MALAYSIA: Sikhs ‘banned’ from using the word ‘Allah’

Published: January 2, 2013

VANCOUVER DESI

Religious representatives of Islamic, Christian, Sikh, Hindu and Buddhist faiths light an oil lamp with their candles during a multi-faith prayer session in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in this file photo from April 20, 2008. Tengku Bahar/AFP/Getty Images

Sikhs in Malaysia are up in arms over an Islamic council ruling meant to reimpose a ban on them and other non-Muslims in the country from using the word “Allah.”

The National Fatwa Council’s ban of the non-Muslims’ use of the word “Allah” is unconstitutional, said the Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) representing the Sikh community. Gurdwaras are places of worship for Sikhs. Some of the Sikh scriptures also use “Allah.”

According to Malaysian media, an Islamic leader in the state of Penang, Hassan Ahmad, was reported reiterating the ban or “fatwa,” which a Malaysian High Court already deemed unconstitutional in 2009.

The fatwa is wrong on two counts, said MGC president Jagir Singh in a statement.

He said a fatwa does not apply to non-Muslims, and secondly, Article 11(4) of the Malaysian federal constitution does not support any such prohibition on non-Muslims.

“Fatwas are advisory in nature and do not apply to non-Muslims. Moreover, any fatwa issued that contradicts the supreme law of the land (the federal constitution) would be illegal and void.”

He also argued that Malaysian state legislations’ attempts to ban usage of certain words based on Article 11(4) – that prohibits the propagation of other faiths to Muslims – did not apply to non-Muslims.

The longstanding controversy in the multi-ethnic Southeast Asian country that is dominated by Muslim leaders was reignited after Prime Minister Najib Razak said recently that the government was planning to appeal the 2009 High Court ruling.

“The Middle East countries and our neighbour Indonesia allow for the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims,” he said, adding that the matter had only been politicized and made an issue in Malaysia since the late 1980s, said Jagir.

The Muslim-dominated Malaysian Government argues “Allah” is exclusive to Islam and forbids non-Muslims from using it. The Arabic word, which predates Islam, is routinely used by Christians in other Muslim countries.

About 60 per cent of Malaysia’s 30 million people are Malay Muslims. Additionally, about 25 per cent are ethnic Chinese (mostly Buddhists), 10 per cent ethnic Indians (mostly Hindus) and nine per cent of the population is Christian. Sikhs are also considered ethnic Indians in Malaysia and number about 130,000.

- with files from news agencies

 


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,





Featured

bully

Video of Sikh boy being bullied, called ‘terrorist’ on school bus goes viral (w/ video)

VANCOUVER DESI A video of a young Sikh student in the U.S. being bullied and called a “terrorist” by a group of children on a…
Continue Reading »

vaccinate

Pakistani police arrest hundreds of parents for refusing to vaccinate their kids against polio

RIAZ KHAN THE ASSOCIATED PRESS PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Hundreds of parents in northwest Pakistan were arrested and jailed on charges of endangering public security after…
Continue Reading »

Aliya

Indian family struggles to feed 41-pound baby addicted to curry (w/ video)

VANCOUVER DESI An Indian family is struggling to make ends meet and feed its 10-month-old baby who weighs an “astonishing” 41 pounds – making her…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Flowers, cards for owners of Manitoba convenience store beaten by man

THE CANADIAN PRESS BEAUSEJOUR, Man. — Owners of a convenience store in Manitoba who were beaten by a customer are seeing an outpouring of support….
Continue Reading »

Canadian men pleased Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh jailed in Nepal for abuse of child

By Michael Tutton THE CANADIAN PRESS HALIFAX — Two men who testified against Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh say his conviction in Nepal for the sexual abuse…
Continue Reading »

Canadian men pleased Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh jailed in Nepal for abuse of child

By Michael Tutton THE CANADIAN PRESS HALIFAX — Two men who testified against Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh say his conviction in Nepal for sexual assault of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Hands Against Racism

Hands Against Racism: Send us a selfie and make a statement against racism (with video)

VANCOUVER DESI Vancouver Desi’s digital anti-racism campaign, Raise Your Hands Against Racism, officially kicked off Thursday, with people across the Lower Mainland sending in selfies…
Continue Reading »

triplets

U.S. mom with 2 kids celebrates one-month birthdays of rare identical triplet boys (with photos)

COREY WILLIAMS THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ST. CLAIR SHORES, Mich. – A suburban Detroit couple who have two older children are adjusting to life after becoming…
Continue Reading »

File photo: An Indian Muslim bride, her hands decorated with henna, attends a mass wedding organized by a social service organization in Mumbai, India, Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool

Groom dumped by bride-to-be for a wedding guest accuses her of drugging him before ceremony

VANCOUVER DESI A 25-year-old Indian groom who was dumped by his bride-to-be for a wedding guest after he suffered an alleged seizure has accused his…
Continue Reading »

bikram

Vancouver woman sues hot yoga guru Bikram Choudhury for sexual assault

SUSAN LAZARUK VANCOUVER DESI A Vancouver woman is claiming the leader of one of B.C.’s largest yoga chains repeatedly sexually assaulted and coerced her over…
Continue Reading »

murder plot-Pakistan-love triangle

U.S. man convicted of setting up fatal shooting of Pakistani wife while walking with young son

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MORRISTOWN, N.J. — A man was convicted Thursday of setting up the fatal shooting of his Pakistan-born wife while the couple was…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to perform a song and dance number in promo video for Jazbaa

HINDUSTAN TIMES Since Aishwarya Rai Bachcha’s comeback film doesn’t involve a song and dance number, the Bollywood star has decided to come up with a…
Continue Reading »

This image released by Fox Searchlight Films shows Lillete Dubey, left, and Richard Gere in a scene from "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel." (AP Photo/Fox Searchlight Films, Laurie Sparham)

Film Review: Despite a classy cast, Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel lives up to its title

JOCELYN NOVECK THE ASSOCIATED PRESS If you’re going to do a movie sequel that doesn’t quite measure up to the original and seems rather hurriedly…
Continue Reading »

Ranbir Kapoor-sports

Ranbir Kapoor abruptly ends conference when pressed about Katrina Kaif

HINDUSTAN TIMES Ranbir Kapoor made an abrupt exit at a press conference after he was continually pressed about his rumoured relationship with fellow Bollywood actress…
Continue Reading »