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Sakmongkol ak 47

Monday 4 January 2010

Confident and Timid Muslims

If one examines the trenchant debates that are making their rounds in the blogosphere, we shall quickly arrive at this observation. They have less to do with piety than jostling to gain the superior ground.

Unfortunately, the Islamic religion and its adherents here in Malaysia, are at the losing end.

There's one imbecile who was suggesting that Muslims should be proud that other religions want to use the term Allah. I don't think so. This kind of facetious patronage extols Islam and its God when doing so, offers them a chess move advantage.

This is the point people are missing. Religion isn't a chess game. Gaining ground over another religion isn't a chess move.

Now what? There will be an appeal to the higher court. Or is a right of appeal now no longer an option to the Muslims here in Malaysia? Or is appealing to the next court, a sign of a not confident Muslim? Or appealing entails one being labeled as a religious bigot?

The point I was making in the previous article when saying that the idea of even bringing the issue before the court is abominable because we can see nothing but trouble brewing.

The Muslims and Malays here are agitated. You think, by condoning the ruling Messrs Khalid Samad and Zulkifli Ahmad are not causing the PAS ground to crumble? They are veering towards Zulkifli Nordin or even Mahfuz Omar. They are calling for an emergency meeting because the voices of discontent from the grassroots are threatening to swamp them.

What about UMNO? UMNO has to win this case. I am saying this in a matter of fact manner. Nothing to do with bigotry.

The ordinary Malays, the pasar malam crowd, the kampong mindset are not going to tolerate this insult. And the insult, growing in volume and intensity each day, will translate into civil unrest. So at what cost is the ruling obtained?

Do you think this kind of crowd is easily appeased by calls to be confident Muslims when life to them, has all this while been perceived as a severity imposed on them by the group represented by the person calling the Muslim masses to be confident? You are appealing NOT to a crowd with an average capita income of USD 16,000. If Malaysian Muslims are the Cannes film festival crowd, that kind of 'enlightened' exhortation might work.

Now think about this- this victory is going to be achieved at the cost of a massive build up of resentment. Can the Muslim progressives, yes those confident ones representing the Cannes Film Festival group, control the direction of this resentment?

You and I, peace-loving people, know where this issue, unresolved in favor of the majority, will lead to. Which particular interest are we going to uphold? This is the interest 70% of the respondents by the Merdeka Center Survey felt, but not published by the MSM papers nor Malaysian Insider.

Peace or a pyrrhic victory?

Faith is a gift, not a product arrived at by logic.

By the way, Angelina Jolie, the name- I like. 


1Melayu,  4 January 2010 at 11:03  

If the Court still reject our appeal, why not we change the Rukun Negara from 'Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan' to ' Kepercayaan kepada ALLAH'. Let see the response from the non Muslims citizen.
I am very sad to hear the PM called for calm. How to be calmed when every single rights of us is being challenged. How come the Muslims have to be aware of the sensitivity whereas the non-Muslims do not have to be sensitive of the Muslims? Like you said who is the majority?

Anonymous,  4 January 2010 at 11:05  

The matter of fact is people with vested interests are mixing religion with politics.

We can see interested parties will exploit this to the hilt to split the country. BTN would love it.

Any country... mixing religion with politics in a multi religious country is not good...very very bad indeed.

There is no shortage of examples in the world.

Now we are arguing over a "word" to call God which in fact IS the same God by all three major religions.

I dont think this kind of thing happens in any other country.

It is insane.

Malaysia boleh.

ServiceB4Self,  4 January 2010 at 12:37  

I suppose that ALL religion is now required to change whatever term that is used to describe "God" to "Allah" in all scriptures irregardless the language the scripture are in?

The Bible in english should now be amended such that "Allah" be used instead of Jesus, Holy Ghost, Lord etc? Afterall an arabic word is now accepted as the definition of "God"!

Where would this lead to?

Wenger J Khairy 4 January 2010 at 13:17  

I agree with your point of view and as a Christian disagree that the term "Allah" should be used to represent the God in the Christian faith. The term is Elohim, which is a word that subscribes the divine nature of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and is not synonymous with "Allah."

The right way for the Church is to understand the root word "El" - a Semitic term that is shared by the Arabic and Hebrew language. When in the Psalms

This whole issue could have been resolved if the Catholic Church were to refer to what Christ said just before he died on the cross.

"Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani"
which is a quotation from the Psalm 22.

In that the term he used was
Eli, Eli (or Eloi, Eloi).

This was Jesus talking to the Father. Christians can only communicate to the Father through Jesus. Anything else is not Christianity and is a heresy.

The Muslim term for God is Allah, the Jewish translation is Elah. From my limited search, the only time Elah is used is as Elah Yisrael meaning God of Israel, a specific name of God. The predominant term used to describe God is Elohim because the foundation of the Christian faith is that Jesus Christ is God and is the Intercessor between the Father and man, and the Holy Spirit is given to believers in Jesus.

And I also do not consider the Catholic Church as representative of the Christian faith. But that is really a discussion for another time and place.

Really, the Catholic Church should have done its homework. Research the etymology of the meaning of the term "Allah" and understand that it is not applicable when the Christians accept the Trinity as the basis of the faith.

Furthermore, the original language of Christianity is the Hebrew language for the Old Testament, and the Greek language for the New Testament. Arabic is never in the picture.

I do hope the Church in Malaysia and the respective Bibical Scholars speak up on this one.

This is a time to be heard.

It is not scoring brownie points and it is not necessary nor desirable for God's name to be shared between the Islamic faith and the Christian faith because as a Christian, it is totally incompatible.

I have said my piece.

Wenger J Khairy 4 January 2010 at 13:39  

Unfortunately Dato' I have locked myself out of my blog and cannot make this into a posting.

In some matters I respect the Muslims because they clearly know the difference between the Islamic faith and the Christian faith that the Christians accept Jesus Christ as not only the Son of God but God Himself, but the Muslims do not.

This distinction is very very clear and there is no desire for me as a Christian to have this distinction blurred one bit.

The Muslims know this very clearly and it is surprising that the Church cannot seem to grasp this fundamental and important difference that is obliterated if the Church uses Allah to refer to God. Furthermore it has 0 Biblical foundation.

The Bible was written originally in Hebrew and Greek. In some aspects the Muslims are better off in the sense that people study about the Koran in its original language which is Arabic. For Christians, Biblical scholars throughout the ages have translated the Hebrew and the Greek into English and other languages. The work was meticulous and in some cases, the Hebrew was preserved especially when referring to the Names of God - for example Elohim as there is no analogous example in the translated language.

When translating the Bible into Malay or Arabic, there should be just as much care put into it. If no analogous word for the Names of God is present in Arabic or Malay, use the Hebrew or the Greek.

After all, we cannot see God but we can only perceive Him and trust in Him. Its not a case of pointing and saying "this is God".

So it is an exercise in faith as opposed to a noun description. And without faith, there is no such thing as Christianity.

I hope you can figure a way to publish my comment to show that this move initiated by the Catholic Church is NOT AT ALL supported by me. Let the Christians learn from the Muslim more about their faith.

Anonymous,  4 January 2010 at 17:23  

why there is NO problem for Indonesian Muslim to accept "Allah" use by Christian community there ??
Even the the Arab christian uses "Allah" in their worship.

Why Muslims all around the world are always filled with anger ??


Wenger J Khairy 4 January 2010 at 18:23  

I am a Christian. Point me the original Hebrew or Greek where God is referred to as Allah. It is not there.

And on the subject of Islam and Christianity in Indonesia, both have been accused of violence against each other. Go to Kalimantan to find out.

Thank goodness the Muslims are up in arms. They are clear on the difference between Islam and Christianity.

Remember Don, God can use non-believers to impart His punishment. I hope your not one of those Malaysians who are overseas and want to poke and poke and create problems for the people who live in Malaysia. In that case, you may escape the direct effect but others in the country will not.

Is this what the Bible teaches you?

I am working overseas. But I do not want the Muslims and the Christians to fight over this issue, especially when the position taken by the Catholic Church is clearly wrong.

Dato Sak,
Sorry Dato' there are people like this, my humble apologies. These people are misusing religion and today if they profess to be Christians they are as guilty as doing injustice to the faith as what others had done to yours.

Please accept my aplogies on behalf of this Don, and if he persists, please know that he is speaking on behalf of the Devil and not on Jesus Christ, because Christ will never want his followers to incite hate as what this Don is up to.

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