Tag Archives: Allah

The “Exclusive” God

BBC News Website 2 January 2014

More than 300 Bibles are confiscated in Malaysia

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Two copies of the Bible in Malay (left) and the Iban dialect are seen in this picture illustration taken in Kuala Lumpur Christian organisations in Malaysia say that they are alarmed by the confiscations
Islamic authorities in Malaysia have seized more than 300 Bibles from the Bible Society because they use the word Allah to refer to God, officials say.

Bible Society officials told Reuters that two of their members were briefly detained following the seizure.

A court ruled in October that non-Muslims could not use the word Allah to refer to God.

The appeals court said the term Allah must be exclusive to Islam or it could cause public disorder.

People of all faiths use the word Allah in Malay to refer to their gods.

Christians argue they have used the word, which entered Malay from Arabic, to refer to their God for centuries and that the ruling violates their rights.

The October court ruling overturned a 2009 ruling which said that a Catholic newspaper, The Herald, could use the word Allah in its Malay-language edition to describe the Christian God.

The 2009 ruling sparked tensions, with churches and mosques attacked.

Critics accuse the government of tacitly condoning Bible seizures as a way of deflecting anger against Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government from poor Malay Muslims who are angry over subsidy cuts likely to force up electricity, petrol and sugar prices.
‘Nothing against the law’

The Malay language Bibles were seized from the Malaysian Bible Society in the state of Selangor near the capital, Kuala Lumpur.
Muslim demonstrators chant slogans outside Malaysia’s Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur 14 October 2013 The October court case rekindled a long-running debate in Muslim-majority Malaysia about the use of the word Allah

“We were told that we were under investigation for breaking a Selangor state law banning non-Muslims from using the word Allah,” Bible Society of Malaysia Chairman Lee Min Choon told Reuters.

The main political party within Mr Najib’s ruling coalition, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), said its Selangor members would protest at all churches in the state on Sunday against the unauthorised use of the word Allah.

“There are laws in Selangor and there was a decree by his Royal Highness the Sultan. So what they are doing is carrying out the Sultan’s decree,” Deputy Prime Minister and UMNO Deputy President Muhyiddin Yassin was quoted by media as saying.

“They are not doing anything against the law.”

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But in a statement the Council of Churches of Malaysia said it was “alarmed” by the raid and urged the government to “protect religious rights as provided under the Federal Constitution”.

The 2009 dispute began when the Home Ministry threatened to revoke the publishing permit of The Herald for using the word Allah.

Malay Muslims make up almost two-thirds of the country’s population, but there are large Hindu and Christian communities.

Mr Najib’s coalition won elections in May, but it was the coalition’s worst result in more than half a century in power.

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POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNS RACISM AND DECLARES THAT “ALL RELIGIONS ARE TRUE” AT HISTORIC THIRD VATICAN COUNCIL

Claim: Pope Francis declared at the Third Vatican Council that “all religions are true.”

FALSE

Is this article real?

Origins: On December 2013, the Diversity Chronicle blog published an article positing that at the Third Vatican Council, Pope Francis had condemned racism and declared that “all religions are true”:
For the last six months, Catholic cardinals, bishops and theologians have been deliberating in Vatican City, discussing the future of the church and redefining long-held Catholic doctrines and dogmas. The Third Vatican Council, is undoubtedly the largest and most important since the Second Vatican Council was concluded in 1962. Pope Francis convened the new council to “finally finish the work of the Second Vatican Council.” While some traditionalists and conservative reactionaries on the far right have decried these efforts, they have delighted progressives around the world.

To a chorus of thunderous applause, Pope Francis stated “because Muslims, Hindus and African Animists are also made in the very likeness and image of God, to hate them is to hate God! To reject them to is to reject God and the Gospel of Christ. Whether we worship at a church, a synagogue, a mosque or a mandir, it does not matter. Whether we call God, Jesus, Adonai, Allah or Krishna, we all worship the same God of love. This truth is self-evident to all who have love and humility in their hearts!”
Shortly afterwards links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered the item mistaking it for a genuine news item. However, the article was just a spoof: No Third Vatican Council has been convened (the Second Vatican Council took place in the early 1960s), and the blog that published this item, the Diversity Chronicle includes a disclaimer noting that “The original content on this blog is largely satirical.”

Last updated: 22 December 2013

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/satire/francis.asp#Jq3jW0QaEI3uVAxS.99

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Allah. (From the Scotsman)

A Malaysian court has ruled that a Christian newspaper should not use the word “Allah” when referring to God.

The decision stokes the controversy surrounding the issue, which has fanned religious tensions and raised questions over minority rights in the mainly Muslim country.

Three Muslim judges in Malaysia’s appeals court unanimously agreed to overturn a 2009 ruling by a lower court that allowed the Malay-language version of the Herald newspaper to use the word Allah – as many Christians in Malaysia say has been their custom for centuries.

“The usage of the word Allah is not an integral part of the faith in Christianity,” chief judge Mohamed Apandi Ali ruled. “The usage of the word will cause confusion in the community.”

The decision coincides with heightened ethnic and religious tension in Malaysia after a divisive May election, in which the long-ruling coalition was deserted by urban voters that included a large section of minority ethnic Chinese.

In recent months, prime minister Najib Razak has sought to consolidate his support among majority ethnic Malays and secure the backing of traditionalists ahead of a crucial ruling party assembly this month.

Mr Razak’s new government – dominated by his Malay-based United Malays National Organisation – has toughened security laws and introduced steps to boost a decades-old affirmative action policy for ethnic Malays, reversing liberal reforms aimed at appealing to a broader section of the multi-ethnic country.

In its case, the government argued the word Allah was specific to Muslims and that the then-home minister’s decision in 2008 to deny the newspaper permission to print it was justified on the basis of public order.

About 200 Muslims outside the court in the administrative capital Putrajaya, greeted the decision with shouts of “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest).

“As a Muslim, defending the usage of the term Allah qualifies as jihad. It is my duty to defend it,” said Jefrizal Ahmad Jaafar, 39. Jihad is Islamic holy war or struggle. Lawyers for the Catholic paper had argued the word Allah pre-dated Islam and had been used by Malay-speaking Christians in Malaysia’s part of Borneo island for centuries.

They say they will appeal yesterday’s decision to Malaysia’s highest court. “The nation must protect and support the rights of the minority,” said Father Lawrence Andrew, the founding editor of the Herald. “God is an integral part of every religion.”

Christians in Indonesia and much of the Arab world continue to use the word without opposition from Islamic authorities. Churches in the Borneo states of Sabah and Sarawak have said they will continue to use the word regardless.

The paper won a judicial review of the home minister’s decision in 2009, triggering an appeal from the federal government. The court ruled yesterday that the constitutional rights of the publisher had not been infringed.

Ethnic Malays make up 60 per cent of Malaysia’s 28 million people, with Chinese accounting for more than a quarter and ethnic Indians also forming a substantial minority. Christians account for about 9 per cent.

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Who is the most religious?

A Jew, a Christian and a Muslim were having a discussion about who was the most religious.

“I was riding my camel in the middle of the Sahara,” exclaimed the Muslim. “Suddenly a fierce sandstorm appeared from nowhere. I truly thought my end had come as I lay next to my camel while we being buried deeper and deeper under the sand. But I did not lose my faith in the Almighty Allah, I prayed and prayed. Then suddenly, for a hundred metres all around me, the storm had stopped. Since that day I am a devout Muslim and am now learning to recite the Quran by memory.”

“One day while fishing,” started the Christian, “I was in my little dinghy in the middle of the ocean. Suddenly a fierce storm appeared from nowhere. I sincerely thought my end had come as my little dinghy was tossed up and down in the rough ocean. But I did not lose my faith in Jesus Christ, I prayed and prayed and suddenly, for 300 metres all around me, the storm had stopped. Since that day I am a devout Christian and am now teaching young children about Him.”

“One day I was walking down the road,” explained the Jew, “I was in my most expensive designer outfit in the middle of New York city. Suddenly I saw a black bag on the ground in front of me appear out of nowhere. I put my hand inside and found a million dollars in cash. I truly thought my end had come as it was a Saturday and we are not allowed to handle money on Saturdays. But I did not lose my faith in Jehovah, I prayed and prayed and suddenly, for 500 metres all around me – it was Tuesday

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