(Background with excerpt from Malaysiakini…The Kuala Lumpur High Court handed down its decision on March 10 in the Jill Ireland case, declaring the 1986 administrative order that banned non-Muslims from using the word “Allah” to be invalid. It also affirmed the right of East Malaysian Christians to used the word “Allah”.
East Malaysian Christians have used the word “Allah” in their prayers for hundreds of years; but some conservative Muslims in West Malaysia claim that the word “Allah” is a conspiracy to confuse & convert Muslims. )
Islam is supposed to be a tolerant religion but sadly, the actions of some of its followers gives many people the impression that Islam is intolerant.
The uproar, and the racist and extremist comments on social media emanating from the recent High Court Ruling, which meant that Allah is no longer banned from use by Christians, has helped to disprove that Islam is tolerant.
Some Malays have called for churches to be closed in Malaysia, which they wrongly refer to as “Tanah Melayu”.
For decades, gullible Malays believed the spin by the race-based and religion-based parties in Malaysia, namely Umno-Baru and PAS, which warned them that Malays needed protecting and Islam needed defending.
Malaysians, in particular the Muslims who believed the spin of the politicians, only show us that their faith is very shallow.
During the first tenure of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, non-Muslims were banned from using 20 words, including ‘Allah’. Decades later, the ban continues to divide us. Some of the other banned words are Al-Kitab, Firman, Rasul, Iman and Ibadah.
The non-Malay can never win. If he does not speak Malay, he is told off for lacking patriotism; but many, like the bumiputeras of East Malaysia, use words like “Allah” in prayer. However, the ultra-nationalists attack them for insulting Islam, or for attempting to convert Malays, to Christianity.
So, if Malaysian society has rejected Bahasa Melayu, it is only because of government policy. The language, like race and religion, has been used to divide Malaysians and control our behaviour.
Look at what 63 years of Umno-Baru misrule has done to the Malay mind.
Many Malays are told that looking at the cross on the roof of a church, the wall of a chapel, a school badge, a football jersey, Bible or car emblem, will make him Christian. Are Malays that gullible? Why haven’t Buddhists, Hindus or atheists turned into Christians, just by looking at the cross.
Worse still, even dogs are killed or maimed and illustrations of pigs in books and magazines are defaced. Why are Malay minds so easily corrupted?
Malaysian Christians, in peninsular Malaysia, were banned from using the word ‘Allah’, because the authorities claimed that its use would confuse Malays and make them convert to Christianity.
One outcome from this ban was the creation of bad blood between east and west Malaysians, which has also helped to fan the flames of secession.
Another outcome made the Malaysian mullahs a laughing stock. So, why don’t the more intelligent and moderate Malays/Muslims educate their more impressionable Malay/Muslim friends?
If a Malaysian cannot speak Malay, he is criticised. If the bumiputera, for example Ibans, were to pray in the national language – Bahasa Malaysia, they would be condemned.
It appears that the national language and Article 11 of the Malaysian constitution, which protects the right of the individual to freedom of religion, are not compatible. Is this what the Umno-Baru and PAS politicians want us to think?
When will some forward thinking Malay politician start the new narrative that there is nothing to fear when the Christians, who have been using Allah for many centuries are not the problem.
The problem lies with our politicians and religious extremists. They cherry-pick certain issues from their religion and race, like the ‘Allah’ word ban, and Ketuanan Melayu.
A Malay who supports the use of the word “Allah” by Christians will be accused of being a traitor to his race and religion, and of being manipulated by non-Malays. He will also be told that he knows nothing about Islam because he did not study Islam at university.
If Islam in Malaysia is under threat, because of one word, “Allah”, people will feel contempt for Malays.
If the Muslims are reviled, blame the government of Malaysia. Blame Umno-Baru, PAS and the hypocritical Muslims who keep quiet, when crimes and injustice are perpetrated by Malays and Muslims, who take revenge when others use the word “Allah”.
Since Islam is an Arab religion, it should be left to the Arabs to say if the term “Allah” can or cannot be used by others. And the situation in the Middle East is most Muslims have no objection if Christians there call their god “Allah”.
The fact of the matter is that Islam is supposed to be prophesised by native speakers of the countries they live, their god will appoint them as She chooses. “Allah” appointed Arabic speakers for just Her Arabic audience. To date, there’s not been a prophet who speaks Malay, god must have doubts about picking someone for Malaysia.
So the next best thing for the almost-believers here to do is not just to dress up funny like Arabs all the way to the burqa, and pretend they can manage the Arabic language . Apart from parroting texts like errr fcuking dumb parrots and not knowing how to order nasi lemak in Arabic, or ask for a stick for the toilet, our cheap imitation of Arabs can hardly say anything in Arabic.
The Arabs say our imitation Arabs are lousy at Quranic recital too.
Our Arab friends, defenders of the faith, have always looked down on our Muslims – or Muslims who are not literate in Arabic – and hence know fcuk all the Arab’s religion, it is best and the only way to follow their position regarding the use of the term “Allah”. If the Arabs say others can use that term, then shut up and obey.
Since it is “monkey see, monkey do” for our cheap imitators, they might as well listen to their masters’ voice, ape them all the way.
The Arabs are very respectful and reverential to the Chinese, now, that’s something our cheap imitators should specifically follow..!
Malays practise a religion they call “Islam” – but it is not Islam – according to Syed Akbar Ali. Reason? Malays cannot read the Quran AND understand it. All they do is learn by rote and let others do the interpretation for them. That’s why this Allah issue has become a hot potato for Malays. In other muslim countries, this word is not an issue at all. Only in Malaysia has it become an issue. Malays cannot even make a case for their stand. 60 yrs ago, Prof Mohiuddin(from Iraq) teaching in UM left in a huff but before making a statement that Malays are backward. He was referring to their understanding of their religion. If you know him, you will not be surprised to learn that he had to leave. Even then the seeds of irrationality were being sowed and today what you see is what they sowed. Any hope of improvement? Very slim chance. Malay masses cannot think and are easily stirred into extremes. The problem lies with the Malays. They alone must solve the rot in their society.