RELIGION: Malaysian Sultan tells Sikhs, Christians they cannot call their God ‘Allah’

Published: January 9, 2013

Sultan of Selangor State in Malaysia

Vancouver Desi

A Malaysian Sultan from the State of Selangor has decreed that non-Muslims will be banned from using the word ‘Allah’ to denote their God.
But an umbrella body representing Malaysia’s Protestant churches said Christians nationwide have been calling their god “Allah” in their worship for centuries and will continue exercising their constitutional right to do so, notwithstanding the decree barring the term from them, reported Malaysianinsider.com.
Similarly, the Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) said that any move to stop non-Muslims from using the word “Allah” in a religious text would be a restriction on Sikhs from practising their religion. Gurdwaras are places of worship for Sikhs. Some of the Sikh scriptures also use “Allah.”
In recent years, the Christian, Sikh and Muslim religious communities in Malaysian have been engaged in a tug-of-war over the word “Allah,” with the latter group arguing that its use should be exclusive to them on the grounds that Islam is monotheistic and the word “Allah” denotes the Muslim god.
The Arabic word, which predates Islam, is routinely used by Christians and Sikhs in other Muslim countries.
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.
That Malaysian court ruling in December 2009 said the word “Allah” was not restricted to Muslims and the Catholic Church had the right to publish the word in the Malay section of its weekly newspaper, Herald.
The Muslim-dominated Malaysian government argues “Allah” is exclusive to Islam and forbids non-Muslims from using it.
But this week Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin called for an emergency meeting with state Islamic religious officials to bar non-Muslims from using the Arabic word for god, the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) said.
Church leaders, who were meeting in the northern city of Ipoh, responded that they have been using “Allah” in Malay-language bibles “for centuries” and that many indigenous communities here have incorporated the word that was of Arabic origin as part of their everyday language.
“That being the case, we shall continue this practice — a right guaranteed to us in our Federal Constitution (Article 11) — and call on all parties to respect this fundamental right,” they said in a statement to The Malaysian Insider.
The clergymen’s statement comes on the heels of a similar statement issued by the umbrella body for all Sikh temples in the country.
“The Malaysian Gurdwaras Council (MGC) is saddened to note that a decree has been issued by His Highness the Sultan of Selangor that non-Muslims in the state are banned from using the word Allah as it is a holy word exclusive to Muslims.
“The MGC is further dismayed that no exceptions have been made in the decree,” MGC president Jagir Singh said in a statement.
Despite the Selangor Sultan’s latest decree banning non-Muslims in the state from using the word “Allah,” Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition, which is the Selangor state government, insisted that Islam does not prohibit others from using the word.
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.
— Infomart with files from news agencies





Featured

desi-crime-sexual assault

Surrey man who pleaded guilty to mistreating sex trade workers should go to prison for 2-3 years: Crown

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — A Surrey man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old sex trade worker nearly 20 years ago and…
Continue Reading »

sexual harassment

‘Will you have fun with me?’: Immigration officer sexually harasses female passenger at Delhi airport

HINDUSTAN TIMES An immigration officer at the Delhi airport has been suspended after a female passenger complained that he sexually harassed her by asking obscene…
Continue Reading »

crime-Surrey

Two Surrey men in hospital with gunshot wounds after targeted shooting

VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — Two men are in hospital with gunshot wounds following what appears to be a targeted shooting in Surrey on Thursday night….
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

desi-crime-sexual assault

Surrey man who pleaded guilty to mistreating sex trade workers should go to prison for 2-3 years: Crown

KEITH FRASER VANCOUVER DESI SURREY — A Surrey man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old sex trade worker nearly 20 years ago and…
Continue Reading »

Changes to Nova Scotia law allow sex assault victims to sue retroactively

By Keith Doucette THE CANADIAN PRESS HALIFAX — Nova Scotians who have been sexually assaulted can now launch civil lawsuits against their perpetrators regardless of…
Continue Reading »

Changes to Nova Scotia law allow sex assault victims to sue retroactively

By Keith Doucette THE CANADIAN PRESS HALIFAX — Nova Scotians who have been sexually assaulted can now launch civil lawsuits against their perpetrators regardless of…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

World Cup final

Underarm incident recalled as Australia-New Zealand rivalry rekindles in World Cup final

STEVE MCMORRAN THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MELBOURNE, Australia — Relations between New Zealand and Australia at a political level have regained their natural cordiality in the…
Continue Reading »

Cricket World Cup

Clarke’s Australians prepare to take on unpopular role in the World Cup final vs New Zealand

JOHN PYE THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MELBOURNE, Australia — Win or lose, Michael Clarke and his Australian teammates are probably going to be portrayed as the…
Continue Reading »

India-Australia-weird news

Youth cut his tongue as sacrifice at an Indian temple for nation’s cricket victory

IANS Chennai – In a senseless act, a cricket crazy youth in Tamil Nadu offered the tip of his tongue as a sacrifice at a…
Continue Reading »

Freedom-Section 66A-India

Teenager shoots himself after father bans Facebook chat

IANS Lucknow - A 14-year-old boy shot himself Thursday after his father reprimanded him for chatting too often on social networking site Facebook, police said. The…
Continue Reading »

messy custody battle-desi lingerie model

Jeremy Renner’s messy divorce from B.C. model gets messier as custody battle rages

VANCOUVER DESI A B.C. woman who was married to Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner is being accused of being a gold digger and blackmailer who has…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

pakistani sex meera-Veena Malik

Gallery: Bollywood celebs in trouble with the law

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI Indian film actress Shruti Haasan has run into legal trouble after she pulled out of a signed contract, according to an…
Continue Reading »

Salman Khan-Bollywood

Bollywood actor Salman Khan denies he was driving or drunk during 2002 accident

IANS Mumbai – Bollywood actor Salman Khan on Friday told a Mumbai court, conducting the trial of the 2002 hit-and-run case involving him, that he…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood movie

Amitabh Bachchan: Balki challenges me with never-done-before roles

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS Mumbai – R. Balakrishnan and Amitabh Bachchan’s much anticipated third outing “Shamitabh” turned out to be a box office disaster, but…
Continue Reading »