Thursday, January 28, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
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.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Monday, January 11, 2010
The head of the Catholic church in Malaysia, in an article in the Herald, argued that the Catholic church has a right to use the word Allah as it predates Islam and therefore by implication is not specific to Islam. If this is so why is the name Allah not in the Torah or the Bible? These were the religions that predate Islam. Why was God called Yahweh in the Torah and Deos in the Bible and not Allah? I fail to see the reverend’s evidence for this in the religions that predates the prophet Mohamad (saw)
The reason it (Allah) is not in the Bible or the Torah was that the Torah was revealed to Moses in Hebrew and the Ingil revealed to Isa in the Aramaic and the Aramaic word for God is Elah as the prophet Isa calls him. Allah is in the Koran because it was revealed in Arabic. Is the reverend suggesting that Arabic was widely used before Islam? In my humble knowledge of the middle Eastern history the widely used language then as the equivalent of English today is Greek. That is why the first written Bible was in Greek. The universal name for God before Islam was Theos not Allah.
The word Allah is of Arabic origin. If its use predates the Koran it was confined to the Arabian peninsula, not even Syria or Iraq nor Egypt. Before Arab conquest of these land each had its own language and God is named in their respective languages. Hence it is ridiculous to suggest that Allah was widely used before Islam.
It boggles my mind that the Catholic Church would insist on using the Arabic name for God that was used by the prophet Mohamad (saw) but chooses to ignore the Aramaic name Elah as used by the prophet Isa (puh). Is the Church suggesting that the name Mohamad (saw) used is more important than that used by Isa’s in the hierarchy of God’s name?
This would be my argument to the High court had I been the lawyer that represented the Government.
The reverend further suggests based on his first premise that because the word Allah is part of the Malay language the Church has a constitutional right to use it in a Malay language publication. I would ask the reverend the same question. Was the word Allah part of the Malay language before Islam came to the Malay peninsula. Before that date Malays were either Hindus, Buddhist or just plain Animist. Where is the evidence that shows Allah was the word for God in the writings of the preislamic period in the Malay peninsula.
Allah was introduced to Malays by Arab traders and only became part of the Malay language when Malays adopted Islam as their religion. In the lexicon of Malay words Allah was specific to Islam and refers only to the God of Muslims not the God a Malay prayed to before he become a Muslim. Hence to argue that Allah is a general Malay word take no cognizance of its Arab origin and ignores its Islamic origin in the Malay lexicon. That will be my argument to the appeal court.
I have heard many arguments by both Malays and Christians that in the Arab world Allah is used by Christians as it is in Indonesia. If Arabs and Indonesians don’t object why should Malays. Allah is an Arabic word hence its general use in the Arab speaking world is understandable.
The practice of Islam in the Arab speaking world is not standard. Some are more liberal and others stricter. There are parts of the Arabian peninsula where the presence of a non-Muslim is regarded sacrilegious and a man could loose his head for saying Allah has a son. Why was that not used as a comparison.
It is certainly mischievous or pure ignorance to use the Arab speaking world as a norm. Which country would you choose? Some people accuse Malays of thinking they are more Muslims than the Arabs. Of course we are! We are stricter than the liberal ones like Egypt, and Lebanon and of course more liberal than the very strict one like Saudi.The Arab norm used by Malays from the beginning was the practice of the Arabian peninsula where the first Muslim missionaries came from, not the larger Arab speaking world. For quite sometime in Malay history an Al Azhar graduates was not acceptable as religious teacher only a Madina or Meccan graduate would appointed for such post because of the conservative norms of the latter.
Like wise what the Indonesian norm is, is their choice to make. It is certainly not the norm used by Malays. Because the word Allah is allowable for non muslim religious service there, does not mean it should also be practiced in the Malay peninsula. If we Malays accept that argument than the next Indonesian practice that will be demanded will be of Christians marrying Muslim without converting as a constitutional right. I also have Indonesian acquitances who eat pork when they are abroad, something a malay would not do.
Should that also be the standard for Malays. If an Indonesian norm is to be compared to Malays it would be closer to Aceh than Java. Ultimately Malays have their own standards for Islamic practice and the Indonesian have theirs so let that be. Lakum dinnukum waliyadin. To you your religion to me mine.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
- The government was not responsible for the arson attack. Of course, one could claim the government is ultimately responsible, but that is like saying the government of Kelantan should be blamed for flooding in the state!
- On the above, paying the RM500k gives the impression that the government is taking ultimate responsibility for the arson attack!
- If the government wanted to do something for the church to ease their suffering, they needn't have bothered with the RM500k as to churches in Malaysia, permits to locate churches are more valuable than money, and the Metro Tabernacle has been applying to relocate. Just expedite it for them!
- The church premises would have been insured. So, what with the intentions to relocate and everything, this arson attack may have been a boon for the church insurance wise! What is then the need for the government to shore up the church's finances with public money?
- The Metro Tabernacle could have just made a claim to the largest landowner on Earth for damages, the largest landowner being the Roman Catholic Church! What with the church attack being due to the Catholic Herald magazine's court case in the first place, I think they have a case!
But all the above is not as big a deal as the precedent the government pay-out to the Metro Tabernacle creates and its potential impact:
- Does this imply that the government will pay out to all churches or other related institutions (schools, seminaries, etc) that suffer significant damage from protests over the Herald's case?
- Does this give the Hindus the right to now claim compensation for the various temples demolished by state agencies, even if they were inappropriately sited? Again, the issue here could be resolved just by sorting out the permits for specific locations.
- Does this not encourage arson for the sake of gaining state funds for rebuilding? Even the publicity, getting a whole bunch of ministers to suddenly appear in churches and other places of worship they would not have been to otherwise! Some would say even this has value...
- The trend of giving assistance to the affected churches will emerge among corporate entities, and it is regrettable it began with one from a GLC being run by the PM's brother! This will further enhance the possibility of increased arson for profit of one form or another.
But going back to the source of this violence, escalating Malay anger over the robbing of the right to use of the word Allah, this act by the government:
- Will again be seen as the government being apologetic rather than addressing issues distressing Malays.
- Will open the door to accusations that the government is now bringing the state's treatment of other religions on par with Islam which is the only religion acknowledged by the constitution. This is extremely dangerous.
- TS Koh Tsu Koon's idea of now having an 'interfaith dialogue', whilst sounding nice to liberal sensibilities, will just inflame matters. Malays will see no reason to dialogue as they see themselves as having given up enough already and suspicions will arise that TS Koh is reviving the IFC idea. This WILL NOT STOP THE VIOLENCE! In fact, it may make it worse!
How then could this violence cease:
- The PM should invite the Rulers to intervene to bring the matter out of the court. The Rulers can then constitutionally put a halt to the Herald's case. This will appease Malays across many fronts, not just by dismissing the issue but also by demonstrating the presence of Malay power to address their concerns still.
- The Herald could simply withdraw the case from the courts in the interest of the peace between all Malaysians. This would present the church not just with immediate security, but also a moral victory... whilst Malay leaders could go around placating the more dangerous elements and allowing the police to do their job catching the perpetrators without being encumbered by the risk of further attacks.
The above are options to immediately stop the escalation of violence, but it will not address other concerns that have brought Malays too close to the Tipping Point towards it. These concerns need to be addressed by the government to bring us well away from the brink. Waving a finger and crying out "1Malaysia" is not enough. Remedial action is needed to undo 5+ years of continuous damage to the Malays' sense of pride.
I also hope that the absence or reduction of violence from Monday does not give everyone a false sense of security. The violence is probably reduced as people are at work...
Saturday, January 09, 2010
- Malays will figure out that it is not just the fault of the churches, or the Christian heirarchy for robbing us of Allah, but the fault of all Christian congregations for letting their religious leaders continue to insult us.
- Malays will figure out that now that they're in for a penny, might as well go for the pound by attacking Hindu temples for their original insults towards Malay communities by claiming the 'historical right' to build anywhere.
- Malays will believe since many non-Malays were sitting idle by the side allowing Malays to be insulted, maybe they should be reminded to that they are condoning these insults.
- Malays in organised mobs will turn on our leaders for being so limp in their defence of our rights.
- By then it would be too late, as even intelligent Malays will figure out that as we're being accused of being racists anyway by the ungrateful children of 'Pendatang' in this country, might as be racists... the worst kind of racists...
Am I advocating violence? No I am not. I am saying that Malay violence is inevitable, at least if the current trend of apologising for Malay anger rather than addressing it continues. And in this case, Christian dogma does ring true, one reaps what is sown. The seeds of discord had been sown in this country for far too long in the guise of quest for 'equality'. And so it comes to pass that the road to hell is lined with 'good' intentions, or rather, pretentious excuses.
As for me, a rational educated Malay that Marina Mahathir assumes to know all about, there is little to do but sit back and protect what I can from the violence that will come... and pray... to Allah Subhana-Wa-Ta'ala... the correct, singular and unique one...
Monday, January 04, 2010
- Ini isu Sabah dan Sarawak - pemikiran kenegerian yang sempit dalam era GLOBALISASI sekaligus tidak menghormati usaha majoriti masyarakat Malaysia untuk sehati-sejiwa tak kira negeri, bangsa, agama dan sebagainya.
- Variasinya, di Sabah dan Sarawak OK sahaja kongsi kalimah tersebut - pemikiran yang mencari alasan, tanpa mengambil kira sejarah dan perbezaan budaya penganutan agama antara Semenanjung dengan Sabah dan tambah lagi Sarawak.
- Islam tidak melarangkannya - sejak bila Islam membenarkan kecelaruan maksud dalam akidah? Kalau Islam Hadhari sebagai istilah pun salah menurut ramai ulama, apatah lagi penggunaan sewenang-wenangnya kalimah Allah? Bila masa isu ini dibincangkan oleh majlis ulama, baik pada peringkat negeri mahupun negara, sehingga ada orang Islam sendiri yang pandai-pandai mendalilkan halalnya?
- Penganut agama lain tidak memandang berat isu ini - ye lah, memanglah, ini bukan kalimah milik agama lain! Ini kalimah Allah yang khusus diguna-pakai orang Islam sebelumnya! Cuba kalau mahkamah meluluskan perkataan Buddha digunakan untuk memaksudkan Jesus, atau Jesus diterima-pakai sebagai nama alternatif hero Ramayana, yakni Hanuman, putera monyet!
- Kenapakah umat Islam tidak boleh bersabar - sabar? Nak sabar macam mana bila orang tak pedulikan isi hati kita! Dulunya, umat Islam Melayu dihinanya 'pendatang' kononnya, Melayu bersabar lebih lagi dari orang yang betul-betul kaum pendatang asal-usulnya apabila digelar yang sama! Apa, kalimah Allah nak dirompaknya pun nak kena sabar juga kah?
- ... & ...
- ... & ...
- BAAANYAAAAAAAK LAGI OI!
Isu ini kian merebak seolah api dalam sekam di kalangan masyarakat Islam. Protes-protes ringan yang sudah pun dibuat oleh gabungan NGO mewakili majoriti umat Islam masih sedang berlangsung. Jumaat ini, api ini akan mula bersemarak secara terbuka, dengan tidak kurang dari 7 masjid menjadi pusat pengumpulan penunjuk perasaan... dan semuanya atas usaha penganut Islam sukarela dan pemimpin-pemimpin masyarakat.
Sejarah Islam mengajar umat Muhammad yang penyelewengan walau satu Rukun Islam oleh penganut Islam yang lain pun cukup untuk menjadi modal sebab peperangan. Apatah lagi penyelewengan Rukun Islam dan Iman yang pertama oleh orang bukan Islam! Hati Melayu pula telah terbukti lembut pada lazimnya sepanjang zaman, namun mampu mengeras sewaja besi kiranya terguris. Dan guris paling dalam pada hati Melayu terlaku apabila akidah Islam tergugat.
Sekiranya DS Najib tidak menunjukkan kepimpinannya pada saat ini, alamat meletuplah isu ini, dengan ledakan yang bakal tak terkawal jangkauannya. Wallahualam...
Saturday, January 02, 2010
- Is it true? Do you believe in Allah now?
- If it is true, don't you think there is a better way to fully embrace Islam?
- If it is true, do you realise your efforts to turn Herald into an Islamic magazine is disrupting the peace, which in turn is against Islam's teachings?
- Rather than doing this, shouldn't you just convert to Islam? Then you can refer to God as Allah all the time, and no one will be upset!
- If it is the money you're concerned about, don't worry, Muslim magazines need writers and editors too!
And I'm only half joking here. If the people in the Herald are having a crisis of faith, they really should just come to the mosque and convert properly. It's easy. And we're ever-ready to welcome new Muslim brothers and sisters, even if they were previously from the Herald ...