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Socialist Party of Malaysia: `No more racism! Freedom of religion to all!

Statement by Socialist Party of Malaysia central committee

PSM condemns attacks on churches! Najib and Hishamuddin should take full responsibility!

January 8, 2010 -- The Parti Socialist Malaysia (PSM) is shocked to learn that three churches have been attacked in the last 12 hours in the Klang Valley – the Assumption Church in Jalan Templer, Petaling Jaya, the Life Chapel in Section 17, Petaling Jaya, and the Metro Tabernacle Church in Desa Melawati, Kuala Lumpur. The three-storey Metro Tabernacle church in Desa Melawati, part of the Assemblies of God movement, was set ablaze in the attack which took place around midnight.

We cannot deny the fact that the attacks are somehow related to the High Court ruling last week which ruled in favour of allowing the Catholic Weekly Herald newspaper, which used the word "Allah" as a translation for “God” in its Malay-language section. The ruling however was suspended on January 6 pending an appeal by the government.

[Islamists called for demonstrations at Friday's prayers against the use of the word "Allah" by "non-Muslims". Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (picture) advised Pakatan Rakyat (People's Alliance, PR) supporters against joining demonstrations. However, the government gave back-handed approval. About 10 per cent of Malaysians are Christians, including some 850,000 Catholics. Anwar said the PR’s stand was that is is acceptable for Christians to call God “Allah”: “Islamic tenets do not forbid the use of the name ‘Allah’ by adherents of other religions."]

The PSM believes that the irresponsible acts were caused by the indirect blessing given by Malaysia's Prime Minister Prime Minister Najib Razak and the home affairs minister Hishammuddin Hussein to protests against the ruling. The Hishammuddin was reported as saying that the government would not stop anyone from protesting against the "Allah" ruling, however he later attempted to deny it. It is difficult to accept his denial since he has been consistent in "welcoming" any protest that stirs up racial hatred among the rakyat [people]. This has been proven when he welcomed the "cow-head" protesters at his office last year on the Section 19 Shah Alam temple issue.

Race and religion cards

The government is again playing the race and religion cards in times of crisis. It plans to divert the rakyat from many critical issues, such as rising prices of goods, the goods and services tax, corruption, missing jet engines and the list goes on. It is also to create a climate of fear and a perceived threat to national security so as to pressure the courts in reversing its decision during the appeal.

More than half of Malaysia’s Catholics are from Indigenous groups, most of whom live in Sabah and Sarawak and who mainly speak Bahasa Malaysia. All this while churches have used the word ”Allah” in their sermons and teaching in Malaysia. The Sikhs too have voiced concern, because in the Sikh religious text the word ”Allah” is also used. In the Holy Scripture of the Sikhs, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the word "Allah" appears in the original text numerous times.

For years the Barisan Nasional (National Front, dominated by the United Malays National Organisation, UMNO) government has been responsible in ensuring Malaysians are divided.

The issue has been deliberately built up on unsubstantiated fears that Muslims will be confused and probably be converted to Christianity!

Thus the PSM immediately calls on the government to:

1. Ensure the freedom of religion to all groups. Religion must be treated as a private and personal affair of individuals and should remain so.

2. When there are religious disputes, it is important that discussions and dialogue among the concerned people be held. It is again proves why we need an inter-faith commission to resolve such sensitive issues amicably and harmoniously.

3. All political parties must stop playing the race and religion cards [to advance] their political agendas. All parties must immediately refrain from further violence.

4. There are enough laws to punish those who create such violence and we will not in anyway support the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA).

In wake of this, we call upon all peace-loving Malaysians to form multiracial peace brigades in their respective towns and kampongs to protect all lives and give a strong message to those who use religion and race to propagate violence.

NO MORE RACISM ! FREEDOM OF RELIGION TO ALL!

On behalf of the PSM Central Committee,

A. Sivarajan,

Central committee member.

Comments

Bigotry in the name of Allah

Aliran media statement http://www.aliran.com

Bigotry in the name of Allah

Print

Friday, 08 January 2010 20:25

The Allah issue has now literally become a burning issue. We are appalled that extreme elements have resorted to fire bombs to target three churches in the Klang Valley. These are reprehensible and cowardly acts that deserve to be roundly condemned.

Malaysians are disturbed and disillusioned by the lack of a firm stand by the national leadership in putting a stop to the heat and tension that is being deliberately generated by the bigots and zealots in our midst.

Both the Prime Minister and the Home Minister had reportedly ''backed the right to protest within mosque grounds"(/Malaysian Insider/). The PM was quoted in the NST as saying, "As far as possible, we do not want people to protest, but we cannot stop them from doing so if they gather at mosques and if confined to a certain area."

This may have been taken by some as a tacit go-ahead signal. Knowing how volatile the Allah issue had become, it was the height of irresponsibility to take such a stand. This stand did not pay any attention to /national security, our peace and harmony/ -- favourite catch phrases - which are commonly used to justify detentions of those demonstrating against the government or their policies. In the name of /national security, our peace and harmony/, water cannons had been used in the past to disperse crowds, make arrests and brutally beat up demonstrating Malaysians gathered in or near mosques and temples.

But in this instance, no harsh instructions or stern warnings were given to discourage certain people from turning this political issue into an explosive one.

The talk around town suggests that certain quarters were desperate to win back lost Malay support and were therefore fanning this issue for selfish reasons.

We call upon the PM and the Home Minister to take a public stand and condemn acts and deeds that are not in keeping with the principles of Rukun Negara. In this most volatile period, it must be the national interest that should be paramount and must prevail.

Malaysians too must stand up for tolerance and respect for our differences as well as for the rule of law. We must isolate these un-Malaysian bigots, who are a small minority.

Aliran Executive Committee
8 January 2010

Dr. Nasir, Pengerusi PSM tentang istilah Allah

PENGGUNAAN ISTILAH ALLAH PADA MASYARAKAT BUKAN ISLAM
- Pandangan Dr. Nasir Hashim – Pengerusi Parti Sosialis Malaysia

January 10, 2010 -- http://www.parti-sosialis.org/posts/1518/dr-nasir-pengerusi-psm-tentang-istilah-allah/ -- Pertikaian terhadap penggunaan perkataan Allah sudah merebak dan berpanjangan apabila Kementerian Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri (KDN) tidak membenarkan penggunaan istilah tersebut. Kes ini telah di bawa ke Mahkamah. Mahkamah telah membenarkannya dan KDN pula telah membuat rayuan.

Walhal sejak zaman Nabi Adam istilah Allah sentiasa di gunakan termasuklah zaman Nabi Musa dan Nabi Isa. Zaman Nabi Muhammad SAW membenarkan agama kaum Yahudi dan Nasrani menggunakan perkataan Allah di mana-mana sahaja.

Di Sabah dan Sarawak pula, padri-padri sudah berpuluh tahun menjalankan upacara ibadah dalam Bahasa Malaysia dan menggunakan perkataan Allah di dalam gereja masing-masing.

Malangnya sebahagian dari masyarakat Islam berpandangan bahawa perkataan Allah adalah untuk orang Islam sahaja. Mereka mensyaki bahawa perkataan Allah sengaja disalahgunakan untuk mengkritiankan orang Islam; menggelirukan penganut Islam dan memecahbelahkan perpaduan rakyat Islam.

Sepatutnya penganut Islam yang curiga ini patut bersyukur kerana orang Bukan Islam juga mahu menggunakan perkataan Allah di dalam kehidupan harian mereka.

Kerana perkataan Allah memberi makna bahawa tuhan itu Satu. Yang tauhid. Yang tidak ada sesuatu pun yang menyerupaiNya. Tidak melahirkan dan tidak dilahirkan. Memberi pengakuan sepenuhnya terhap syuhadah ‘La Illah Ha Illallah’ iaitu ‘ Tiada nyata hanya Allah’ atau ‘Tiada tuhan yang ku sembah melainkan Allah’

Pengakuan ‘Ya Rabbil Alamin’ di dalam Surah Al-Fatiha juga memberi peringatan kepada kita bahawa Allahlah yang memiliki dan menguasai seluruh alam’

Al Quran juga menyebut bahawa Allah sendiri akan melindungi rumah ibadah bagi orang-orang Bukan Islam. Betapa sayangNya Allah kepada makhluk-makhlukNya yang terdiri dari berbilang kaum, agama dan warna. Dan barang sesiapa yang mengingkari perintah ini telah pun menderhaka kepada Allah SWT.

Allah bersumpah bahawasanya Allah sendiri memastikan Islam dan Al Quran dipeliharaiNya untuk selama-lamanya. Terdapat orang-orang Bukan Islam di negera Jepun, Eropah dan Negara-negara lain sungguh tertarik dengan lukisan khat yang menyebut nama Allah dan kalimat-malimatNya.

Mereka yang Bukan Islam ini sanggup mempamerkan nama dan ayat-ayat Allah di ruang tetamu mereka kerana nama dan ayat-ayat ini sudah menyentuhi jiwa dan hati sanubari mereka.

Maka salahkah mereka yang Bukan Islam ini menggunakan perkataan Allah di dalam berbicaraan dan penulisan mereka. Mungkin ada mukjizat yang paling besar dan amat bermakna. Mungkin kita tidak mengetahui dan memahami tentang mukjizat ini. Wallahualam.

Pada hakikatnya, bukankah agama Islam ini agama sejagat, untuk semua manusia termasuklah makhluk haiwan, tamanam dan juga yang nyata dan yang luar jangkauan kita.

Soalnya mengapakan orang Islam sendiri sanggup menyempitkan kegunaan perkataan Allah yang seharusnya menjadi milikan sejagat.

Soalnya lagi, adakah kita takut pada bayangan sendiri, kelemahan sendiri lalu mudah sangat melatah, seolah-olah akidah dan iman akan tergugat serta pupus apabila penganut Bukan Islam menggunakan perkataan dan ayat-ayat Allah.

Janganlah perlekehkan agama sendiri. Islam adalah agama yang terbuka dan progresif. Maka itulah Al Quran tidak luntur, tidak kekang dan tidak akan di telan zaman. Sepatutnya cendikaiwan Islam mengucapkan tahniah dan syabas kepada mereka yang Bukan Islam kerana sudi menggunakan perkataan Allah kepada penganut-penganut mereka.

Walaupun tidak disenangi oleh sebilangan penggnut Islam, namun mereka yang mahu menggunkan nama Allah ini sanggup dicerca dari semua pihak dan masih mahu memasuki mahkamah kerana ingin sangat menggunakan perkataan Allah kepada pengikut-pengikutnya..

Kami percaya Cendiakawan Islam dan agensi-agensi Islam sudah mencukupi dan berkebolehan untuk memantau dan menegur mana-mana pihak yang telah menggunakan nama dan kalimah Allah dengan secara yang tidak tepat. Dan teguran boleh dilakukan bukan dalam keadaan bermusuhan tetapi dalam keadaan saling hormat menghormati.

Isunya mengapa sensitive sangat, seolah-olah dunia ini akan kiamat sekiranya penganut agama lain menggunakan nama Allah. Kalau kita tidak mengizinkan mereka menggunakannyanya maka kita akan didakwa menyempitkan agama sendiri dan benar-benar tidak memahami ayat ‘rabbil alamin’.

Yang dikhuatiri dan menyedihkan adalah, kemungkinan besar kesemuanya ini tidak berkaitan langsung dengan penggunaan perkataan Allah tetapi sudah ada agenda sendiri, agenda politik yang cuba melaga-laga dan memecah-belahkan rakyat berbilang kaum, fahaman politik dan agama . Maka seperti yang disebut di dalam Al Quran bahawa kita telah menjual (mengorbankan) agama kita dengan harga yang murah. Lagi pun kita sudah lama memperduakan Allah dengan mempertuhankan kepada nafsu, politik, keuntungan, kuasa dan kedudukan.

Semoga kewarasan dan keimanan mendahului segala-galanya.

Dr. Nasir Hashim

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