The last church attack was some days ago. Fortunately it was with paint and seemed more like a prank rather than being stained by the anger of the previous weeks. Perhaps this is a sign of an anger subsiding, or at least reigned in by the monarchs stepping in and with us at last having one senior UMNO man, Tan Sri Muhyiddin, sounding like a Malay leader more than a Malay apologist. More of this later.
The past week we have seen the rise of a more educated Muslim response to the debate on the use of the word Allah by Catholics in Malaysia. The opinions and arguments against the use of the word Allah by non-Muslims range from a basis of history, that of theology and stems from a lifetime of activism through to simple common sense. It is my hope that those non-Malays really interested in the issue have a glance at all these arguments...
I'm about to make another 'inflamatory' statement or observation in the body text (some would have been offended just by the title above!), so I think it worth drawing your attention to the Disclaimer at the bottom of my blog. The Disclaimer clearly states that:
This blog carries the personal views of Akhramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi (A M Ubaidah S) and does not represent the views, principles or actions of any other company, organisation, entity or individual owned, employing or that has employed, affiliated or linked to A M Ubaidah S at any time.
Why is it important for me to draw your attention to the Disclaimer? It is because a few days ago, someone lodged a complaint with my company, suggesting that I be sacked! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! How's that for a 'violent' response!? Fortunately, my company treats its employees fairly, so I was informed of the call, assured my position was fine as the firm respects my rights to free speech and concern was expressed over my well-being!
So, if you think my next comment sucks big time, please, read the Disclaimer, and save your energy (and my busy bosses' time) from trying to get me sacked! You have a better chance getting me arrested... actually, hope not!
Anyway, I still would like to hear from the real culprits that have created this whole mess, the Catholic establishment in Malaysia. It appears as if the Catholic leaders have chosen to adopt an 'Elegant Silence' on the issue! So, when are they withdrawing their case from the courts in line with the views of the Rulers? When are they publicly declaring a return to the status-quo? Where is even the apology to all affected by their agenda, whether Muslims or the firebombed churches??
One can argue that the Catholic establishment's continued crass pursuit of spreading a Malay gospel across Peninsular Malaysia despite the disharmony it causes, may just be a reflection of the attitude of their current Pope, Benedict XVI. The same Pope has till now, still not fully addressed the slurs towards Islam when presenting the Regensberg Speech in September 2006. He even cheekily apologised for the a small part of the speech, whilst not withdrawing the slurs!
So, when the Catholic church in Malaysia stays silent following the calls for their case to be dropped, is it in defiance of the Malay Rulers? Worse still, could it even be in obedience to the Pope? So, do they have to defy the Rulers if they are to obey the Pope? What a position to be in! To be instructed by a German sitting in a palace 'in' Rome to pursue something that disrupts the harmony of the multi-religious community in Malaysia as a show of piety must be hard to bear...
... but I really can't have any sympathy for them! Rather than having a youngster charged due to a Facebook posting, the police should really be investigating the Catholic church for evidence of malicious sedition! TS Muhyiddin himself remarked to the press that his Christian friends from East Malaysia expressed regret over the Catholic Herald's poor behaviour in this matter, surely laying responsibility over the whole issue on the shoulders of the Catholic leadership!
But before I go, let me continue with some more finger pointing. Where was the Malay leadership in the midst of this issue boiling over? I am not talking about DS Najib, who very rightly maintained his dignity as the leader of all Malaysians. His intervention is best reserved for a little later. I am also not talking about TS Muhyiddin, who was abroad when the matter exploded in violence and who nevertheless succeeded in providing the first show of strong Malay leadership.
I am talking about the so-called next line of UMNO leaders onwards. Why has the language been more of appeasement and the tone been apologetic? The UMNO Youth Chief for instance was amply silent on Malay sentiments, but was quick to to seek appeasement for the resulting violence and is all too keen on the conviction of a 20+ year old nuisance on some Facebook postings! Is he saying youths on Facebook are more a threat to our nation's peace and harmony?
There has been the odd saving graces of course. For instance, DS Zahid Hamidi's performance in Parliament stands out when voicing Malay concerns in unity with the non-Erdogan PAS MPs like YB Ustaz Taib Azamuddin. On the blogs, we have Tun Faisal Ismail Aziz, an UMNO Youth Exco member who stands out for his firm focus against the Catholic pursuit of the use of Allah. Nonetheless, a vacuum persists, made worse by DS Anwar's and the Erdogans' selling-out on the issue!
Whilst I point my finger towards the weakness of Malay leadership on this matter, I nevertheless cannot excuse the Catholic establishment from the 'original sin' here. A reaction from the Malay leadership would not have been necessary if the Catholic Herald had not pursued the matter in the courts. Without that action, there would not have been any sort of reaction at all! As nothing would have been sown to be reaped...