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Sakmongkol ak 47

ariff.sabri@gmail.com

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Allah issue: not politics or favoured resort of gutter politicians.

The things that we dread are already happening.

UMNO cannot answer back. It's allowed to, only when and if its answers and responses are agreeable. It's a Henry Ford-esque dictum of: you can have any colour as long as it's black. Of course we can't agree if it's wrong.

This isn't an issue of politicising Allah as Anwar Ibrahim claims. When some silly person asks where is Allah in UMNO's administration- obviously with below the belt cynicism implied, that does NOT excuse any Muslim even if he/she is from dreaded UMNO to speak up. That silly person hasn't got the monopoly to speak about Islam nor does he/she owns religious righteousness. You can't prequalify who can and cannot speak up for Islam.

Somehow, suggesting that what UMNO is doing is diverting the public from UMNO's own political vulnerabilities, is so passé. The wrongs in society caused by the government's mismanagements will be exposed anyway despite attempts to divert, subvert or cover them. You mean to say, you people too will be quiet because UMNO people don't want to speak about it? Since when does speaking out against injustices and wrongs dependent upon whether its sanctioned or otherwise by UMNO by employing, to humour Mr Anwar and others, 'diversionary' tactics? So don't patronise us by suggesting that only our accusers have the monopoly over what is right.

The same suggestion can be applied to PKR and to Anwar Ibrahim. PKR is politicising the issue to cover its own political vulnerabilities. The latest drama is the resignation of the once pony-tailed Sallehuddin Hashim. (Son of the colourful Hashim Gera). His resignation may have been precipitated by Anwar's stand on the Allah issue.

We don't give a damn how UMNO or PKR want to handle this issue. This isn't about UMNO or PKR- it's about religion and to Muslims it's about Islam. Why can't this issue be treated as beyond partisanship? Debate whether it's wrong or right and more important whether it's appropriate. We just don't compromise on certain principles.

The majority of Muslims(less the more confident and the more knowledgeable, the caviar clerics, smoked-salmon sermoners, the Bolshevik Believers) are agitated and plain angry. The people in the bracket are all ok. They have no problem with their Islam. Only the plebeians do.

They are angry not because their sentiments and emotions are inflamed by the powers that be. Their resentment is voluntary and spontaneous. Those angry aren't just people from UMNO or UMNO supporters. PAS rank and file members and supporters are too. The Muslim public in Malaysia is angry also.

This time, the anger is caused by the legal permission that says the name Allah is now shareable. Hence, it is now possible to claim the Allah is the God of Christians and Muslims alike.

Malays are opposing the permission to use the name Allah because it is WRONG. This is the reason. It has nothing to do with Malay/Muslims being provincial, timid and so forth. It also has nothing to do with denying others to practice their own religions.

Let's be clear. The Muslims here oppose the use of Allah by Catholics not because they want to deny Christians to practice their religion. It's not even about religious intolerance as some of the caviar clerics and the Bolshevik Believers want others to believe.

Muslim oppose because the meaning of Allah to Muslims is different than that understood by Christians. To the Catholics it's just a name to refer to God. To Muslims it's not just a name. To allow that means we are compromising our religious beliefs. And by compromising does not mean we are less confident of our own religiosity which when shaken leads Malays to convert to Christianity as suggested by RPK.

The deliberate effort to impute the same meaning in the name Allah even though it's used by 2 distinct religions is the issue here. The Christian Allah and the Muslim Allah do not have the same meaning and implications therein.

If they have the same meaning, why do Muslims and Islamic religious authorities go berserk when a Muslim wants to convert to Christianity? We shouldn't make any fuss if we share the same God and His attributes, right? Anwar Ibrahim in this case, should support any Muslim who wants to convert to Christianity since by the definition so wished; Allah is the God of Christians and Muslims. Such a definition is untenable.

So when the Muslims insist that Allah cannot be used by Catholics if its usage carries with it meanings alien to that understood by Muslims, can we then judge the Muslims as being intolerant?

What are the Muslims doing here? Not waging war against Christianity but protecting Islam.

The more we talk about this issue, for us Muslims at least, the issue is not about balancing sensitivities. The issue is whether it is right to assign the same meanings to the name Allah when It is used by both Christians and Muslims.

Now, when UMNO argues the case for disallowing the use of Allah it must argue on the basis of right, wrong and appropriateness. Right and wrong are pure principles while appropriateness is discretionary.

Balancing of sensitivities is the foundation of tolerance. Insisting on the rigid application of principles, fixed and uncompromising laws can also lead to an impersonal, overbearing and imposing state apparatus. What do you call that? Plutocracy? Kleptocracy? Only people wealthy in religious knowledge or rich in legal knowledge are the only ones who can define how society should behave? And when we don't behave in accordance to their refined tastes, we are gutter politicians and those who agree with gutter politicians are rancid material?

We do not want that. Disallowing balancing of sensitivities will lead us to induced rigor mortis.

The whole idea of tolerance rests on our ability to manage sensitivities. We should be horrified at the idea of demanding we desensitise ourselves in favour of sticking to impersonal principles WHEN doing so generates unrest and animosity between religious people. The victim will be peace.

Even the rigidity of the law requires the occasional intervention of equity. When that happens, that does not and has never meant the non-application of pure legal principles made the law less just.

13 comments:

Are You Gonna Go My Way,  8 January 2010 at 02:06  

After participating in this debate about ALLAH and watching each party put forward arguments whether pro or against and whether from non muslim or muslim I come to a conclusion that freedom of speech and total democracy won’t work when it comes to sensitive issues like religion.

Religion is about faith and not logic. Law is about fact. We simply cannot use fact and logic to determine faith.

We attain faith only after we get to know God. People get to know god and have faith through all kind of experiences and processes during their lifetime. Your experience before having faith with your god and my experience with my god are not the same. It could well be the same god but you look at it from your angle and I from my angle. Same god, different faith.

Like what I’ve just said, no amount of argument and court procedure can determine faith. That’s why KDN (not UMNO)have the power to determine the action to be taken for sensitive issues such as this. Ban, Banishment, ISA whatever it takes.

Having been with KDN for few years and having seen most sensitive files there, I’m not afraid to say that I support ISA.

Anonymous,  8 January 2010 at 06:01  

The FC who represented MIA being the respondent should be blamed on the appeal by Herald Magazine for its publication banned. The counsel should had argued on the Ministry of Internal Affair jurisdiction to issue/withdrawn publication permit or to ban any publication in the country.

Anonymous,  8 January 2010 at 09:00  

I am looking at two situations:

a. Selangor state anthem, which reads:

Duli Yang Maha Mulia
Selamat di atas takhta
Allah lanjutkan usia Tuanku
Rakyat mohon restu bawah Duli Tuanku
Bahagia selama-lamanya
Aman dan sentosa
Duli Yang Maha Mulia

b. Baca doa in public events and in Sekolah Kebangsaan.

In both instances above, the non-Muslims have accepted the fact that Allah is used and in the case of 1 above, non-Muslims also sing the state anthem. I remember doing that in primary school in K.L when the city was still under Selangor.

The scenario now seems to be:

a. Whatever UMNO introduces, non-Muslims must accept without questioning, including mentioning of the word 'Allah'. There should be no course of alarm among the non-Muslims and they should not raise any concerns.

b. But when the Catholics in Malaysia want to use the word in Bahasa Malaysia communication specifically for its Church goers only, UMNO wants to deter such action.

Since when did UMNO take on the role of interfering in the activities of a Church?

Does this not point out to just one fact - UMNO never tolerates any action by those in Malaysia, when it does not match UMNO's crude agenda.

If this is not the snobbish and arrogant 'ketuanan' that is being forced down the throat of non-Muslims, what else can we call this?

PARAMESWARA

Anonymous,  8 January 2010 at 09:09  

Dato'

You said,

"What are the Muslims doing here? Not waging war against Christianity but protecting Islam."

Fire Bombing a Church and Hacking the judiciary Website is not Waging War?

It is not surprising that UMNO leaders are seen as condoning these actions as they appear unwilling to impose discipline on those unable to accept a peaceful resolution to the problem.

And why should UMNO leaders "appear" to condone these actions if there is no political benefit to them? After all previous actions points to DS Najib only interested in political outcomes , the Perak Case being one example.





Joe Black

Y1 8 January 2010 at 10:54  

"What are the Muslims doing here? Not waging war against Christianity but protecting Islam."

Seems to me only Malaysian Muslims are protecting Islam withe regards to the usage of the word 'Allah' while the rest of the world seems to agree with its usage. Why?

sakmongkol AK47 8 January 2010 at 11:58  

richard cranium,
i think you are not alone in saying the sheer stupidity of it all.
after the fact.

when i wrote on this issue pointing out to the possible effects, saying this issue defies logic because its grounded on faith, you people say, naw- these are all churlish knee jerk responses.
saya sudah katakan dulu.

ya sekarann bila gereja sudah terbakar atau cuba di bakar, dan demo besar2 di benarkan, dan mungkin huru hara akan terjadi, baru kita mahu kata, sheesh the stupidity of it all?

Anonymous,  8 January 2010 at 12:06  

Dato Sak

Would you say that the Christians and the Catholics should take the blame for the fire-bombing of the Desa Melawati Church and the attempted firebombing of the Catholic Church next to the Assunta Hospital.

After all, the Prime Minister said the Govt cannot stop the protest, which is almost givinfg a green light for escalating the crisis to fire bombing churches and even onto the streets.

Your thoughts as a Muslim opposed to the High Court decision.

sakmongkol AK47 8 January 2010 at 12:22  

anon at 12:06.

i was about to post my latest entry which anticipates similar questions like yours.
burning churches or any house of worship is reprehensible and a clear cut heinous crime.

Richard Cranium 8 January 2010 at 12:39  

Quite the contrary. I said the sheer stupidity of it all BEFORE I read about the fire-bombing.

You are among the many who knew where all these sabre-rattling will take us.

That time is here. And we have that one stupid government bureaucrat to thank.

Anonymous,  8 January 2010 at 12:43  

N the first place, the Herald was oblivious with the sensitivities of Muslims in Malaysia.

To drag the case to court just because the were stubborn in not following the Ministry's directive was their first mistake.

Intolerant people like The HErald should be condemned too.

I gladly torch any people around if the want to abuse my religion this way.

And I am not even from your Umno.

Muslim,  8 January 2010 at 14:26  

I think it is time now for Malaysia to adopt Islamic law in its Court reason being our nation official religion is Islam.


Isnt't it absurd, a muslim country practicing common law.


It is time or else time will make it happen whether you believe it or not.

Anonymous,  8 January 2010 at 22:00  

"Malays are opposing the permission to use the name Allah because it is WRONG." – Sakmongkol AK 47

--------------

Sakmongkol AK 47
Read this:

Surah 29, Ayat 46:

“And dispute you not with the People of the Book, except with means better (than mere disputation) unless it be with those of them who inflict wrong (and injury); but say we believe in the revelation that has come down to us and in that which came down to you; our Allah and your Allah is one; and it is to Him we bow.”

I thought this very phrase alone should bring some sense to a lot of us.

Anonymous,  9 January 2010 at 09:42  

Dato Sak, therein lies the difference on how muslims like yourself feel about Christians using the term "Allah".
I mention muslim like yourself, because there a lot of muslims who are ok with Christians using the term "Allah"
Secondly, "Allah " is only use when communicating to the Christian bumis as they speak Bahasa Melayu. They have been using this term for a very long time , however now they are not allowed too ? Why ? Has our society become more intolerant?
Thirdly, I agree religion and politics should not mix. Why was there no dialogue held instead of an outright ban ?
Forthly, as you have predicted something untoward is sure to happen.It happened. Are you saying Christians should back down and give in because some parties will do something nasty ? Is that a good enough reason for any faith for the matter to back down ? Would you do it?
Are you aware, Christians have been taught to pray for strength and courage at any adversity ? Violence is never an option.
To the Christians, any challenges, is a test of their faith.
Are there any similarities so far with Islam ? I believe you can find a lot of similarities.
Presently, GOD is watching us all.
Do you think God would be happy that we are fighting over the use of his name ?
How we react and handle the situation is crucial. God is watching us all.

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