Monday, January 07, 2008

Allah ® Copyright Reserve - a necessity?

I am a bit sick of the debate still going on about the use of the A-word to refer to the Christian God in articles and letters over at Malaysiakini. The pointless debate has been and is distracting our attention from far more important issues like corruption, cronyism and crimes.

Let kaytee give his personal opinion and in the process annoy or upset both sides – it’ only fair ;-)

As I had blogged in What in God's name ... UMNO is striving to keep one step ahead of PAS in their holier-than-thou battles. It’s a fierce combative struggle for the hearts, minds, souls and most important of all, the votes of the faithful because it ensures political power and the associated trimmings.

I also mentioned in that previous posting, that politicial joustling has been the one of the principal reasons why Malaysia has jumped the divide from Tengku Abdul Rahman’s secular Malaya/Malaysia across to what UMNO now claims it to be, Islamic Malaysia.

Both parties have been striving hard to recruit Allah swt over to their banner. Yes, it’s all for votes that Allah swt has been ® by the UMNO-led government.

Therefore the reality is that the UMNO-led government will never budge on its exclusion of non-Muslims from using the A-word. Any ‘slow or sweet talk’, logic or reminders of global Christian use of the A-word to refer to God won’t work.

When UMNO ministers talked about the use of the A-word ‘confusing the people’, they had two issues in mind, both structured to prevent PAS from exploiting (1) any perceived UMNO ‘leniency’ in permitting the use of the A-word, especially by Christians, and (2) the (perception of) feared incursion by the Christian Church into Malaysia’s Islamic parish.

The second issue is not solely about adverse political perception but a genuine wariness regarding the proselytizing design of the Church. Christianity like Islam is a missionary religion hence it has a duty not only to God but to the Church to convert as many into its fold as possible.

The unfaltering belief of the Muslim heartland in UMNO’s role as the guardian of Islam is vital to the political party’s very survival, a status that PAS has been endeavoring to erode so as to position itself as the 'genuine’ religious guardian.

Thus UMNO will not condone any possibility, no matter how slight, of PAS pointing an accusing finger at it failing to protect Malaysian Muslims from the encroaching doctrine of the Christians or other non-Muslims.

Remember the incident when the FT Gerakan criticized the Mufti of Perak and proposed to petition the Sultan of Perak to get rid of that seditious bloke? Well, didn’t PAS immediately jump on Gerakan as interfering in Islamic affairs?

It was an opportunity for PAS to put UMNO on the defensive, that of having political allies who had been ‘disrespectful’ to Islam [as if the Perak Mufti has been/could be a shining paragon of Islam].

And why do you think Gerakan swallowed humble pie and apologized? Did you imagine for one instant that it was afraid of PAS? ‘Twas just a case of Taikoh telling the Gerakan to kill the controversy off mucho pronto by making the unnecessary but politically expedient apology.

Likewise with the cases of Lina Joy, etc!

Therefore I believe the Catholic newspaper Herald has been ‘relatively’ fortunate to have its permit renewed. I stress ‘relatively’ fortunate because the stark reality is we are not living in an ideal world.

We aren’t talking about right or wrong here. Before UMNO’s interests, all must and will be swept aside. If you don’t believe me, ask the MCA. As Mao said, power comes from the barrel of the gun, and UMNO has the guns!

Now, over to the motive of the Herald!

As I had also blogged in What in God's name ... I must ask the publishers and editors of the Herald why they had to use the ‘Allah’ word when an alternative and more commonly used word ‘Tuhan’ exists?

Yes, yes, we can go into semantics and argue that Allah is used by Christian Arabs ... yadda yadda yadda ... but my point is why use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God when we can easily anticipate the claim staking of the Almighty's name?

Yes, WTF does the Herald want to use the A-word?

As I said, it's not as if there is no other word to refer to God, when in fact an adequate and more commonly used word, namely Tuhan, exist. I hailed from a Methodist school so I can safely say that we didn’t refer to Allah swt as God.

No doubt the Church’s defenders will bring in the use of the A-word by Arab Christians, but are we Arab Christians, and have we historically referred to God as Allah swt?

No doubt the Christians supporters will refer to the Iban Bible’s use of a form of A-word, but is the Iban Bible a staple reference for Malaysians Christians in general? The use of the Iban Bible is peculiar and limited to one particular community, such that the PM has allowed its continued reference to the A-word.

And I have no doubt that same permission will apply to the Sikh religion. In fact the Sikh God is Vāhigurū, and reference to Allah is contained in the teaching by Sri Guru Granth Sahib as follows:

"I observe neither Hindu fasting nor the ritual of the Muslim Ramadan month; Him I serve who at the last shall save. The Lord of universe of the Hindus, Gosain and Allah to me are one; From Hindus and Muslims have I broken free. I perform neither Kaaba pilgrimage nor at bathing spots worship; One sole Lord I serve, and no other. I perform neither the Hindu worship nor the Muslim prayer; To the Sole Formless Lord in my heart I bow. We neither are Hindus nor Muslims; Our body and life belong to the One Supreme Being who alone is both Ram and Allah for us."

Its use is limited and qualified. Quite frankly the Sikhs can go ahead and publish the Allah word in Punjabi and the UMNO-government couldn't care less.

But not so in Bahasa, where the readership could embrace the Malays and worst of all, its use reaching the eyes of the PAS political propagandists.

In both Malaysia's Rukun Negara and Indonesia's Panca Sila, God is referred to as Tuhan. Of course we can play silly politics and clever semantics by pointing out the use of Allah in some State anthems.

Indeed I question the sincerity of the Herald publishers and editors in insisting on using a word that is not regularly used by Malaysian Christians. If there is no sinister proselytising intent, then why persist obdurately in wanting to use it?

We may not like what UMNO is doing with its Islamist agenda, but that doesn’t mean we ourselves cannot be fair (standing above the grubby gutter religious politics of UMNO and PAS) and question the true intent and sincerity of the Herald. We shouldn't blindly take the side of the Herald just to spite or merely oppose UMNO (or the Muslims).

Of course I'll continue to support the Herald's right to publish its Bahasa section - that's quite different from the issue of the A-word.

But I definitely do not support the Herald’s whining, wailing and whinging about its right to use the A-word to refer to the Christian God. I am not interested in supporting its selfish agenda. I want to concentrate on publicising the BN’s corruption, cronyism and crimes rather than the Church's recruiting drive, by stealth.

Sh*t, will my Christian friends still talk to me after this? Wait, let me put on my flak jacket ;-)


  1. mental jog

    you are right. i won't talk to you for 50 days. :(

    as i note that my respond to you will be long, i am doing it in my blog instead and not here, so to you (and to others), do click here to read my response.

  2. Aiyo Katy you still don`t get it.
    The`A` word not for for you or your methodist school background, or for lucia, or those Indians and Chinese in the peninsular lah.

    It is mainly for those Ibans etc who learn to speak in malay as toddlers.
    Perspective sikit lah bro.

  3. `Of course we can play silly politics and clever semantics by pointing out the use of Allah in some State anthems.`

    How is that semantics? The State Anthems should remove that word as nons singing it would be an act of hypocrisy.

  4. Hi KT,
    The Malay speaking Christians in Malaysia and Indonesia have been using Allah even before you were born, since time immemorial.

    How would you expect the Herald and the Catholic church to suddenly change. That would cause a furore among the believers. Also, if they were to change, the the believers would still use Allah in their prayers, songs, conversation and their local writings.

    You seem to be ranting about your own perspectives and not taking others into view.

    However, you have a right to rant but maybe next time do consider others.

  5. Then verses 71-93 tell the stories of Noah (vv. 71-74) and Moses (vv. 75-93), without significant variation from the versions in sura 7. Both Noah and Moses are cast in roles much like Muhammad’s: prophets whose messages go unheeded by their insolent and spiteful hearers, who are duly punished. Moses actually prays here that Allah not have mercy on Pharaoh: “Deface, our Lord, the features of their wealth, and send hardness to their hearts, so they will not believe until they see the grievous penalty” (v. 88). Allah accepts their prayer (v. 89), although when Pharaoh repents (v. 90), Allah saves him (v. 92). He “settled the Children of Israel in a beautiful dwelling-place,” but “they fell into schisms” (v. 93). According to a hadith, “the Jews separated into seventy-one sects, and the Christians separated into seventy-two sects, and this Ummah [the Muslim community] will separate into seventy-three sects, one of which is in Paradise, seventy-two in the Fire.”

  6. KT, I fancy you'll need more than a flak jacket. :D For now, you'll need one of those armored Lexus that Benazir Bhutto used and better not open the sun roof!

  7. RTM, Astro and Censorship Board should ban `A..` from hindi movies otherwise muslims will become hindus.

    Also ban `A...` because it refers to Goddes Durga.

  8. "And now back to the subject of Islamizing Proton. The news agency report said that according to the plan, the car will have a compass pointing the driver in the direction of prayer [i.e. towards Mecca], and will [also] have a special compartment to hold a Koran.

    "Having a good taste in cars, I hereby appoint myself member of the Supreme Council for Completing the Implementation of Islamization at Proton. Here are my suggestions:

    · "A device will be added to the car that identifies passengers of the fair sex who are neither the driver's sister nor his mother...

    · "Only water from the sacred Zamzam [2] well will be used in the car radiator, instead of those ordinary green and red fluids.

    · "Purchasers... will receive a black cover for the car, to hide it from the eyes of the sun.

    · "The car will be equipped with a device for those who like to travel [abroad in their car], that will indicate which country is Christian and which is Muslim, and [precisely] what school of religious thought prevails in [each Muslim country]...

    · "It wouldn't hurt for the car to also have a device warning driver and passengers of places of corruption and licentiousness that they may encounter on their way, such as dance clubs and pubs.

    · "For Muslims who fast during Ramadan, it is a good idea to equip the car with a 'dates and milk' [3] dispenser... […]

    "The next stage of this tripartite project will focus on Christians and Jews... For each religion - its very own vehicle!"

  9. KT Kathy? I like that:)

    Your take is so west malaysian. east malaysian natives speaks melayu and have used allah as the name for God Almighty before joining the federation. are you saying their joining malaysia is wrong and should now pull out?

    it this not an erosion of freedom and conscience? slowly slowly they are boiling the frog alive.


  10. KT,
    You're absolutely spot on when you say UMNO is trying to 'out-holy' PAS.

    Before questioning the motives of the Herald, I guess we should question the Herald on who the intended audience is for the BM section. If it is indeed for Christians who speak BM as their first language, like those in East Malaysia.

    Read my post here.

    More respect to East Malaysians perhaps?

  11. Correction:
    f it is indeed for Christians who speak BM as their first language, like those in East Malaysia, then why not use the A-word as they are used to?

  12. KT sez:
    "...Church's recruiting drive, by stealth.".

    Wah! KT, old boy, if that's what they do covertly, why can't they when another religion is doing that both covertly and overtly? And the other one offers no chance for ppl to change their mind, no exit permitted too.

    Are you sure you're fair minded and balanced?? LOL!

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  15. above deleted as not appropriate

  16. Stop whinning like a pig about BN s coruption,cronnyism and crimes.
    YOU PIG HEADED just dont understand our christian rights.
    Isnt this A thing a BN threat to our religions ?
    Now that you have gieven your views we think you are just a cheap fake AP watch.Typical of your type just like Mr. Nalla.

  17. my dear friend KT,

    here's my response. what say u?


    Believing in 'Islam' Would Make You Stupid and Vulnerable?

    To prevent 'confusion' among non-Muslims, let's see the Malaysian government prohibit Muslims from reciting the following verses of the Quran:

    5:17: "In blasphemy indeed are those that say that Allah is Christ the son of Mary."

    9:5: "Then, when the sacred months have passed, slay the idolaters wherever ye find them, and take them (captive), and besiege them, and prepare for them each ambush."

    47:4: "Therefore, when ye meet the Unbelievers (in fight), smite at their necks; At length, when ye have thoroughly subdued them, bind a bond firmly (on them): thereafter (is the time for) either generosity or ransom: Until the war lays down its burdens. Thus (are ye commanded): but if it had been Allah's Will, He could certainly have exacted retribution from them (Himself); but (He lets you fight) in order to test you, some with others. But those who are slain in the Way of Allah,- He will never let their deeds be lost."

    8:39: "And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do."

    9:123: "O ye who believe! Fight those of the disbelievers who are near to you, and let them find harshness in you, and know that Allah is with those who keep their duty (unto Him)."

    And many, many other verses in the Quran -- they all should be immediately banned and deleted from the copies of the Quran found in Malaysia, and anybody who posseses a copy of the Quran with those verses (as well as those who print or import the Quran with verses in those words especially in languages other than Bahasa Melayu, since the kafirs are deemed not holy enough for Bahasa Melayu) should be detained indefinitely without trial under the ISA for suspicion of incitement to violence and hate.

    It is only fair, in order to prevent 'confusion' among, and to protect the 'sensitivity' of, non-Muslims (for a change). After all, this is a government for all races and religion, and our Prime Minister is the "Prime Minister of all Malaysians", so let's see the non-Muslims getting some 'protection' for a change.

    I say the Herald should fight all the way in the court because otherwise, one thing will lead to another. Today it is about 'Allah', tomorrow it could be many other things! The moment you accept government interference with your internal communications, that's it -- next time they might even stop you from telling the virgin Mary story because it would be an abomination of 'Allah' to suggest that 'Allah' could beget a son and the Christians would be accused of trying to 'confuse' Muslims again!! (Quran, 6:101 and 9:30) (Which would be a wet dream comes true for many extremist Muslims, I tell ya.)

    This is simply ridiculous -- which means the ulterior motive is very obvious.

  18. I oppose the claim that only Muslims can use the word Allah to refer to God, because the truth is, non-Muslim Arabs also use the word to refer to their non-Muslim Gods. However, I also question the Herald's motive in using the word Allah to refer to God in their Malay language publication because, as explained in this blog, it is not a commonly used word by Malaysian Christians to refer to God. The usual word is Tuhan. Do we hear Melaka Babas, for e.g., saying gua mau pergi tokong sembah Allah hari ni?