‘Allah’ ban: We Muslims not easily ‘confused’

January 24, 2009 at 11:51 am 1 comment

source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/97066

by: Abdul Rahman

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Ministry to probe Herald’s use of ‘Allah’ despite ban.

As a Muslim, I find it quite incomprehensible why the home ministry or government – as exemplified by our Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar – keeps talking about banning the use of the word ‘Allah’ by people of other faiths. If I’m not wrong, besides the Catholics, the Sikhs also have laid claim in that they use this word in the context of God.

And I’ve also seen it being used by people of other religions when I was in Indonesia or in the Middle East. No Muslims there make any fuss over it. Why in Malaysia does the government makes such an issue over it?

If it is true that this word has been used by people of other faiths and that it was used even in the pre-Islamic era, then what is the fuss of it being used to describe God?

Also if it is true that the terms ‘Allah’ has been used by other faiths for centuries in Malaysia, why is this ban being enforced only now but not in the past? Could some learned Islamic scholars verify these facts ?

I found the words spoken by Syed Hamid Albar even more absurd. He was quoted as saying ‘Religious issues are a sensitive matter. That is why I refrain from debating the issue but if a religion decides to show its strength and numerous other actions, I think it is verging on dangerous territory.’

He was also quoted as saying ‘The decision to disallow the weekly from using the word ‘Allah’ was a government decision and not that of the ministry’.

What and who is he implying? The Herald on its insistence of using the word or the government for banning other faiths from using the word? It seems to me like he is implying that he is showing his strength, meaning the government.

Seems to me like he is talking about us Muslims, who being the majority in the government, are showing our strength in pushing others by preventing them from using this word.

Please, Mr Syed Hamid Albar, you speak for yourself or the government which you are a part of, but not on behalf of all Muslims. It is an insult to a majority of the Muslims here when it is implied that we can be influenced just because other faiths use this word.

Are you implying that by allowing other people to use this the word, it can ‘confuse’ us as Muslims or cause us to be apostates to Islam? This is the biggest joke I’ve ever heard! No wonder there is so much misunderstanding that the world has over us Muslims.

These so-called ‘champions of Islam’ in the government speak as if to protect us Muslims from being ‘confused’ or from being potential apostates and this is creating to all these misunderstandings.

The same guy who uses ISA ‘to protect’ people. That’s the problem with the government – getting incompetent people to do the job. This is the biggest embarrassment to us Muslims in Malaysia, especially to the silent majority.

If there are sites or people that insult the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), then, by all means prosecute the person or persons behind them as it is not right for a person to insult other faiths.

Please put up laws to prevent certain people with unsound minds from doing so and charge them in court. The same goes to anybody who insults other faiths, not only us Muslims. I think this is acceptable to all.

As for the Herald, I would like to ask for some understanding on its part to not be confrontational over the use of the word ‘Allah’ for the time being until the problem is resolved by the courts which is just next month.

The editor, Father Lawrence was quoted as saying: ‘We find this restriction on the use of ‘Allah’ unacceptable when we have been using it as a translation for ‘God’ for centuries in Malaysia’.

Let the courts decide then on whether this claim is true or not as I believe that historical facts can be proven through written records.

A Muslim with a sound mind will accept facts as facts and not be threatened if history shows it to be that way.

As a Muslim, I do not think that the word ‘Allah’ whether it is allowed by the courts to be used or not by other faiths will impact my faith in my Allah.

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