest was peaceful. In the mosque in Kampung Baru, a Malay enclave in the city, Muslims held placards that read "Leave Islam alone! Treat us as you would treat yourself! Don't test our patience!" amid cries of "Allah is great!"  Ouch

Because of Malaysia's ethnic makeup, religion is a sensitive issue, and any religious controversy is seen as a potential spark for unrest. Some 60% of Malaysia's 28 million people are Malay Muslim, while the rest are mainly ethnic Chinese, Indians or members of indigenous tribes, practicing various faiths including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and animism. Among Christians, the majority Catholics number about 650,000, or 3% of the population. Despite Malaysia's diverse national complexion, political Islam is a growing force, and the country operates under two sets of laws, one for Muslims, the other for everyone else. The authorities regard such compartmentalization as essential to maintaining social stability.


To many Malay Muslims, Lau's ruling crosses the line. Prominent Muslim clerics, lawmakers and government ministers have questioned the soundness of the judgment. A coalition of 27 Muslim NGOs wrote to the nine Malay sultans, each the head of Islam in their respective states, to intervene and help overturn the verdict. A Facebook campaign by Muslims started on Jan. 4 has attracted more than 100,000 supporters. Among them: Deputy Trade Minister Mukhriz Mahathir, son of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who also waded into the controversy, saying the court is not a proper forum to decide an emotional religious issue. "The judgment is a mistake," says Nazri Aziz, Minister overseeing Parliamentary Affairs, speaking for many Malaysian Muslims. The few Muslims who have urged respect for judicial independence have been shouted down as traitors. "I can't understand how any Muslim can support this judgment," said legislator Zulkifli Noordin in a statement.

The case arose after the Home Ministry prohibited the Herald from using Allah for God in its Malay-language versions in 2007. "We have been using the word for decades in our Malay-language Bibles and without problems," the Rev. Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Catholic publication, tells TIME. In May 2008 the Catholics decided to take the matter to court for a judicial review — and won. "It is a landmark decision ... fair and just," says Andrew. During the intermittent trial in the closing months of 2008, lawyers for the church argued that the word Allah predated Islam and was commonly used by Copts, Jews and Christians to denote God in many parts of the world. They argued that Allah is an Arabic word for God and has been used for decades by the church in Malaysia and Indonesia. And they said that the Herald uses the word Allah for God to meet the needs of its Malay-speaking worshippers on the island of Borneo. "Some people have got the idea that we are out to convert [Muslims]. That's not true," the lawyers said on behalf of the Herald.

Government lawyers countered that Allah denotes the Muslim God, is accepted as such around the world and is exclusively for Muslims. They said that if Catholics were allowed to use Allah, Muslims would be "confused." Confused The confusion would worsen, they said, because Christians recognize a "trinity of gods" while Islam is "totally monotheistic." They said the proper word for God in the Malay language is Tuhan, not Allah. Lau held that the constitution guarantees freedom of religion and speech, and therefore Catholics can use the word Allah to denote God. She also overturned the Home Ministry order prohibiting the Herald from using the word. "The applicants have the right to use the word Allah in the exercise of their rights to freedom of speech and expression," she said.

Non-Muslim Malaysians worry that the vehement opposition to the Allah ruling reflects a growing Islamization in a multireligious society. Last October a Shari'a court sentenced a Muslim woman who drank beer to be caned in public; in another incident, in November, Muslims enraged over the construction of a Hindu temple near their homes demonstrated their anger with a severed cow's head. They kicked and stomped on the head, as Hindus — to whom cows are sacred — watched helplessly. As for the court ruling, bar-council president Ragunath Kesavan met Prime Minister Najib Razak on Thursday to discuss how to cool emotions. Says Kesavan: "We need to get the Muslim and Christian leaders together. They need to meet face to face and work out a compromise and not let this thing escalate."

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"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Quote JOUBERAR Replybullet Posted: 16 January 2010 at 4:58pm
Originally posted by Chrysalis

Malaysia "Allah" row spills on to Facebook

KUALA LUMPUR
Mon Jan 4, 2010 7:28am EST


KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - More than 43,000 Malaysians protested online over a court ruling allowing a Catholic paper to use the word "Allah" to describe the Christian God, signaling growing Islamic anger in this mostly Muslim Southeast Asian country.

Media

A group page on social networking site Facebook was drawing 1,500 new supporters an hour on Monday as last week's court ruling split political parties and even families.

Among those who signed up for the protest were Deputy Trade Minister Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of Malaysia's longest serving prime minister, Mahathir Mohamed, while Mahathir's daughter Marina called critics of the court decision "idiots" in her weblog (rantingsbymm.blogspot.com/)

The government said on Monday it had filed an appeal against the court ruling amid concerns the issue could cause religious and racial conflict in this country of 28 million which has large Christian, Buddhist and Hindu minorities.

"The problem is that there will be lots of doctrines and principles promoted that would totally contradict Islamic theology... there is a danger to public order here," said Shad Saleem Faruqi, a constitutional law lecturer with Universiti Tekonologi Malaysia.

The Facebook page, named in Malay as "Protesting the use of the name Allah by non-Muslims," said that the group was for Muslims "who realize that this is propaganda to confuse Muslims now and in future."

The Catholic Church, which publishes a Malay version of its newspaper, The Herald, says that it uses the word "Allah" for the Christian God to meet the needs of its Malay speaking worshippers on the island of Borneo.

"There should not be a cause for concern because some people have got the idea that we are out to convert (Muslims), but not at all, there is no question of this," Father Lawrence Andrew, the newspaper's editor, told Reuters.

The ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court followed a ban imposed by the government on the weekly Herald in January last year over the use of the word "Allah" by Christians.

The government had argued that the use of the Arabic word might offend the sensitivities of Muslims who make up 60 percent of Malaysia's 28 million population, while Christians -- including about 800,000 Catholics -- make up about 9.1 percent.

The Herald circulates in Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo Island where the indigenous population converted to Christianity more than a century ago and where the word has been commonly used in prayer for decades.

Malaysia's ethnic Chinese and Indian communities abandoned the ruling coalition in the 2008 general elections in part due to unease over an increasing Islamization in the country.

In 2008, the government that has ruled Malaysia for 52 years suffered its worst ever results in national and state elections and Prime Minister Najib Razak has sought to address the fears of minority groups by adopting an inclusive racial program called "1Malaysia."

Najib has appealed for calm pending the appeal but the government, like the country's three-party opposition grouping, is wary of upsetting the Malays, who form a critical vote bank.

Mahfuz Omar, the vice-president of the opposition Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), said the main government party, the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), was politicizing the issue.

"This shows that UMNO is taking opportunity on this issue to whip up Muslim sentiment so that they unite and see UMNO as the champion of Islam," said Mahfuz in a statement on Monday.

(Reporting by Razak Ahmad; Editing by Nick Macfie)


Ouch


 The fact is muslims want assume that Allah is the same God as the jews and the christians, now that they wana use it they are scared that the muslims may convert to christianity, I dont no why they insist in using it if muslim party is opposed against it.
Same God I say no.  
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Chrysalis
 
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 18 January 2010 at 3:24am
I thought non-muslims werent allowed in "INTRA-faith" section !!! Confused
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Quote Saladin Replybullet Posted: 18 January 2010 at 10:45pm

Government lawyers countered that Allah denotes the Muslim God, is accepted as such around the world and is exclusively for Muslims. They said that if Catholics were allowed to use Allah, Muslims would be "confused."  

This is just st**id.
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Quote Nur_Ilahi Replybullet Posted: 01 February 2010 at 5:03pm
Hi Chrysalis,

I had been wanting to open up a thread on this subject. Thank you for doing so. This topic is very interesting and should be discussed.

In my opinion, the word Allah is not exclusive to Muslims alone. But most importantly, it is the meaning of the word Allah that should be stressed on. That should be clarified.

We Muslims had been using the word Allah as it is stated in our holy Scripture Al-Quran Al-Kareem and it is the word used by all Muslims all over the world. There are many verses in the Quran that explains who is Allah especially in the Surah Al-Ikhlas -

Bismillah Ar-Rahman Ar-Raheem
Qul Huw-Allahu Ahad
Allah-us-Samad
Lam yalid wl lam yulad
Wa lam yakul lahu kufuwan ahad

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.
Say: He is Allah, the One!
Allah, the eternally Besought of all!
He begetteth not nor was begotten.
And there is none comparable unto Him.

To me, if the Christians wants to use the word Allah, they must prove  that the original scripture of theirs that is the Bible, has the word Allah in it and also define the meaning of Allah as stated in their Bible.


Ilahi Anta Maksudi, Wa Redhaka Mathlubi - Oh Allah, You are my destination, Your Pleasure is my Intention.
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Quote Gibbs Replybullet Posted: 26 February 2010 at 9:58pm
Actually a non Muslims opinion is beneficial here. The problem here is monopolizing the word Allah. If in fact God is universal how can a word which is used to define this entity be exclusive to a particular faith? I mean many Muslims say the word "God" which is an English word (with German roots) so is this word exclusive to Anglo-Saxon Christians?

I don't believe Christians have to prove anything because Allah if such a being exists, is above what we call it. What matters is what Nur said which is the word. The high priests or pharasies would be the only ones to say the name of God yet the people couldn't, why? God or God's name is for everyone and for humans to monopolize the name their behavior only exemplifies the inherent contradiction that God is universal.

Edited by Gibbs - 26 February 2010 at 10:00pm
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Quote UmmFatima Replybullet Posted: 03 March 2010 at 3:58am
A lot of Christians use the name Allah! This isn't new! Just go to any Arab country.

In the Quran Allah says that the Muslim god and the Christian god is the same... it's the Jesus and Father parts we don't agree about.

We call Allah God sometimes. Why can't Christians use the name Allah? Of course they don't mean the same thing as us, as in tawhid etc, but we don't have a right to tell them what words they can and can't use.
“Our Lord! Grant us comfort in our spouses and descendants, and make us leaders of the God-fearing.” -Al-Furqan 74
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