Archive for November, 2013

UN Expert Urges Malaysia to Reverse Decision that Restricts Use of ‘Allah’ to Muslims

November 28, 2013

United Nation Office of Human Rights
Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights

UN expert urges Malaysia to reverse decision that restricts use of ‘Allah’ to Muslims LINK

GENEVA (25 November 2013) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, today urged the Government of Malaysia to reverse its decision to ban a Catholic publication from using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God, warning that the case may have far-reaching implications for religious minorities in the country.

“Freedom of religion or belief is a right of human beings, not a right of the State,” Mr. Bielefeldt stressed. “It cannot be the business of the State to shape or reshape religious traditions, nor can the State claim any binding authority in the interpretation of religious sources or in the definition of the tenets of faith.” (more…)

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Sabah Churches to PM. Honor your Word. Respect our Religious Freedom

November 27, 2013

PRESS STATEMENT BY SABAH COUNCIL OF CHURCHES

Precis: We call on Prime Minister Datuk Najib Abdul Razak to urgently rein in extremism in our midst as religious intolerance has reached a dangerous level….it was the prime minister himself who first mooted the noble idea for building a “Global Movement of Moderates” from all faiths….However, back in own backyard, we are experiencing extreme action against the Church in Malaysia.We find the recent judgment by the Court of Appeal wholly unreasonable, irrational and repugnant and hence we reject it. It is up to the Federal Court now to do the right thing.

We concur with our brother churches in Sarawak in their recent statement that, “It is our view that the judges overstepped their boundaries in determining that using the word ‘Allah’ is not integral to the Christian faith. In deciding thus, the judges arrogated to themselves a right that does not belong to any human court of law – the right to determine religion.”

Therefore, we expect others will honour our fundamental right to complete freedom of religion regarding the practice and expression of our faith and ministering of our fundamental sacraments of our religion as well as our liturgy, worship and teaching of our Holy Scriptures to our children. (more…)

Association of Churches in Sarawak Press Statement on Allah Issue

November 14, 2013

PRESS STATEMENT ON ALLAH ISSUE (13 November 2013)

ASSOCIATION OF CHURCHES IN SARAWAK

Christian Ecumenical Worship Centre, Kuching

The Bumiputera Church will continue to use the word “Allah” as it is the fundamental to all aspects of our profession and practice of our Christian faith.

As we have heard from the public forum today, and has been stated numerous times to the media by church leaders from both East and Peninsula Malaysia, the word “Allah” has been used or spoken by the native communities of Sarawak and Sabah for generations. “Allah” has been used long before the formation of Malaysia and is part of our native language. It is used in all aspects of Christian faith and practice by Bahasa Malaysia-speaking Christian and other native speaking including in services, prayers praise, liturgy, worship and religious education. As such, it is reasonable to expect that the word also be used in our Christian publications and multi-media resources. (more…)

Najib Vows to Defend use of Allah as Exclusive to Muslims

November 5, 2013

Najib vows to defend use of Allah as exclusive to Muslims

Malaysian Insider 5 Nov 2013

Putrajaya has pledged to defend the use of the word Allah as the exclusive right of Muslims, even as the debate continued following the October 14 Court of Appeal ruling banning the use of the word in a Catholic weekly.

In his message marking the Islamic new year or Maal Hijrah today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said while Malaysia upholds the Federal Constitution and the position of Islam, it also subscribed to the concept of moderation, or Wasatiyyah, saying it is the foundation of the country’s harmony.

“To appreciate the wider meaning of migration, we still uphold our religion and defend the name of Allah for religion, race and our beloved country.

“Malaysia which upholds the Constitution and Islam as the official religion of the country, will remain steadfast in defending the position of Islam in the country in line with Maqasid Syariah and the concept of Wasatiyyah,” Najib said in his message posted on his 1Malaysia blog today.

You can read my comment at Krisis & Praxis “Will the Real Prime Minister Please Stand Up?- Defending Kalimah AllahLINK (more…)