CNSNews - April 17 2003
A local paper quoted a senior official in the ministry's "publications control" division, Elias Mat Rabi, as saying the banned books breached guidelines for religious books.
They used several terms that were also used in Islam, which could confuse people, he said.
Reached by phone in the Sarawak capital, Kuching, on Thursday, Elias declined to comment, or to explain how the Bible and other books were considered dangerous.
The secretary-general of the Malaysia National Evangelical Christian Fellowship, the Rev. Wong Kim Kong, said from Kuala Lumpur there had for some time been difficulties over the fact that some words used in Islam were also used in Christian publications.
Some Muslim leaders thought this could perplex Muslims who picked up such books.
Among the words that cause concern is "Allah." It's the word Muslims use for the deity they worship, but the Arabic word pre-dated Islam and is also used by Christian Arabs when referring to God - despite the considerable differences in the Judeo-Christian and Islamic conceptions of God.
The Iban translation of the Bible uses the term "Allah Taala" for God, while the other banned Christian books, in Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia, also use "Allah" for God.
Sure, everyone is aware that the Christian community is considering of suing the government of not allowing them to use the word Allah in the BM version of the newsletter. We all pray to God, right? There are many names that can interpreted as God. Most of the time, Allah is the Islam variation of God. The bottom line is that no matter what major religion you are, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or whatsoever, the common denominator is of course there is one God.
Those who are well versed in the Bible or reading the Quran should have an understanding that we are spawned and uniquely created by God himself. The common sense in the fact above lies in the 5 times a day prayers or reciting the beginning of the 10 Commandments (right before the start of the first commandment). Easy as that. Why do those misfits want to make a fuss out of it.
From Romans 3:30, Apostle Paul said:
There is only one God. `Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith.'There was also one more verse in the Bible where Jesus spoke to three men, each representing Islam, Christianity and Judaism. This is to emphasize that all are sub-branches of God himself.
The head in question, Johari Baharom is once again under criticism by the Christian community by foolishly saying that Allah is only used by Muslims only. That is the interpretation of Muslim in Malaysia. Connecting to the above, no wonder they are too strict and unflexible over many things such as stupid conditions, dress code for people who come and perform. Indonesia has a larger population of Muslims than Malaysia but somehow they allow Beyonce Knowles to perform in Jakarta without imposing those ridiculous conditions here.
The current social climate is radically different from the Tunku years. At that time, no matter what religion you are, we all would gather at the bar for some wine and something to cheer about. But today, toasting is something that is frowned upon by the conservative Muslims whenever we go and do a toast at a small social gathering. If I were at a party or something, we don't see wine served but instead syrup. See a radical change of direction? If the people who tells this are the roots of a poisonous tree, therefore the entire tree will be poisonous. If the tree is not poisonous, it means the cause is due to the roots. Whose to blame?
When I skimmed through such issue, I felt that isn't it enough of having too much religious tension between majority and non-majority? I can't tell you how I felt about the Lina Joy case. Had the case swings in her favor, there is a possibility of the majority screaming in fury like behaving as a mob without understanding why or recalling the articles of Constitution.
Malaysian citizens of minority faith are in problems with those who tried to impose their Malay supremacy over them. In November, two MPs are criticized over the missionary school thing, something that many people are not happy to hear that especially those who studied at schools like St. John's. Did they ever know that there are great figures produced from those missionary schools like Najib and LKY? Think...if each month such issue happens, sooner or later there will be a giant collective fury at UMNO because we know that they are the big portion of BN - 50 percent. The Chinese in Sabah is also quite furious because the Mufti department declared a religious decree that all statues of Kuan Yin as blasphemous and illegal...so what more do those idiots want?
My friend Edmund tends to talk well about religious matters at times. If I am in his shoes and reading the piece of news that caught the attention of most people of the Christian community. What would I feel in the first place? Insulted, right? Second feeling...it's typically the same, why the difference? And the number of adjectives / verbs related to the question keeps piling and piling and piling. If I am in the shoes of my uncle, being a church pastor...I would feel deeply insulted by someone who simply wrong foots about religion.
1. A Christian Anointed Muhammad as Prophet
2. Malaysiakini: God's Name Needs No Protection