Archive for January, 2013

Resolving the Allah Controversy Going Beyond Polemics and Call for Constructive Dialogue

January 17, 2013

It is imperative for religious leaders from both the Christian and Muslim community (regardless of whether they represent UMNO or PAS) to engage in constructive dialogue to resolve the Allah controversy in a spirit that is consistent with the ethical and spiritual aspiration of their respective religious traditions. Leaders from the Malaysian church would readily welcome dialogue with Muslim leaders. Hopefully such dialogue would restore good will and harmony to our beloved nation.

Proposition 1: We respect the right of PAS to spell out clearly its theological position on Allah.

Proposition 2: We respect the right of people of different faiths to interpret their holy books and profess their faith in their mother tongues.

Proposition 3: We must go beyond polemics in addressing the Allah controversy.

Proposition 4: We invite Muslim leaders to engage in constructive dialogue with Christian leaders to resolve the Allah controversy.

You may read the full article at Krisis & Praxis blog LINK

Selangor Sultan Says non-Muslims Must Not use ‘Allah’, Pakatan and Christian Federation of Malaysia Disagree

January 10, 2013

Rulers are looked upon as symbols of national unity. For this reason rulers or sultans normally stay above political contestations and social controversies. This would be a most appropriate posture of royal dignity. An intervention that is premature would only exacerbate disunity among his subjects. He intervenes only when the conflict is so intractable that his intervention is absolutely necessary. Knowing exactly when to intervene is the mark of a wise ruler. Obviously, he can restore unity only when he is seen to be impartial and has the interests of all his subjects equally in his heart.

Many of us wonder why the Sultan of Selangor chooses to decree that the word ‘Allah’ is forbidden to use by any non-Muslims religion in Selangor at a time of obvious political tensions and deep social divisions in the run-up to the coming General Elections. The ruler has absolute discretion in making any decree. He can rule, but will he reign, at least in the hearts of all his subjects? In this regard, other national leaders from political parties and leaders from the Christian and Sikh communities have expressed concerns, if not disagreement with the decree of the Sultan.

What now happens to the harmony between the Sultan and his subjects? The Christian assurance is that providence is ultimately in the hand of God, the one and only almighty ruler over human history and society. (more…)