I’m catching up with my long missing random links series 🙂
“Malaysia is not a Muslim state, or… well, I’m not sure now,” he joked. “But it is not secular either because there is not a total separation of religion and state.”
“What Umno has done is not about Islamic issues at all. If you find a committed Muslim, you can argue with him, but in Umno, they don’t even want to understand what Islam is about.
When we turn the focus on “me” to “we” then it comes a Malaysian problem 🙂
Some politicians, both from Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, are valiantly trying to change our culture of ignoring other communities’ interests. 1 Malaysia, as much of an empty slogan as it is, is all about this idea, if nothing else.
Admirably, Pakatan politicians have made clear that they practise what they preach. Teresa Kok gives money to mosques; Lim Guan Eng attends Muslim festivities which his predecessors in the Penang government shunned. Meanwhile, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat defends Bumiputera Christians’ usage of the word “Allah,” and Malay leaders from all Pakatan parties denounce the unfair treatment of the non-Malay communities.
But all this will be for naught unless we, the Malaysian rakyat, change. Why aren’t we taking responsibility for the Malaysian problems in our country? Why do we still not bother trying to find out why other Malaysians differ with us so strongly on an issue? Why are we content with dismissing them as arrogant ignoramuses, instead of recognising and working out our valid differences?
I’ve been reading more about South Africa in recent years. There’s much to learn from them.
The Home Ministry is appealing the decision but The Malaysian Insider understands that the church and the government prefer to leave the courts out of the equation and are actively looking for a peaceful way to resolve the rising conflicts pitting followers of one faith against another.
“It is imperative for the good of the nation that the government attend to the cry of the people for unity and reconciliation among the races. We were once a happy nation, but today we are fragmented in many ways,” Father Lawrence wrote in an editorial piece published in last Sunday’s Herald.
“This pathetic situation speaks loudly to all regarding our need to strive towards unity. Thus, the setting up of a National Reconciliation Commission seems to be the only way,” he wrote, inspired by the success stories in former strife-torn countries like South Africa, Fiji and closer to home, East Timor where such bodies have been set up.
Lord have mercy .
. The Malaysian Insider understands that the AG has been trying to convince the Catholic Church to drop its claims to be allowed to use the word “Allah.”
Church officials have refused to do so, citing the fact that it had won the original High Court ruling, which has since been suspended pending appeal.
It is understood that the Church is willing to abide all future court rulings even if they were to lose.
. According to sources, certain Muslim groups are lobbying the government to pressure the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur to withdraw the church’s case despite the fact that the ball is now in the government’s court.
. “The recent controversy of Biro Tata Negara (BTN) is indeed a case in point. Are we training our young to respect people of other faiths?” the Catholic cleric questioned in the Herald’s latest issue out last Sunday.
He noted reports from students who were obliged to attend the controversial courses over the high-handed way some lecturers taught certain subjects, including on Islamic civilisation, where they mocked other religions.
“Such pedagogical methods of ridicule have hurt the feelings of Christians and created unnecessary polarization and tension.”
It’s coming very soon . unless .
More twists and turns in all things related to the use of the term ‘Allah’. Wider implications indeed.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang told reporters outside Parliament that the government should view the debates on the “Allah” issue in a positive light and make appropriate changes to the Rukunegara to refer to “God” as “Allah”, as Christians and non-Muslims also use the word.
“What is wrong with it, it is an achievement in unity following the ‘Allah’ issue. We should not only change the Rukunegara, we should make it more proactive, and at the same time work towards unity,” said Hadi.
He affirmed that whatever confusion which may be caused by the usage of the word may be resolved by religious scholars.
“Christians and other religions have realised the glory of the name ‘Allah’, Lord, God and other words do not have the same meaning.”
A story and a reflection from the ground to keep us grounded in everyday reality.