Friday, December 21, 2007


For a while I still believed that the week before Christmas was going to be peaceful. The Deputy Minister of Education assured Christians that Mission Schools would still keep their crosses and their statues. Last Wednesday, whilst having some drinks with former students at the Backyard, one of them asked me if it was true that the Catholic weekly Herald will lose their KDN permit. I said I never heard of that. Period. On Monday night I heard former Transparency International Malaysia chief, Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim declare that the watered-down IPCMC now called the SCC was a mockery and an insult to the Royal Commission. On Tuesday we had the good news that good sense prevailed and the SCC Bill was deferred to the next sitting of Parliament, probably March 2008. Then the good news that the AG was lifting the "intent to murder" tag off the 31 arrested at Batu Caves on 25 November. (Aside: did any of you wonder when you saw the bloodied pic of the Chinese cop that only appeared on the MSM? Good choice - the etnicity I mean. And somebody whispered that the make-up artist did a great job! I dont know really....these days you hear so many things....and you do not know what to believe. And there was no "attempt to murder" charge on the Police who shot a tear gas cannister that broke the nose of one of the 25/11 marchers. That will not stick because no cop was going to own up.)

So I was all ready to put this lap-top aside to get ready for Christmas and WHAMMMMM, a new shibang ........................

read lucia here and haris here,

Malaysian Catholic Weekly Told To Drop Use Of 'Allah' In Order To Renew Publishing Permit



A Muslim said...

'Allah' (Arabic: Allāh) is the standard Arabic language word for "God", nothing more, nothing less.
In Bahasa Malaysia the standard word for God is 'Tuhan'.

The term Allah, is most likely derived from a contraction of the Arabic article al + ilāh "deity, god" to al-lāh meaning "the [sole] deity, God" (ho theos monos); another theory traces the etymology of the word to the Aramaic Alāhā.

While the term Allah is best known in the West for its use by Muslims as a reference to God *, it is used by Arabic-language-speakers of all Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews in reference to "God".

The term Allah was also used by pagan Meccans as a reference to the creator-god, possibly the supreme deity in pre-Islamic Arabia.

Note:* This Western misguided belief is also held by some uneducated persons in Malaysia, such as Malaysian Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharum.

The concepts associated with the term Allah (as a deity) though differed from tradition to tradition.

In pre-Islamic Arabia, Allah was not the sole divinity, had associates and companions, sons and daughters. There was also a kind of kinship of between Allah and the jinn (spirits).

In Islam, Allah is the pivotal essence of the Muslim faith, Allah is only, the one God, all-merciful and omnipotent, transcendent creator of the universe, and the judge of humankind.

The Arabic-language-speaking Christians today use other words besides Allah for 'God' other than 'Allah', they for example use terms Allāh al-ab meaning God the Father, Allāh al-ibn means God the Son, and Allāh al-ruh al ghodus meaning God the Holy Spirit.

There are both similarities and differences between the concept of God as portrayed in the Qur'an and the Hebrew Bible (Toarh). The Torah and the Qur'an however both reject the Trinitarian (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost) conception of God as three persons in one substance.

(Information sourced from Wikipedia and elsewhere.)

God=Allah=Tuhan, etc. you can use such terms as you like, none is exclusive or reserved for use by any particular religion or belief.

So Johari, what are you creating unnecessary disharmony for?
Perhaps for a few UMNO gold stars?

zorro said...

My Muslim brother, thank you for this clear balanced dissertation. It does make things clearer for us non-muslim laymen. We all believe in God and it is painful when religion is usurped for political or personal self-gratification. Peace be with you.

Anonymous said...

Dear brother Z:

Nincompoops in Malaysia are a-plenty
We will prove these idiots our rights and doing the Right Thing are also our destiny
'tis the season of goodwill and cheer
Let's stand up arm-in-arm wit' our undersatnding brudder
Celebrating our common bonds and to these BN nincompoops, dont' bother!
We will sing our praises any which way we want
God willing, InsyaAllah. -- Desi

Shaing said...

Wisdom under Tests!!
A government for ALL
must have respects for ALL to gain respects from ALL!
UNMO never bother they are subjected to test
whenever they put others to test!
Or, their capacity to take ALL negatively said!

Freedom of Religion
spoiled when UNMO stopped muslim or non-muslim to choose their Religion.
Freedom of Expression
spoiled when people cannot express even in a Song
on the general situation that had gone wrong!
Freedom of Assembly
only UNMO can rally and not others to go.

Even Allah not be used by ALL but muslim!
Then, should car be checked if Chinese or Buddhist
when AMITUOFO on board!

Is Allah, an Arabic word for God?
Or, Allah, the God for the Universe, in Quoran?
So, Allah a copyright of Muslim
or, Allah a God for Muslim and not the Universe?

Government is subjected to test and not to challenge with a test!!
Wisdom starts before any test!!
Or, Wisdom under tested not the Test!!

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
(Accordingly, hope this is not offensive for Muslim readers to receive!!)
Or have to say, Seasonal Greetings to all of YOU!!

The Ancient Mariner said...

So now a deputy minister oso can come out with his own 'fatwa'. God help us all.

Sharing said...

Johari Johari,
You are really genius to claim!!
Shanghai people (and around) say "allah" which means "I".
Please send a debit note to China for the Rights.
They have some 15million or more Shanghai people to be charged!
If you have copyright!

Everyday, each will say "allah" from day to night!
For evidence, you need more than 15million recorder to use!
So boost up recorder industry at large!
And 15 million employments to get the recording done!
You solve all employment problem in Malaysia with this spark!

You should be PM to come!!

Sharing said...

If "Allah" can be claimed!
Then, "Oh, MY God"!
If "Allah" be copyright,
The Church will be most happy
to take "God" the same!
As English speaking People cannot skip saying "My God" as an expression!
With copyright
a global income will come to Church!

Then, Johari, Johari, you could be flooded with Medals from a great number of Churches - the Romam's, the Christian's, may be also from the Eastern's.
But, as a Muslim, can you take from all of them?
Check from the Quoran! Quick!

No more Bull said...

Zorro, You are a man confused in your own superlatives. Well hidden underneath the inconsistency is your own bigotry.

Here you are championing a Christian cause and yet you promote sinful act. Read your own posting on Beyonce Knowles cancelled concert and it registers you as an inconsistent man promotign immorality. That is not a Christian thing.

You seemed to be a blogger who believe in free speech but of late you have been dishing out strong statements against others who have their own stand and you disagree to. Heck it's not unlawful to be an old a***ole.

On this issue on the terminology of Allah as God, you are exhibiting the same attitude. So you disagree, why can't you justify your position than mere name callings? If that is the case, you are no better than those cybertroopers tarred out of cyber town.

Christian missionaries have been using this method to mislead Muslim. The use of Allah as God in Malay version of Christian pamphlets or children's books used widely in Sabah, Sarawak, and detected in the Semenanjung is a devious method to subtly confuse Muslims of delicate faith.

Initially these people/children would be given pamphlets/books written as though it is Islamic. Even Quran was used but it is obvious that it glorify Nabi Isa beyond usual Islamic practise.

When the time is right, it is followed by the 'approach'. Cases of black magic, hypnotism and many such insiduous methods have been detected for long. At times the method involves destroying the moral fiber of non Christian youth first to be followed by a Christian rescue plan.

They have resorted to lies even. A close handicapped Chinese friend described how her daughter was enticed/lied into church groups with all sort of promises and to later end up zombied into giving her salary to the church. Her father/my friend was left unattended and neglected.

This devious work of priest and missionary have been happening for a long long time, decades. You are defending the right to dviously ... menyesatkan orang islam and perhaps others as well. Despite the bad publicity given on Muslim (which You Zorro have been a part of), the most notorious missionary work on people of other faith are done by Christian missionaries!

Let me remind you that it is unlawful under Article 11(4) to do missionary work on Muslim and such act with real intention to confuse is wrong under the law. Law abiding Christian has to respect that. Yes, it is stated in Article 11, which the liberals have defended. Abide to all of it, spirit and letter!

God in Christianity is called by many other names but Allah. Use it. Don't make a big issue out of it. You may hate Johari Baharum and I do too, but I agree with him on this. It is incumbent on me and other Muslism to defend the faith of other Muslims, particularly Muslims of delicate faith.

So Christians, stop your devious missionary work. Be men of goodwill by abiding the constitution and law. This is an Islamic country, it sure damn hell ain't secular! Respect that!

Merry Christmas to all and you too Zorro!

P/S Copy of this comment is kept for perusal

jediraj said...

Zorro , pls delete this if it can cause any imbalance in the Force! Allah is The all knowing and the All merciful . peace be upon him.I thank God thAT the 40th PROPHET was not destined to be born here .God Almighty ACTUALLY knows what he is doing . AMIN ( for you pricks that dont know what it meant .. (AMEN) My apologies bro ! shit i can take ,, but Bullshit ?
Thank you Sir.

Zawi said...

Everything is deferred to next year so that nothing can block their chances of winning the election.
Everything will revert to the old ways once they have won the election. Let's ensure that we can effect a change in the leadership at least if not the government itself.

J.T. said...

Hello my dear Zorro

As a former columnist of The Herald (late 90s), I am appalled by what some people in the government want to do. They forget that there are other Malaysians, who are Catholics (and other interested readers), who do not speak, write or understand English very well. I can only guess (and will probably be right) why they are doing this to The Herald.

We need to get a whole lot of buffoons out of power! They are causing too much disharmony.

zorro said...

No More Bull. I am no expert in religious semantics. Can I point you to the first comment on this comment box and also Islam ala Malaysia: "We Cannot Let Other Religions to use Allah. Only Muslims can use Allah"
Peace to You.

A Voice said...

There is this verse in the Al Quran, "... But said Christ: "O Children of Israel! Worship Allah (God), my Lord And your Lord, ..." - 5:75 Surah Al Maidah

No More Bull - The constitution talks of practising ones religion in peace and harmony. So lets all avoid non-peaceful and disharmonious acts and words in this land.

Season greeting and happy new year to all. Wishing all a Merry Christmas.

Ketua Krani said...

IF it is such not a big deal use lah the word Tuhan, it means God to the masses here whereas Allah means God of Muslims to the majority,
insisting that you use the name Allah then it smacks of mischief and trying to confuse Muslims

Please go ahead and make jokes about how stupid can Muslims be if they are so easily confused... it will really help things along

The reality is that many Muslim in Malaysia feel offended by the use of the name in a Christian publication.

After all Tuhan also meas God, use it... and stop trying to be difficult.

It is the season of goodwill so lets have some

haris said...

I refer to the comment by No more Bull to this post.

Let me first say that I do not write in defence of Zorro. He is man enough to defend himself.

No more Bull has either chosen to misread Article 11(4) or has overstretched himself beyond his competence. This clause does not create any offence but is merely permissive of the creation of law to 'control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam'. Surely you can tell the difference.

No more Bull, you are critical that Zorro has not justified the position he takes. Yet you insist this is an Islamic country ( whatever this might mean ), refute that this country is secular, and demand that your position be respected! What, no need to justify your position?

How is the point of this post to champion a Christian cause, as you put it? This post highlights a gross violation of the right of expression guaranteed under Article 10 (1) of the FC.

Muslims of delicate faith, you say? Do you know what you are talking about? Do you know what Muslim means? Even entertaining your rather fanciful and unsubstantiated allegations of devious missionary practises for the moment, can you allude to one verse in the Holy Qur'an that justifies the denial of a community of Catholics who only read Malay of access to literature regarding their faith to protect 'Muslims of delicate faith'?

Can you refer us to one verse in the Holy Qur'an that authorises you or any other Muslim to lay claim to a monopoly over 'Allah'?

Have you ever had a chance to speak to some Orang Asli about the rather questionable methods of some ulama who go out to dakwah? No? Well I do not propose to add to your attempt to confuse the real issues here.

Let me just end by saying that the stance by you and others who try to lay claim to a monopoly over 'Allah' is both unIslamic and moronic.

A Voice said...

This article below shd shed some light on the debates amongst the Christian theologion on this issue.

Is Calling the Christian God 'Allah' Wrong?

By Michelle Vu
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Aug. 23 2007 09:57 AM ET

One of America’s pre-eminent evangelicals is challenging the advice of a retiring Roman Catholic Bishop in the Netherlands who has raised eyebrows worldwide by suggesting Dutch Christians pray to “Allah.”

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, argues that it is inappropriate for Christians to call God Allah based on irreconcilable theological differences associated with the name Allah and core Christian beliefs.

The key condition behind calling the Christian God Allah is that Allah must refer to the same God as the one in the Bible. However, this requirement presents “a huge problem for both Muslims and Christians,” contends Mohler.

The theologian pointed out that the Qur’an explicitly denies that Allah has a son, and Islam considers the idea of a triune God to be blasphemy.

“Thus, from its very starting point Islam denies what Christianity takes as its central truth claim – the fact that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of the Father,” wrote Mohler on his web blog Wednesday.

“If Allah has no Son by definition, Allah is not the God who revealed himself in the Son. How then can the use of Allah by Christians lead to anything but confusion …and worse?”

Last Monday, during an interview with a Dutch TV program, 71-year-old Bishop Tiny Muskens promoted the idea of Dutch Christians calling God Allah, believing that it would ease much of the conflict between the Christian and Muslim faiths. Muskens contended that God doesn’t mind what He is called and the arguments over what to call Him is an invention of man.

“Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn’t we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? …What does God care what we call Him? It is our problem,” said Muskens, according to The Associated Press.

The retiring bishop was a former missionary to Indonesia – the most populous Muslim country in the world – for eight years, where he said priests used the name “Allah” while celebrating Mass.

In response, Mohler pointed out that it would be difficult to support the argument that “Allah” can be used as a generic term for God. The theologian said separation of Allah from the language, theology, and worship closely associated with it is difficult. Moreover, even non-Arabic speaking Muslims use Allah when referring to their god.

Another irreconcilable difference is that Jesus commanded his followers to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

“When this command is taken seriously and obeyed, the whole issue is greatly clarified – a Christian cannot baptize in the name of Allah,” stated Mohler.

“So Bishop Muskens is disingenuous at best when he suggests that God does not care about His name. This is not a matter of mere ‘discussion and bickering,’” said Mohler.

“If Allah has no son, Allah is not the father of our Lord Jesus Christ…This is no mere ‘discussion and bickering.’ This is where the Gospel stands or falls,” the theologian concluded.

Bishop Muskens in the past endorsed other controversial ideas which went against the Vatican leadership – such as those who are hungry can steal bread and that condoms should be permissible in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

In matter of faith and religion, I put more trust on man of authority than personal opinion.

Personal opinion have no standing and more so when those talking of the respective religion are not serious practitioner themselves.

Based on this, Jo Si Tanggang, he is not off the mark from the perspective of the Christian thelogions.

He is perhaps a simpleton cikgu sekolah unable to grasp what in the heck did he announced and what its reasons.

beeranyone said...

ya allah..., oh my god..., tiu nia seng...

here we go again... same issue, different speaker

zorro said...

A Voice - an excellent piece. I thank you very much> I am a baptized Catholic but my friends, some relatives and some priests think I am a HP6 Catholic. That doesnt matter to me one bit, because this religion thing is between me and God and fuck all to anybody who interfers in this special relationship I have with God. The most precious gift given to man is the power to choose. Religion cannot dictate to us. The moment we allow that to happen, we abandon this precious gift of free choose. Therefore I do not go to Church on Sunday because I HAVE to go.....I go because I NEED/WANT to go. I am against the Catholic Church's dogmatic edit on the use of
condoms. A copy of the Quran(English - by Abdullah Yusuf Ali, published by the Amana Corporation - with revised translation and commentary) sits side by side on the stand on our family altar. These two books are full of gems and I go into it to find solace and hope. However the gems have been tarnished by self-professed experts who have hijacked them for personal or political gains. This I always detest and abhor.
My fervent personal wish is that I do not want my Church to dictate to me....just leave me alone to be in communion with God, the way I find most effective, devoid of rituals, pronouncements and admonitions. I only answer to God, the God I can communicate with, not the God some institution say that I should pay homage to. All these from the heart, Sal.

With this I invoke God's blessings on you and yours and peace and goodwill to all men.

jasgill said...

Why not solve it by requesting (politely) that whenever the word Allah is used by non-Muslims in BM writings the word Tuhan must be put in parenthesis. Even when speaking the same rule should be applied so that the speaker says "Allah ia-itu Tuhan). I can understand the confusion that it can cause in some circles. What about other languages? Do the missionaries use the word "raab" or "Permatma" when preaching in Punjabi or Hindi respectively? I'm sure they do. Hmm so far the Sikhs have not got confused though many say they got thick brains with all that turban and hair on their skulls.Once again a merry X'mas to you sir.

Not NMB said...

At the end of Haris reply to No More Bull, he ended it with this comment:

“Let me just end by saying that the stance by you and others who try to lay claim to a monopoly over 'Allah' is both unIslamic and moronic.”

I hate the tone of his generalisation. Let this moron now write.

As I understand it, Allah is the name for God. The King James Bible refers to God as God or Lord, no names. I was told the older version of non-English Bible, believed to be Hebrew, refer to God as Elohin but not Allah. For Haris’s information, the word Allah is available only in the Quran. Is there any untranslated holy books calling God as Allah?

After weighing the arguments put forward in some of the comments in this blog, it can safely be concluded that the term ‘Allah’ is not a universal Christian practise. Whats wrong with using tuhan just like the Bible?

On Haris calling the likes of us as unislamic, looks like Haris has the potential to replace the present PAS President. He has the essential prerequisite of delivering fatwa to call others as unislamic or kafir. What a laugh coming from someone who does not make effort to safeguard the aqidah of fellow Muslim but makes it his struggle to ease the passage of Muslim to be Kafirun.

Who is thinking and blowing up steam like a 12 year old? Who is the moron now, Haris?

Allow me to stretch my incompetence just like NMB.

Haris made a remark that Article 11(4) clause (clause on other religion cannot propagate their religion to Muslims) does not create any offence. Does that mean he advocate those Christian missionaries doing deceptive propagation of Christianity to do an unconstitutional act? Isn’t doing unconstitutional act unlawful?

Thank God we still not listening to neo-liberals bringing strange ideas to this society. There is still ISA. If it happens to blow into an inter-religious strife because of this unconstitutional act of Christian missionaries, then ISA saja. Blame Haris because he advocate breaking the law.

It is pressing the need for the state to pass law to operationalise 11(4). It’s better than applying ISA on priest and church workers. I hope Haris don’t go around barking like dogs when the states passed laws with stated offenses. I hate to see him sent to the dog kernels.

On Haris questions of Malaysia’s secular status, the sociological definition of secular is that the state and religion is separated. The constitution provide for spending for Islamic purposes, thus no separation. Secular?

Oh I forgot, few dead past PMs said we are secular. So what? They are both wrong. For your comfort, we are not an Islamic state like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia but Islamic state ala Malaysia. The interest of other religions to practise in peace and harmony is safeguarded. Keyword is peace and harmony. With whom?

Islam is mentioned as religion of the Federation. Why is it not mentioned as official religion? As official religion, it will be strictly ritual and symbolic. IT is not official but term used was different.

This is what I see. I have read Haris’s blogs but I take the opinion I find logical and right. If he disagree with me, I suggest he go fight in the courts than quarrel with common people in the world of law. If he win, I will give it some thought.

I am not legally trained and have not any competence. Just because we are not trained in law with an LLB to be a licensed bullshiter like Haris, we are not stupid enough to seek the opinion of those quite authoritative. The person I revealed is not an advocate or prosecutor but higher than magistrate and high court judges. For a lawyer who has yet to win any of the highly publicised court cases on interfaith/constitutional issues, why should I hear Haris opinion?

The problem with Haris Ibrahim, as told to me by certain distinguish members of the legal fraternity, is that he is unprofessional and even unethical. He seemed to spend time taking his legal arguments in the blogs and public functions, rather than in the courts. He should have focused his time arguing against opposing lawyers than non-legally trained like us. Finally, he should be spending his client’s fee to convince judges and not the legally ignorant public.

The likelihood is that he realised his case has no chance of winning in court. He is hoping that the ignorant public will be driven to frenzy after taken in by his contemptuous accusations on the court and judges. He hope they’ll resort to a Hindraf-like street demonstrations to make him win his court cases.

The right of expression in Article 10(1) provides him an avenue to carry his misguided recalcitrant and ignorant way. His advise to Zorro on Article 10(1) is still not quite complete. He forgot to advise Zorro that whatever act he wishes to perform, it must be consistent with the law. Otherwise, after he exercised his right of expression, he can be accountable for it.

Haris posed me several challenges to engage in a discussion of Islam. My response is I have no interest to response to a man who is a clear cut fasiq. A thick skulled obnoxious fasiq like Haris dedicated to arguing for the sake of arguing is not worth any engagement.

Engaging him will only commit him to further sin of an untrained and misguided interpretation the Quran. As per his past, he is likely to get himself more confused and astrayed in any engagement. However, I sincerely do spare some hope that his soul is not beyond redemption.

Answering-Christianity dot Com said...

Allah is an arabic word.
In present times it is exclusively used by Muslims.
Now this paper is using BM language.
where God should translate to TUHAN and not ALLAH.
Only Islamic Malay books use the word ALLAH!

Obviously its gonna cause confusion when you get books with name ALLAH.
People ought to take it as an Islamic book and read them, not knowing the whole thing derived from bible.!!
thats what the issue is..

Stop taking it as being targetted at religious freedom or christians.
It never is...
it is of concern to all Muslims not the govt alone..

Just use the word TUHAN
whats the big problem

unless the Christian missionary has its own deliberate agenda of confusing people and seeping in their Christian propaganda through this.

Anonymous said...

wow.. u guys have no other work but to debate on such stupid things..
go get a job!!!!!!