Sunday, January 13, 2008

Internal Security Ministry intruding on Christian rights!

In my post Allah ® Copyright Reserve - a necessity? I question the Herald, the organ of the Catholic Church in Malaysia, for insisting on using the word ‘Allah’ in its Bahasa section when referring to God .

While I support its right to publish Church news and articles in Bahasa, I was and still am of the opinion that it is unnecessary to employ the A-word when Tuhan would do just as well. The Herald’s claim that Sabahans and Sarawakians use the A-word because of its presence in the imported Indonesian al Kitab is not a plausible reason, apart from insulting East Malaysian Christians as if they can’t distinguish what the Bahasa word Tuhan means.

My expressed opinion has been controversial especially for a non-Muslim (would it be tautological to state I am non-Melayu too), where I deeply upset my dear blogger friend Lucia Lai of Mental Jog. As punishment for what she must have deemed as my loose cannon shot, she is refusing to communicate with me for 50 days, 10 more than what Moses had spent on Mount Sinai while waiting for the 10 Commandments (Exodus 24:18).

However, when I read the Malaysiakini news article that Christian children books have been seized by enforcement officials of the Publications and Al-Quran Texts Control Department under the Internal Security Ministry in 3 States - in Johor Bahru, Senawang in Negeri Sembilan and Ipoh, Perak - I told myself UMNO’s ‘agama, bangsa dan negara’ fear campaign has gone too far and has now intruded into the rights of Christians.

Malaysiakini reveals that these books have been seized from three MPH bookstores, though it’s not known yet whether other book retailers have had similar raids. And the pathetic excuse has been that the Christian children’s books contain offensive caricatures of prophets.

What left me gobsmacked has been the fact that these books are in English, that's right, not in Bahasa.

Negeri Sembilan and Malacca department director Faizah Nor Sidek said her department acted on a complaint from Islamic authorities. She stated: “The illustrations of prophets in the Christian children’s books are said to offend the sensitivities of Muslims.”

Well, my dear, let me put a few reasons why your department’s action have gone too far:

(1) The books are in English and meant for Christians, not for Muslims. In fact it would be illegal and irreligious for Malaysian Muslims to open Christian text books.

(2) The A-word or several others copyright reserved for Malaysian Islam like 'Baitullah’ (House of God), ‘Solat’ (prayer) and ‘Kaabah’ (The Sacred House) were not used.

(3) The prophets are Christian prophets, way before Prophet Mohamad (pbuh) blessed the Islamic world with Allah’s message of Islam. Therefore kindly stay out of the teachings of Christianity, which predates Islam.

(4) If the Christians have a humorous, tolerant and more confident approach to religious piety, as seen in several movies like Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty that’s none of your bloody business (unless you're a Christian). Also see my post Is God humorous?

But of course, as we all know, the UMNO vs PAS holy-than-thou battles, and the seizure of the books is merely one of them, have nothing to do with religious piety but rather grubby politics and avarice for power and all the attendant trimmings.

I have just blogged on this in What's missing in Malaysian politics? where I stated:

“… the ‘agama, bangsa dan negara’ clarion call has been overused by the desperate, unscrupulous and ambitious to both provide, for example, 9.2 million Teflon-ing excuses as well as to marshal the faithful to the ethnic banner against the fabricated siege by the ‘nons’.”

“The usual candidate for the feared 'nons' would be 'Chinese communists' but now supplanted by 'Indian terrorists'. The doctrine is that the family that fears together sticks together.”

Just because the election is just around the corner doesn’t meant you (AAB's Internal Security Ministry) can merely add another candidate, namely the Christians, for the heartland to ‘fear’ so as to vote for UMNO as their Islamic warrior.

Don't you dare intrude into the Christian domain such as these children text books when it has not intruded into Islamic characteristics (like using the A-word).


  1. By the way, are we non-Muslims now stopped from saying "ALAMAK" which is short for "Allah Emak"?

  2. i tink malaysian government have gone out of hands.Is malaysia a democratic country or a dictator ruling country.Before the al-quran came the bible came 1st.Malaysia government stop touching on the freedom of religion.Islam is not the only religion.There is other religion which the malaysian government should show respect.Christian religion came 1st than Islam.Stop over reacting.Leave as it is and stop over controlling.

    After the HINDRAF the government are nw touching into religion.Christians also are Malaysian citizens so give them the same rights and stop over controlling and stop fearing you ppl can loose something.

    Citizen of Malaysia

  3. UMNO memang sudah melampau, adakah tindakan mereka ini sah mengikut perlembagaan?

    harap2 kita mampu sedarkan kawan2 Melayu yang lain bahawa pada hakikatnya tindakan UMNO ini hanyalah manifestasi kepada hegemoni kuasa dan sebenarnya bukan untuk mempertahankan Islam. Melainkan untuk mempertahankan status quo apabila UMNO berjaya menonjol sebagai hero penyelamat Islam menggunakan isu-isu sebegini.

  4. When HINDRAF claimed of marginalization of Hindus, the others seem to take that it was a Hindus problem. It is a probelm of Hindus. It is the problem all religions in M'sia other than Islam. We saw it coming soon or later.
    We Hindus raised to question the UMNO led Govt on the apartaid policy. Others thought we Hindus just making noise. We are not. We fought for everyone. Join hand with HINDRAF. Let us defend our rights under the constitution irrespective of faith to fight this.

  5. Jangan lupa. Ini negara berbilang kaum and berbilang agama.Hormat menghormati antara kaum dan agama menjadi asas perpaduan.Semua pihak akan rugi jika sekiranya negara ini menjadi huru hara.

  6. So the saying goes " you give an inch and they want a foot" but in Malaysia I say " you give an inch, they think they are your RULER!"

  7. A Muslim may just complain anything has hurt their sentimentalities and the authorities will act against anyone and everyone. Is it not getting too much?

    Soon, everything that is non Muslim will be banned. They will start with haram stuff like pork. Then it is dogs, non halal meat, mini skirt (can you tahan that Kathy?), bikinis, uncovered women, etc etc. These hurt Muslim's feelongs you know.


  8. quote"... can you tahan that Kathy? ..." wow, Y1, we need more information lah, on Kathy, I mean ;-)

  9. Please tell us Mr Ktemoc , after all are being said and written as per your signature undoubtedly truthful & direct frontal attacking response worthy of a Gallant Warrior ...
    ..pray tell us all poor pitiful powerless souls what correct the right and wrong? to restore justice ? to neutralise the evil regime ?

    or do we wait fot the enemy's next impudent salvo( as sure as the sun rises tomorow) followed by yet another of your retaliatory crushing written response ?

  10. Cheap gains for "Allah" being made to ensure Christians retaliate or Christians say things in disgust so that all Muslims will unite in "defending the faith"!. (You may read all Muslims as "all Malays" too).

    The Malays are so divided that UMNO feels the heat. Hindus are a tricky lot. Tamil Tigers and all. But Christians are thought to turn the other cheek so not so scarry. Can whack and whack again and again. Just hope that you get one sucker to fall into the trap and then can galvanise the Muslims for a Danish Cartoons type of a response where all Muslims will come together. Then two weeks later have election!

    In the meantime you got to all pray for the sacrificed souls of all those Muslims who committed the biggest unforgivable sin of all. They had to endure, like as if they had to endure eating pork, having to read these children's Christian books and for the religious officials who seized these books it would have been like touching pork.

    Indeed I took all the trouble to ensure there was no pork in the house and that I served only halal food when I had two tudung wearing Malaysian Malay girls stay in my house in New Zealand a couple of years ago. I did all this telling myself that should I do any less i would be sinning within the context of my faith which is not Islam. Now that through the actions of my faith, giving demand to such children's books, that now has contaminated forever the sinless selves of some very religious Muslims, I feel once again like as if I have sinned. Please forgive me!

  11. You are now living in the Islamic Nation of Malaysia.
    Dhimmis have limited rights. Dhimmis may practice your religion quietly , as long as you do not offend the sensitivities of Muslims in ANY way.

    If you don't like it, take the next plane back to Chennai or Guandong.

    Sorry...I'm being deliberately sacarstic, but its mostly true.

  12. Now you are talking the right stuff.Now you feel it in your bones that those umnoputeras are getting unttolerable and eating into our Christian rights.
    Thats the way to go....

  13. KT=Katy=Kathy :D


  14. hahahahahaahhahahahahaha good one Y1

  15. if u want to talk about ’sensitivity’, u have to stop at the church/mosque/temple door. u DON’T GO INSIDE n then claim to b offended by what goes on INSIDE OTHER PEOPLE’S religious practices/their INTERNAL communications. u DON’T go n read OTHER people’s scriptures/circulars/magazines n then claim that what u read — which r meant for THEIR OWN FOLLOWERS ONLY — is offensive to u, THE OUTSIDER/NON-BELIEVER.

    the moment we want to regulate how OTHER RELIGIONS practice THEIR religions n what THEY say — to EACH OTHER AND NOT TO OUTSIDERS — that would b the END of religious freedom.

    n if it’s okay for muslims to claim to b ’sensitive’ or ‘confused’ about others’ religious practices/dogmas, THEN IT SHOULD B OKAY FOR NON-MUSLIMS TO CLAIM THE SAME ABOUT MUSLIMS’ practices n dogmas TOO, INCLUDING (ESPECIALLY!!!) what has been written in their holiest scripture, the Quran, right?? u can claim to b offended/confused by what i say, y cant I CLAIM THE SAME??? that’s my point.

    unless, “all malaysians r equal; but some malaysians r MORE equal than others”???????????????????????????

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