When the issue of using the word 'Allah' raised (again) after the court judgement followed by the Ministry appeal to stop it and then followed by burning of a church, I, like most non-Muslim are incensed.
Why not? Why 'Allah' is strictly for Muslims? Why Malays reacted the way they reacted? Why burn a church? Why politicians (from both sides) are making this into a political issue? And why now?
So before I go trigger-happy-ing-shooting-down-&-stereotyping-Malay Muslims, I decided take a long bath, sit this one out with a long black coffee & see how the issues goes.
By the time I write this, ten churches had been reported vandalised. I've read, may I brag, more than fifty articles and postings, both local & international. Maybe hundreds of comments. And somehow came into a personal conclusion.
This issue amused me.
(And probably amused God too. Oh ye, silly humans.)
First of all, comes the theologians & historians insisting that 'Allah' had been used hundreds of years before Bill Gates was born. Yes, and as far as my non educational research goes, they are right.
Then there the comments that says Muslims in Malaysia will be confused and wrongly converted if 'Allah' are used in Christians publication. So...if a Muslim picked up 'The Herald' after attending a Sunday Mass, they would be confused? Come again? Or maybe somehow a pious Catholics leaves 'The Herald' on the train & a Muslims picks it up and ... wham ... conversion? I'm sorry, I don't think Muslims are dumb & that's a total insult to my Muslims friends.
Politicians seems to jump into the band wagon, some agree, some don't but everybody condemn the hurling of Molotov Cocktail that burn a church and nobody manage to catch the Mat Rempit who did the deed. Most 'memorable' was when a politician mentioned the 'Natrah' case. 'Natrah' was the case of a child raised by a Muslim family and then forced back to a culture that she was not familiar of. That was a sad affair that affected a woman entire life. She died Jul 2009.
But why associate this issue with Natrah? Any Muslims who became Catholics will be send to Holland? Duh.
And I found some pretty interesting quotes from international point of view...
"Because once this particular issue fades away, what will inevitably be left behind in the minds of foreign diplomats - and investors - will be another paragraph in the catalogue of niggling entries that mark Malaysia as a "risk", a country increasingly unable to reconcile its religious and racial communities, thanks in large part to tone-deaf government." ~ Al Jazeera
"The problem in Malaysia is not just a linguistic problem, the roots are much deeper. And let us stop regarding others are worse than us. The church attacks are not exclusive to Malaysia. And to be honest, in many other parts of the world, mosques are also attacked by those who think their religion is superior to others." ~ Jakarta Post
"Muslim groups claim that Christian use of a word so closely associated with Islam in Bibles and children's books could be aimed at winning converts." ~ BBC
But why would a Muslim reads Christian literature in the first place?
And some of the reasons that this issue amused me.
The vandalised churches are given donations & received supports from many agencies including the government to build better churches.
Now everybody knows that 'The Herald' existed. More publications.
I found out that more than 10,000 bibles has been confiscated. There's no such thing as Bahasa Malaysia translated Bible because it was banned and all 'Bahasa' Bibles came from Indonesia and more people will try to buy the 'Bahasa' Bible to check whether I'm right or wrong. Now, non-Muslim who never bothered about 'Allah' before start to call God 'Allah'. Or start a Facebook campaign supporting the use of 'Allah' for all Malaysians.
Now, Mat Rempit who never knew 'Allah' before start to learn about 'Allah'. Well, good for you. Just ditch the Molotov Cocktail, will ya? You'll burn in hell for desecrating a holy place, you know.
Muslims going around protecting churches.
Churches going around praying for Muslims who goes around protecting churches.
And I could go around and around about why this issue amused me but its 4 am. So I leave with just a little bit more.
How I believe this issue should be handle?
With tact and less fire burning on the dance floor.
Where do I stand with this issue?
*With Siti Nurhaliza song "Bukan Cinta Biasa"
"Cintaku bukan di atas kertas
Cintaku getaran yang sama
Tak perlu di paksa
Tak perlu di cari
Kerna ku yakin ada jawabnya...ohhh"
You see, I'm a Bidayuh. I call my God, Topa.
Bukan Cinta Biasa - Not an ordinary love
"Cintaku bukan di atas kertas - My love is not on a piece of paper
Cintaku getaran yang sama - My love is the same vibration
Tak perlu di paksa - Not needed to be forced
Tak perlu di cari - Not needed to be search for
Kerna ku yakin ada jawabnya...ohhh" - Because I knew there's an answer ... auwww
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