COMMENT: Is this a religious-quarantine country? Just look at the fretfulness/nervousness displayed by Malaysian Islamic authorities as they lurch about blocking all manners of potentially bad influence (perceived or otherwise) that might fall upon Malaysian Muslims! Is it the case that Muslims cannot mount a calm and rational defence of their faith or that Islamic culture just cannot compete with other cultural influences in a free and open society or that somehow Muslims are just so weak that they must be protected all the times from undue influence?
In any case, they have no business banning activities that are essentially carried out by non-Muslims for non-Muslims.
“… anyone found playing the song can be fined up to RM1,000 under the Non-Muslim Religious Enactment 1988.”
Wow! At the moment, the ban is on playing the song. Whether MAIS’ interpretation can be defended in a court challenge remains to be seen, and obviously I think it is against our Constitutionally guaranteed religious liberty. More importantly, we should not miss the underlying principle invoked to justify the ban and the threat of a fine – it is that non-Muslims can be punished for uttering ‘Allah’. In principle this would mean every Malay speaking Christian could be fined for singing in Church hymns that contain the word ‘Allah’.
MAIS Wants Agnes Monica’s Song Declared Haram LINK
MySinChew.com 13 March 2009
SHAH ALAM: The Selengor Islamic Council (MAIS) wants action to be taken to declare haram an Indonesian song entitled Allah Peduli (Allah Cares) because its lyrics, among other things, says “…sebab Allah Yesusku mengerti (…because my Allah Jesus is meaningful).”
MAIS chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said although he has not heard the song, it is appropriate to declare it haram considering that the song touches on sensitivity that affects the question of religion.
“In Islam, our belief in Allah does not have the same meaning as god which is worshipped other than Allah and Prophet Muhammad is his messenger, it is clear that we acknowledge Allah is One, therefore a prohibiton of the use of Allah by other religions is to avoid confusion among Muslims” he told reporters here Friday.
He was asked to comment on the songs by Indonesian singer Agnes Monica. In that song, the word Allah is repeated several times and the words ‘because my Allah Jesus is meaningful’ is heard in the final verse of the song which runs for 3 minutes 40 seconds.
“There is among us who do not understand the lyrics and sing it blindly. The lyrics affect our faith unconsciously,” said Mohamad Adzib.
He said MAIS will declare the song haram and will withdraw all albums in circulation that contain this song to scrutinise it.
“We are asking the relevant authorities at the Federal level to monitor and take appropriate action to protect the sanctity of Islam,” he said. (Bernama)
Selangor bans Indonesian song containing ‘Allah’ LINK
By Neville Spykerman
The Malaysian Insider 17 March 2009
SHAH ALAM, March 13 – The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) has now banned the Indonesian song ‘Allah Peduli’ (Allah Cares) because of the word Allah in its lyrics.
MAIS chairman Datuk Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said today the song by Indonesian singer Agnes Monica used the word ‘Allah’ when referring to Jesus Christ and anyone found playing the song can be fined up to RM1,000 under the Non-Muslim Religious Enactment 1988.
Mohamad Adzib said the word “Allah” was repeatedly used in the song and the lyrics ended with words “Tak akan pernah dibiarkannya ku bergumul sendiri sebab Allah Yeses ku mengerti.”
He said under the enactment, action can be taken against non-Muslims for using ‘Allah’ to describe their God.
This latest move comes just a day after MAIS threatened legal action against the Bar Council for conducting two online polls on the usage of ‘Allah’ for non-Muslims, under the same enactment .
It was reported that the council was consulting their legal advisers on the appropriate action to take against the Bar Council.
Mohamad Adzib said the ban is in place to prevent Muslims from being confused.