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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Najib backs right to protest ‘Allah’ judgment

UPDATE 2

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has defended his government’s decision to allow angry Muslim groups to hold a nationwide protest against the “Allah” ruling, saying they have every right to do so.

"We cannot stop them, as long as it is confined within the mosque area," he told a press conference after launching his 1 Malaysia clinic campaign.

"Whatever it is, the authorities are prepared and I hope that it will not spill over into something more serious but precautions we have to take, we have," he added.

Security laws do not allow gatherings of five and above. Police normally crack down on gatherings, protests or demonstrations by opposition groups.

But Home Minister said the government had to balance the interests of those who want to express their feelings about the Dec 31 ruling that allowed Catholic weekly Herald to use “Allah” to describe the Christian God in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

The government yesterday won a stay of execution of the ruling after the Roman Catholic Church agreed not to object out of "national interest".

The Umno president's statement today shows he is moving to protect his position among party conservatives who have been unhappy with his indecision on the “Allah” issue.

His stance will lend credence to concern among non-Muslims that when push comes to shove, the Barisan Nasional-led government will put politics above fair play.

When asked to explain his stand, Najib reiterated that the groups have the right to protest and that his government cannot stop them from doing so.

Opposition leaders such as PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub have come out to slam Najib's stand, describing it as hypocritical.

"From the democratic perspective, the groups have every right to express their opinion but we want to tell Umno don't be a hypocrite," he told The Malaysian Insider.

"Don't use a different set of rules when something works in your interest," he said, adding that PAS will try and engage these groups as part of its effort to diffuse the tension.

Meanwhile, Najib again pleaded for calm, saying all quarters should adopt an attitude aimed at resolving the issue amicably.

But he continues to perplex the people by allowing the protest and getting the government to appeal against the “Allah” ruling.

Today he diverted questions on the matter by asking the public to let the legal proceedings take their course.

On his meeting with the King yesterday, Najib refused to disclose details but said that his Cabinet had been briefed on the matter.

Beban perbelanjaan persekolahan pada awal tahun

Para ibu tunggal dilanda kerisauan

KLANG, 6, Januari - Bagi ibu bapa yang berpendapatan rendah, perbelanjaaan persekolahan anak-anak mereka menjadi beban pada setiap permulaan tahun. Terutamanya para ibu tunggal yang berpendapatan amat rendah menghadapi kesukaran sebab tidak mampu membiayai perbelanjaan persekolahan anak-anak mereka. M. Janaki, 49 tahun, yang tinggal di Jalan Tepi Sungai telah mendedahkan kepada Persatuan Pengguna Klang tentang kesusahannya yang tidak mampu membiaya perbelanjaan persekolahan tiga orang anaknya.

Akibat didera oleh suami, Janaki telah berpisah dengan suaminya yang ketagih minuman keras empat tahun lalu. Kini dia bekerja sebagai pembersih (cleaner) dengan pendapatan RM600 sebulan. “Namun duit tersebut hanya bertahan selama 10 hari selepas membayar sewa rumah, bil air dan elektrik, tambang bas sekolah, perbelanjaan harian, duit saku anak- anak serta kos pangangkutan”, kata Janaki yang hanya mempunyai kad pengenalan merah sambil mengesat air matanya.

Beliau tidak pernah mendapat sebarang pekerjaan yang tetap kerana kad pengenalan berwarna merah. Beliau amat bimbang akan masa depan anak-anaknya S.Rajendran (13 tahun), S.Selvi (11 tahun) dan S. Yogisha (9 tahun). Pendapatannya tidak cukup untuk makan dan minum dan terpaksa berhutang untuk menampung perbelanjaan asas.

janaki1

PPP Mandore’s Hampers and School Bags

PPP Indian mandore’s hamper and school bag paper politics for 200 poor Indians as reported in UM 22/12/09 at page 22). Indians need land allocations for schools, temples, cemeteries and crematoriums as well as permits, licenses and business loans and opportunities, and not hampers. These hampers are an eyewash to hamper the communities real problems.

Why is UMNO and BN parties not getting to the point and granting licenses, small business opportunities loans and other upward mobility opportunities for the long term welfare of these 200 poor Indians in this case?

P. Uthayakumar

ppp

Anwar calls Hisham a hypocrite for allowing Friday protest

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — Pakatan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim questioned the sincerity of the Home Ministry for allowing a public demonstration against the recent “Allah” ruling.

The ruling allowed the Catholic weekly Herald to use the term to describe the Christian God in their national language edition.

Anwar also accused Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein of being hypocritical in allowing the demonstration as his ministry has previously denied and banned public rallies organized by Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

“I am not opposed to demonstration, you can express yourself peacefully. I am questioning the hypocrisy of the Minister of Home Affairs,” the Permatang Pauh MP told reporters outside the Federal Territory Syariah Court here today.

”I question the sincerity of the minister that will help to sponsor a demonstration that they want but hit others that they don’t want to hold any peaceful demonstration. Peaceful demonstration must be allowed in the country.

”If we agree or not, that is a different question,” he added.

The Home Ministry yesterday announced that they will allow a public demonstration planned by Muslim groups tomorrow at the Kampung Baru mosque to proceed and will only take action if “things get out of hand.”

Hishammuddin explained that the protest will be monitored and that action will only be taken if the need arises.

Anwar blamed the current religious crisis to the negligence of the Home Ministry and its failure to properly engage with the different religious community in the country.

”This is odd because one hand you appeal for calm but there is a clear division in terms of abuse explained by religious scholars. Many have contended that this is permissible.

“Their concerns are regarding proselytization by the Christian missionaries on Muslims so the discourse is somewhat disconnected. So what I think the home ministry should have done much earlier is to call up the Christian representatives and discuss with them. They have failed to do that and they have gone to this stage due to their negligence and failure to attend the issue early enough,” he explained.

The Dec 31 High Court ruling caused an uproar with some Muslims threatening to take their dissatisfaction to the streets this Friday.

Following the uproar the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, called for calm and promised that the government would take the necessary actions.

Najib has also supported the right of Muslims to protest the ruling, the execution of which has been stayed pending appeal.

Anwar also agreed that there must calm and pointed out that the demonstration maybe politically motivated. ”At this stage, we must call for calm and have frank exchanges between religious authorities, social society groups, Muslim groups and non-Muslim groups. That would be the best solution because when it comes to a decision to allow demonstration, you have a clear hypocritical stand on the part of the minister of home affairs.

“One hand to you disallow people to express themselves on legitimate grounds but when it comes to this, they think how about the political benefits. I think in political it is not wise to conduct any sort of meetings when emotions are high.

”I recommend strongly that we should conduct more serious meetings between Muslims and Christian in particular,” he said, echoing the call made by some opposition leaders.

Anwar added that the court ruling is not against any Islamic law but understands the fear expressed by some Muslims.

”From my understanding referring to the renowned religious scholars, they all say that there is nothing in Islam that forbids the use of the word Allah but what is expressed is the fear of proselytization by the Christian missionaries. So that has to be dealt with separately. We could put laws in the country which stop the proselytization in this country if any.

“But we cannot incite religion and religious sentiments like this because after we are taught not to only live as Muslims but to respect the sanctity of religions, including Christianity.

“So you have to inter-marry between what is deemed to be an Islamic jurisprudence view point and the concerns of … missionary activities,” he added.

MIC Indian Mandores’ squatter politics.


Big banner, big name Minister and Deputy Minister Indian mandores (BH 22/12/09 at page 2). Promises but no solutions in sight for these 40 year old problem involving 48 Indian squatters.

P. Uthayakumar

mic-mandor

Home Ministry’s call on protest, says Muhyiddin

Muhyiddin says the protest cannot threaten people’s safety. — File pic

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 7 — Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today the decision to allow tomorrow’s protest at the Kampung Baru mosque in Kuala Lumpur over the “Allah” controversy was up to the Home Ministry.

"It is up to the ministry concerned to allow the protest, but it has to be guided by rules. It (the protest) is subject to the approval by the authorities concerned," said Muhyiddin.

He explained that the protestors can go ahead with the protest but they had to abide by the rules.

"They would have to obtain a permit. The protest cannot threaten the people's safety.

"It cannot escape the laws of the land, and it has to be done within the limits of the law."

It is understood that the protest is being orchestrated by several Muslim NGOs in retaliation against the High Court's ruling on Dec 31 allowing the Catholic Church to use the word "Allah" in its weekly publication the Herald.

On Monday, the Home Ministry had filed an appeal against the High Court decision and subsequently obtained a stay of execution.

Najib: We cannot stop Friday’s protest

NAJIB TUN RAZAK KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak (picture) shares the view of his Home Minister cousin Hishammuddin Hussein that Muslims are free to protest and express their views against a court decision which had allowed the Catholic newspaper Herald to use the word “Allah.”

As long as Friday’s demonstration did not spill over into something more series, Najib told reporters that the government cannot stop people from protesting over the Allah issue.

However, he said that the authorities were prepared to face any situation.

"We hope the protests will not spill over. Better still if the protest is minimal," Najib said after opening the first 1Malaysia Clinic.

Najib said that the authorities could not stop groups from gathering at mosques and protesting there.

"As long as it doesn’t spill over into something serious, they can still express their views," he said.

Hishammuddin had also stated yesterday that the government did not prohibit the people from expressing their views on the Allah issue but action will be taken if the protests affected security.

On former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s opinion that the "Allah" issue cannot be resolved through the courts, Najib said that was his (Dr Mahathir’s) view.

"There will be all kinds of views but while the court process if going on, it requires a lot of dialogue," the Umno president said.

Yesterday, High Court judge Lau Bee Lan allowed a stay order on the use of the word “Allah” by the Catholic weekly Heraldafter the parties involved reached a consensus on grounds of national interest.

She granted the Home Ministry the stay of execution on her earlier ruling allowing Herald to use the name “Allah” for God in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

The Home Ministry is appealing against the decision that saw differing views from both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat leaders who believe emotions should not be allowed to rule in the discussing the issue following the court’s decision.

Who owns "Allah" ?

We all know by now that Prophet Muhammad's grandfather was the keeper/ caretaker of the Temple of Mecca.But this was well before Mecca became the chosen site to perform the Haj, what was Mecca before? In other words, which God was Prophet Muhammad's grandfather praying to?

By John Doe

JD: Let's start this by reading what Farish Noor wrote:

"...For a start, the word 'Allah' predates the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad and goes back to the pre-Islamic era. Christians had been using the word long before there were any Muslims. It is an Arabic word and thus common to all the peoples, cultures and societies where Arabic, in all its dialects, is spoken. It is also understood by millions of Arabic speakers to mean God, and little else. One could add that as it is an Arabic word, it therefore has more to do with the development and evolution of Arabic language and culture and less to do with Islam..."

Taken from: http://rix177holyspirit.blogspot.com/2007/12/origins-of-word-allah.html

JD: Let us then begin by asking why do Muslims Call God "Allah"?

Why do Muslims call God Allah? Dr. Zakir Naik

http://youtube.com/watch?v=XHeQroDdCWI&feature=related

The same Dr. Zakir Naik names Prophet Muhammad as a Hindu Prediction

http://youtube.com/watch?v=1GNciSqoz1U&feature=related

JD: Let's look at the Prediction from the Holy Scriptures themselves first, before there's any "fist-fight" outbreak here:

"...According to Bhavishya Purana in the Prati Sarag Parv III Khand 3 Adhay 3 Shloka 5 to 8.

"A Malecha (belonging to a foreign country and speaking a foreign language) spiritual teacher will appear with his companions. His name will be Mohammad. Raja (Bhoj) after giving this Maha Dev Arab (of angelic disposition) a bath in the Panchgavya and the Ganga water (i.e. purifying him of all sins) offered him the present of his sincere devotion and showing him all reverence said, "I make obeisance to thee. O ye! The pride of mankind, the dweller in Arabia, Ye have collected a great force to kill the Devil and you yourself have been protected from the malecha opponents."..."

JD: Who do you think these Great and Holy Texts describe? To a great degree, these Hindu texts were predicting the Great Prophet Muhammad.

JD: We all know by now that Prophet Muhammad's grandfather was the keeper/ caretaker of the Temple of Mecca. But this was well before Mecca became the chosen site to perform the Haj, what was Mecca before? In other words, which God was Prophet Muhammad's grandfather praying to?

Your browser may not support display of this image.

The answer may be found in the extract below:

"...[Note: A recent archeological find in Kuwait unearthed a gold-plated statue of the Hindu deity Ganesh. A Muslim resident of Kuwait requested historical research material that can help explain the connection between Hindu civilisation and Arabia.]

Was the Kaaba Originally a Hindu Temple?
By P.N. Oak (Historian)

Glancing through some research material recently, I was pleasantly surprised to come across a reference to a king Vikramaditya inscription found in the Kaaba in Mecca proving beyond doubt that the Arabian Peninsula formed a part of his Indian Empire. The text of the crucial Vikramaditya inscription, found inscribed on a gold dish hung inside the Kaaba shrine in Mecca, is found recorded on page 315 of a volume known as ‘Sayar-ul-Okul’ treasured in the Makhtab-e-Sultania library in Istanbul, Turkey..."

Web Reference: http://www.hinduism.co.za/kaabaa.htm

JD: Christians in Malaysia (SIB in particular) keep harping on the fact that the Word "Allah" was freely used by Christians well before Prophet Muhammad's birth. Hence, the “historical right” to use it in Malaysia today. Their "right-to-fair-use" resounds much like the clip below:

"...The Semitic roots of the word Allah extend back several thousand years to the Canaanite Elat, Hebrew El and Elohim, and Aramaic Alaha. These roots point toward unity, oneness, the eternal power which includes all of existence and of non-existence. In modern English this would generally be translated as God (which is old English, likely based on the Sanskrit word hu, meaning that which is worshipped, honored or adored)..."

taken from: http://wahiduddin.net/words/bismillah.htm

JD: This is the first instance of the mention that the word "Allah" is of Sanskrit origins.

The above diagram shows a quick visual comparison of Sanskrit-based written languages. It is easy to see, and Sanskrit has been generally accepted as the basis for such written alphabets. The Sumerian type writing was also inserted to show comparative early handwritten forms with Mesopotamian influence; prior to the arrival of the Sanskrit texts, from Arabia till Cambodia, and Indonesia.

"...NOTED SCHOLAR and Sarva Dharma Ekta Manch secretary Abdullah Tariq claimed here on Sunday that Islam was a religion with an Indian origin. He said, “The first Prophet Hazrat Adam was born in India, according
to belief, and the last Prophet Hazrat Mohammad was born in Mecca.” He also said the study of the Vedas was the need of the hour. Tariq was expressing his views in a symposium organised by the UP Rabta Committee at Islamia College of Commerce entitled "Ved and Quran: How Near How Far". ..."

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?id=824aa01d-e504-4d94-804c-13dc3993fe77&ParentID=4251278b-5d81-4884-92fb-fe28e1c45434&&Headline=Islam+has+Indian+origin%3a+Scholar

JD: You might say that this speaker was probably "pushing it". But then, look at the following extract:

"...Saudi Arabia (Pre – Islamic Period)

Because of the Saudi illiterate population, direct recording of Saudi Arabian history is almost non-existent. But from countries with historical contacts with Saudi Arabia, it is possible to make sense of the Saudi History. One recorded History, we can rely on is of the Hindu Vikrama Era (58 B.C. to 415 A.D.) whose Hindu Empire stretched from India to the Arabian Peninsula in the West (and also Eastwards). These Hindu Maharaja/s were greatly devoted to their Hindu Deities of Lord Siva {moon God-Allat} and his spouse, Goddess Durga {moon goddess-Allah}. The Maharajas gave thanks to their Godly Deities by building Siva temples in their honour, in all their territories {at least 7 in Saudi Arabia alone, including the Kaaba}. Even after their Empire fell, the Saudi Arabs faithfully devoted themselves to these Hindu Godly Deities/Temples as devote Hindus up to Muhammad’s time...."

Source: http://www.islamreview.com/articles/bioofmuhammad.shtml

JD: Some suggest that it is because of this Moon Goddess, Durga, that the Crescent is still found at the pinnacle of Mosques today. For most religions (of the past) to take root, the first order of the day was usually to learn the Language from its' country of Origin. In the case of Saudi Arabia, for her to have adopted Hinduism, it would have only made perfect sense for the Arabic Language to begin with Sanskrit as a starting point. Appropriate, since Saudi Arabia was mostly illiterate (see above), and Sanskrit was freely adopted by languages even in South East Asia. In fact, (almost) all "curly-whirly" written languages are of Sanskrit Origins. (see pix below)

And although the pronunciations today are drastically different, any competent linguist can easily trace its' root words to its origins; Sanskrit.

s3

Note: Kawi scripts typically show a marriage between Sanskrit and modern Jawi Scripts. As words are formed alphabeltically, it can be written in almost any language. This is different from Egyptian, Sumerian or Chinese, where individual characters mean complete words. (see below for comparative)

s3

Sumerian Scripts showing influence on both Pre-Sanskrit Arabic as well as Pre-Han Chinese Scripts. Anything prior to the Sumerian writing would be either Cunnieform, and Cave Men Drawings. Even Egyptian Heiroglyphics are a derivitive of Sumerian texts. Please consult your favourite Linguists for affirmation of this Chronology. (Alan F. Alford)

JD: Then I stumbled on this:

"...It might come as a stunning revelation to many that the word ‘ALLAH’ itself is Sanskrit. In Sanskrit language Allah, Akka and Amba are synonyms. They signify a goddess or mother. The term ‘ALLAH’ forms part of Sanskrit chants invoking goddess Durga, also known as Bhavani, Chandi and Mahishasurmardini. The Islamic word for God is., therefore, not an innovation but the ancient Sanskrit appellation retained and continued by Islam. Allah means mother or goddess and mother goddess..."

Source: http://www.asiafinest.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=67526

I was then, as shocked as you are now.

In answering "The History of The Kaaba Part 1", please view here:

http://www.vnn.org/editorials/ET0001/ET25-5336.html

and “The History of The Kaaba Part 2” is here:

http://www.vnn.org/editorials/ET0002/ET21-5523.html

Other references are listed below:

http://krishnajkaaba.blogspot.com/2005/04/kaaba-hindu-temple-taken-over-by.html

http://www.israelforum.com/board/showthread.php?t=8743&page=1

http://www.islam-watch.org/AyeshaAhmed/Paganism-Hinduism-in-Islam.htm

http://www.faithfreedom.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=52607&sid=7b92389496c265ebf5926049a8367374

JD: So, if Saudi Arabia had a Hindu/ Pagan Past, then what about the term "Allah"?

Who first coined the name? If what some Muslims' claim is true, that the first Muslim was Adam, (some say it was Abraham), then all descendants of Adam would have a right to use the word Allah. But IMHO, that would not be theologically correct. Adam obviously did not speak Sanskrit, and since we can only trace the origins of the word “Allah” till its' Sanskrit origins, we have to come to accept that the Original word “Allah” can only be in reference to Durga, the Moon Goddess. How the Word got transformed and re-transformed and given new meaning(s) in its' subsequent days is a discussion for another time.

“...The cult of a Deity termed simply “The God” (Al-ilah) was known throughout southern Syria and northern Arabia in the days before Islam… It seems equally certain that Allah was not merely a God in Mecca but was widely regarded as the “High God,” the Chief and Head of the Meccan pantheon,…Thus Allah was neither an unknown nor an unimportant deity to the Quraysh when Muhammad began preaching his worship at Mecca...”

(The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World, ed. John L. Esposito, p 76-77).

"...The Japanese scholar Toshihiko Izutsu remarks that it is precisely because the name Allah was common to both the pagan Arabs and the Muslims that gave rise to the heated debates that arose between Muhammad and his adversaries. Likewise, Muhammad addressed his adversaries in the name of ‘Allah’ without bothering to explain what this name meant given their common understanding of ‘Allah’ as referring to the Supreme God..."

(God and Man in the Quran, Toshihiko Izutsu, pp. 100-117).

s4

Montage of pictures used by many Christian Websites to “prove” that Allah is a Pagan Moon God.

JD: My immediate question is to ask the Christian Community, as to why the sudden change of heart? On the one hand, Christian websites claim that “Allah” is a Pagan Moon God with irrefuttable proof. Then, the next moment, you claim to have “Historical Right” to use the Word Allah, even though it directly conflicts with all Christian Websites which insist that “Allah” is a Moon God. And they all seem to be able to provide “concrete evidence” of this; despite the fact that the Koran claims otherwise. Did you discover something that we all do not know of to have this sudden change of heart?

If not, then Please remove ALL Websites with all these so-called “evidence” that Allah is a Pagan Moon God.

My advise to the SIB, as clearly stated, please DO NOT USE the word "ALLAH" in reference to describing the Christian God. It is inappropriate, and theologically wrong, although (for a brief period) you may be Historically correct.

The “interpretive” word for God in Bahasa Malaysia is “Tuhan” (ie, Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan)

The “interpretive” word for Lord in Bahasa Malaysia is “Tuan” (ie, Ketuanan melayu)

The ArchBishop needs a netter Translator, and definitely a more competent Historian.

On the same note, BN might want to change the Selangor State Anthem,

“... Allah lanjutkan usia Tuanku...”, since you insist that no one else can use the word. Or, instruct non-Muslims of Selangor to sing every other word, and keep silent when the song reaches the word “Allah”.

The truth is, India (Aryan and Dravidic) had a very huge impact on the World. The oldest known Indian cultures existed in Mohenjodaro and Harappa. Evident in Language, customs, and culture. In fact, its' influence stayed in Asia for circa 15 centuries, and is still prevalent in Austronesian (formerly known as “malay) Cultures today. Most notably in Bali, Indonesia.

Further reading of: “Influence of India on Malay Cultures” can be found here:

http://indiainteracts.com/members/2007/12/24/Suvarnabhumi-Influence-of-India-on-Malay-cultures/

In Summation:

Religions, Language and Cultures are much more integrated than most would like you to think.

That's one of the main reasons we all ask for inter-faith harmony instead of shouting "My God is better than your God".

Additional Reading:

http://www.organiser.org/dynamic/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&page=31&pid=122

MB clarifies 'Allah' usage restriction

'Allah' issue: Home Ministry gets stay order

Home Ministry to allow protests against ‘Allah’ ruling

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal - The Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 6- The Home Ministry will allow a public demonstration against the “Allah” ruling, planned by Muslim groups this Friday at the Kampung Baru mosque here, to proceed and will only take action if “things get out of hand.”

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein Onn (pic) told a press conference here at a post-Cabinet meeting that the developments will be monitored and that action will only be taken if the need arises.

“There is a balance that needs to be addressed. We (the Home Ministry) have faced this situation before. Right now, if you do not allow the protest, it will cause a lot of emotional reaction. But if you also allow it, it might turn into a security threat,” explained Hishammuddin.

The Home Minister asserted that the core issue was the issue of safety of the country, and that the group had already been advised against the protest.

“Everyone’s been appealing to them. No one, from the government to the opposition, wants this whole thing to get out of hand.

“As long as it does not affect national security, we will not stop it yet. We plan to get closer to the would-be demonstrators and try to talk to them first.”

When asked whether the crisis surrounding the use of the word “Allah” by the Catholic church through its Herald publication had been discussed in today’s Cabinet meeting, Hishammuddin said that it had been brought up, but the Cabinet has decided to leave the matter to the Court of Appeal.

“Right now, the stay of execution has been granted ... this is the normal process in line with the appeal we have filed. As the issue is right now being discussed in court, the Cabinet leaves it to the court to decide,” he said.

The Home Minister added that sensitive issues pertaining to race and religion needed to be handled with wisdom and intelligence, and that only leaders with no “ulterior motives” could ensure that the right decisions be made on the matter.

“Don’t play around with the issue of race and religion. These have always been sensitive issues that can threaten the harmonious balance of the country. Only an honest leadership will put the country’s interest above his own.”

The High Court on Dec 31 allowed the Catholic publication Herald to use the word “Allah” in its weekly publication.

This move has resulted in an uproar among some Muslims in the country, with some threatening to take their dissatisfaction to the streets this Friday.

The Home Ministry had filed for an appeal against the High Court’s decision on Monday, and for a stay of execution of the ruling.

Today, the High Court granted the stay.

Judge Datuk Lau Bee Lan made the decision in chambers after both lawyers for the government and the church came to a consensus to freeze the decision of the case to be settled in the Court of Appeal.

High Court stays ‘Allah’ decision pending appeal

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 — The High Court today granted a stay on its own ruling that the Catholic Church can publish the word “Allah” to refer to God in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its paper, Herald.

Judge Datuk Lau Bee Lan made the decision in chambers after both lawyers for the government and the church came to a mutual agreement to freeze the decision for the case to be settled in the Court of Appeal.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail (pic), who took control of the case today, later told reporters that he had personally asked the church lawyers not to block his request for a stay “out of national interest”.

“We have applied and they consented to a stay out of national interest. The stay was allowed pending the disposal of the appeal at the Court of Appeal,” the top government lawyer said.

“This is premised on the fact that the appeal must be heard as quickly as possible,” he added.

“We also asked just now and Her Ladyship Datuk Lau said she will give her decision as quickly as possible,” the A-G replied when asked if the judge had indicated when the written grounds of her judgment, which are required for the appeal to be heard, would be made available.

Lawyer for the church, Benjamin Dawson, agreed with Abdul Gani's statements.

“At the request of the Attorney-General, the applicant, who is the Archbishop, consented to a stay of the court's order of 31st December on grounds of national interest,” Dawson told The Malaysian Insider.

He added that there was no “full-blown argument” involved.

Submissions in chambers were wrapped up within 15 minutes.

The court rejected an earlier attempt to intervene by lawyers for Muslim groups comprising six state Islamic Councils and the Malaysian Chinese-Muslim Association (Macma) who are supporting the Home Ministry's bid.

Lawyer Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar said their bid to address the court was rejected because the judge had also rejected their bid to intervene in the main case last Dec 31.

Zainul added that the state Islamic councils and Macma had yesterday and earlier today filed an appeal against that decision with the High Court Registry.

Main suspect in gruesome family murders caught

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 – A 32-year-old man believed to be the main suspect in the murders of four members of a family in two adjacent houses in Kampung Batang Rokan, Gemencheh, yesterday was caught by police here today.

He was apprehended by a police team on a bridge near Jalan Masjid India about 5pm.

Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigation Department chief, Datuk Ku Chin Wah, said the man is believed to a relative of those murdered.

“Police found a knife on him. However, we are still investigating if the knife was used in the murders,” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.

Atan Daud, 90, the former imam of Masjid Kg Batang Rokan; his wife, Safiah Katas, 80; their son-in-law, Ismail Awang, 76, and his daughter, Siti Khadijah Ismail, 22; were found dead drenched in blood at around 3.30pm in two adjacent houses in the village.

The bodies were discovered by Siti Khatijah’s younger sister when she came back from school. Three bodies were in Daud’s house while Siti Khadijah was in the next house.

Meanwhile, Negri Sembilan police chief, Datuk Osman Salleh, said the suspect was Atan’s grandson and elder brother of Siti Khatijah, and he had fled after the incident.

“It is understood that he lived in Kuala Lumpur but we do not know where. Based on information, we found the suspect’s motorcycle about 2am near the Tampin fire station,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

Osman said the suspect was being detained at the Dang Wangi police district headquarters and he had instructed his men to bring him to the state police headquarters. – Bernama

1 Malaysia mired in ‘Allah’ debate

By G. Manimaran - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 – The fiery “Allah” debate has become a major road-bump to Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1 Malaysia campaign, three months shy of its first anniversary.

Opinions in the multiracial country have been sharply divided in the aftermath of the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s Dec 31 ruling that Catholic weekly Herald may use the term “Allah”.

The government has just won a stay of execution of the ruling after the Roman Catholic Church agreed not to object out of “national interest”.

“This issue is becoming a major challenge to the prime minister,” said Dr Ahmad Nizamuddin Sulaiman, who is Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Political Science and Strategic Studies senior lecturer.

“This is why, while he has said the government will appeal the court decision, he himself has been non-committal.

“He is obviously looking for a solution which does not upset or discomfort any party,” the academician said when contacted by The Malaysian Insider.

Najib has been relying on 1 Malaysia as his main platform to lead the country, with the slogan “People First, Performance Now” after assuming office last April 3.

Relating to events in the last nine months, including the infamous “cow-head protest” in Shah Alam, Ahmad Nizamuddin explained that the latest issue should not be seen as the failure of 1 Malaysia but rather “a challenge in the refining” of his campaign.

“Very difficult … its success now depends on the decision he makes. The prime minister is in a tricky situation.”

Ahmad Nizamuddin said Najib, when he finally reveals his position, can be seen as being a defender of the faith by the Muslim, or inconsistent to his 1 Malaysia by the non-Muslims.

Last Sunday, Najib asked for calm from Muslims following the court ruling.

He assured everyone that the government knows the sensitivity of the issue to Muslims and pledged that his administration would handle the issue delicately.

The Cabinet met today for the first time this year and just after the controversial ruling.

Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Associate Professor Dr Sivamurugan Pandian concurred that the issue is a test for Najib, and his reaction will impact his popularity.

“He has to heed the will of the majority and this will affect the political scene,” he said, adding that Najib has taken early measures in submitting the appeal and asking for an audience with the Agong.

Sivamurugan said since various groups are exploiting the situation for their own political interests, the authorities should look at the issue from its source and explain better to Muslims and non-Muslims alike about their rights in the context of this development.

Separately, founding director for Institut Kajian Etnik Professor Datuk Dr Shamsul Amri did not see the situation as being crucial to the success of Najib’s 1 Malaysia.

He believed that the issue has heated up only because of the general ignorance of the country’s history among the public.

“This is about historical ignorance … not a test of 1 Malaysia,” he said, stressing citizens had to look at the country’s prevailing culture and politics.

He felt, however, that the authorities should hold dialogues and discussions with various religious and ethnic groups.

Gerakan president Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon felt there was a need to look for a win-win solution.

The minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of national unity wants calm and openness in the process of looking for an amicable solution.

“I understand the Bumiputra Christian communities in Sabah and Sarawak have been using the term ‘Allah’ prior to independence, as have Sikhs in their holy book.”

Koh therefore did not see it as a new phenomenon or as an attempt to confuse or convert Muslims.

“The fear ... (over) using the term in a Christian publication confusing Muslims, has to be engaged constructively,” he said, adding, “further, is it unlawful to steer a Muslim away from his or her faith.”

Allah was originally a Pagan God



Why the sudden fuss about whether the Christian Bible should be allowed to use the word Allah for God. They have been using the word Allah in Bahasa Bibles for hundreds of years. In fact, the Jews, Christians and Pagans have been using Allah for God since long before the existence of Islam.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

"Saya khuatir kebenaran menggunakan perkataan Allah ini akan menimbulkan kemarahan orang Islam, sebenarnya terjemahan perkataan god dalam bahasa Inggeris adalah tuhan bukan Allah dan Allah spesifik bagi orang Islam sahaja. Jadi kalau mereka faham, mereka akan menggunakan perkataan tuhan bukannya Allah," said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – Utusan Malaysia (2 January 2010)

*************************************************

Mahathir said two things. First is that the Muslims, meaning Malaysian Malays, would get angry. This is Mahathir’s way of cautioning against triggering off another ‘May 13’, something the ex-Prime Minister has said many times since the 1970s.

Why must everything be translated into a race, and now religious riot? Is he declaring that Islam is an intolerant religion? Muslims always lament about the bad publicity Islam is getting from the western media. But is not the western media just basing its assumption on the acts and statements of Muslims themselves? And have I not said many times that Muslims are Islam’s worst enemy? Muslims are giving the western media the ‘ammunition’ to attack Islam.

The second thing Mahathir said is that the word Allah belongs to the Muslims. It does not and I shall offer you the evidence of this.

Anyway, why only now do we raise this objection to the Bible using the word Allah? The Bible has been using Allah for hundreds of years, ever since they translated the Bible into Bahasa Malaysia/Indonesia. In fact, we have copies of a Bahasa-translated Bible published 200 years ago that used Allah.

So it is not something new. It is something that has been happening for centuries as the photograph below shows.



I can, if you wish, go into a lengthy cheong hei article. But not today -- today I am going to make it short. Nevertheless, if you are the type who can only be convinced by a lengthy thesis supported by scores of references from scholars, then read the two links below.

And my simple argument is as follows. Muhammad’s father was named Abdullah. Abdullah means Servant of Allah -- a combination of Abdul and Allah; so it becomes Abdul-Allah or Abdullah when joined together.

Now, logically, Abdullah was born before Prophet Muhammad was born since the father has to be born before the son can be born. In fact, Abdullah died before Muhammad was born and that was why the Prophet was raised by his grandfather, Muttalib, and later, when Muttalib died eight years later, by his uncle, Abu Talib.

Read Muhammad: From Birth to Marriage

Now, what does this tell you? Muhammad received his prophet-hood and was ‘converted’ to Islam long after Abdullah, the Servant of Allah, died. But Abdullah was not a Muslim. Abdullah was a Pagan. So, if Muhammad’s ‘Pagan’ father was named the Servant of Allah, that means Allah was a Pagan and not a Muslim God, so to speak.

How can Muslims (meaning Malays in particular) claim that Allah is a Muslim God and therefore the name belongs to only the Muslims? If you were to research the history of Muhammad further you will know that Muhammad and his cousin Ali (who later went on to become the Fourth Caliph) indulged in idol-worshiping and animal sacrifice to Pagan Gods in Taif, a town in the suburbs of Makkah, before the time of the Revelation.

That means Muhammad the son of Abdullah was a Pagan, as was his father, the Servant of Allah. But he carried the name ‘Muhammad the son of the Servant of Allah’ long before the Revelation when he ‘became’ a Muslim. How do the Muslims (meaning Malays) explain this if they say that Allah belongs to the Muslims? The word ‘Allah’ existed before the word ‘Muslim’ or ‘Islam’.

And refer to the press statement by ISNA, one of the most respected Islamic organisations in the entire world. (Read ISNA’s press release here). Even ISNA endorses the Malaysian court ruling that the word Allah is not the monopoly of the Muslims. ISNA has far better credibility that any Malaysian organisation whether it be JAKIM, JIM, ABIM, PERKIM, or whatever. In fact, all the Malaysian organisations combined do not even come close to ISNA.

That is all I want to say about the ‘Allah’ word controversy.

FURTHER READING

http://www.themicahmandate.org/2009/03/who-was-‘allah’-before-islam-1/

http://www.themicahmandate.org/2009/04/who-was-‘allah’-before-islam-2/

Polis Paris siasat Najib?

Oleh Dzulkarnain Taib

NAJIB TUN RAZAKIsu pembunuhan Altantuya Shariibuu dan dakwaan rasuah dalam pembelian kapal selam Scopene terus menghantui Perdana Menteri dengan pihak berkuasa Perancis berkemungkinan memanggil beliau untuk memberi keterangan.

Sumber-sumber mengesahkan sebuah laporan polis akan dibuat di Paris tidak lama lagi bagi menyiasat tuduhan RM540 juta dibayar kepada syarikat kroni Datuk Seri Najib Razak ( gambar ) oleh sebuah syarikat Perancis untuk pembelian kapal selam itu.

Ini berikutan keengganan pihak berkuasa Malaysia, termasuk polis dan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) bertindak telus menyiasat dakwaan itu walaupun pelbagai bukti di ketengahkan sejak beberapa tahun lalu, ketika Najib masih Menteri Pertahanan.

Menurut sumber berkenaan semua dokumen dan laporan mengenai kematian Altantuya serta dakwaan rasuah berhubung pembelian dua kapal selam oleh kerajaan Malaysia sudah diserahkan kepada dua peguam Perancis.

"Kedua-dua peguam tersebut tiba di Malaysia kira-kira tiga minggu lalu untuk berbincang mengenai laporan polis yang akan dibuat di Paris tidak lama lagi,” kata sumber berkenaan.

"Pihak kami sudah serahkan semua dokumen termasuk keratan akhbar dan laporan media mengenai isu pembunuhan Altantuya dan Scopene,” tambah beliau.

Altantuya adalah bekas kekasih Abdul Razak Baginda yang dikaitkan dengan syarikat Peri Mekar. Syarikat itu dilaporkan menerima RM540 juta daripada pembekal kapal selam berkenaan menerusi perjanjian yang direstui oleh Najib.

Abdul Razak adalah kenalan rapat Najib malah pernah bertindak sebagai penasihat kepada beliau.

Altantuya mati dibom pada tahun 2006 apabila beliau dikatakan tiba di Malaysia untuk menuntut komisyen USD500,000 dari hasil penjualan kapal selam itu.

Razak dibebaskan dari tuduhan bersubahat membunuh Altantuya tetapi dua pegawai polis disabit kesalahan atas tuduhan itu dan dihukum gantung.

Seorang penyiasat persendirian P Balasubramaniam yang di upah oleh Abdul Razak membuat perakuan bersumpah mengesahkan bahawa Razak sendiri memberitahunya Najib mempunyai hubungan dengan Altantuya .

Bala kini berlindung di luar negara tetapi sanggup memberi keterangan kepada SPRM dengan syarat disoal siasat di negara ketiga kerana bimbangkan keselamatannya jika kembali ke Malaysia. Tawaran itu tidak disahut SPRM.

Bala sebelum ini turut mendedahkan adik Perdana Menteri, Nazim Razak mengugut beliau untuk menarik balik akuan bersumpah mengaitkan Najib Razak dengan kes Altantuya.

PI Bala’s lawyers feel safer abroad

SHAH ALAM: Private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, whose statutory declaration in July 2008 alleged that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had a relationship with murdered Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibu, is awaiting MACC’s response to his formal letter.

His lawyer Americk Sidhu, who is living overseas for fear of harassment by local authorities, said Bala was prepared to meet MACC officials in London or Singapore.

“He’s not going back (to Malaysia). He does not feel safe there. I speak to him every day. He is waiting for my instructions. Once MACC agrees to his terms, we will take the next step,” he said.

Americk said lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillion was acting on his behalf on the matter with MACC. He said a formal letter was sent to MACC stating Bala’s willingness, subject to conditions, to assist MACC.

In the meantime, he would remain abroad, he said.

“I, myself, no longer feel safe in my own country,” he said, adding that he had been living overseas since last November, after news broke that Bala had re-surfaced and videos of his conversation with Americk, Manjeet and another lawyer, Amarjit Sidhu, were posted on YouTube and other websites.

Americk, who is currently in Indonesia, said that Amarjit has also been holed up in a foreign country after allegedly being harassed by officers from the police Special Branch.

Manjeet , a former Bar Council president, has suffered more than psychological harassment. Unknown persons attacked his home with petrol bombs soon after the Bala interview became public.

Cabinet Wants Ministries, Depts To Be Prudent In Spending

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 (Bernama) -- The Cabinet, at its weekly meeting on Wednesday, decided that all ministries and government departments and agencies exercise prudence in their spending to prevent any wastage of public funds, Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said.

He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wanted all ministries, departments and agencies to be cautious when determining projects and construction costs.

The prime minister felt that the huge cost of any project could be reduced to a reasonable sum, provided detailed calculations were made pertaining to the components and types of building to be constructed, he told reporters after a post-Cabinet meeting, here.

"It may be possible that we exclude materials which are extremely costly, such as imported stuff, or not be overly dependent on the advice of consultants who propose very high prices," he said.

Dr Rais said there was no clear system to determine the cost of any project and that many government projects hinged on the advice of the project consultants.

As for projects of his ministry, he said the ministry would have a relook to ensure that the cost of construction of any project was reasonable and the project really fulfilled the need.

He felt that a system of determining cost should be established to serve as a guide to set the cost of development projects under the ministry.

This would ensure that the ministry and its agencies did not overly depend on the advice of consultants in determining the cost of any project.

On another matter, Dr Rais said the ministry was drawing up a programme strategy to give the "people's touch" to the 1Malaysia concept.

He said the ministry would work closely with the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) to implement 1Malaysia programmes nationwide.

Logging 'caused Nazca collapse'

By Jody Bourton
Earth News reporter

Nazca lines, bird in the desert
Created by a sophisticated society that crossed the line?

The ancient Nazca people of Peru are famous for the lines they drew in the desert depicting strange animal forms.

A further mystery is what happened to this once great civilisation, which suddenly vanished 1,500 years ago.

Now a team of archaeologists have found the demise of the Nazca society was linked in part to the fate of a tree.

Analysing plant remains they reveal how the destruction of forests containing the huarango tree crossed a tipping point, causing ecological collapse.

The team have published their findings in the journal of Latin American Antiquity.

Huarango tree
This remarkable nitrogen-fixing tree was an important source of food, forage timber and fuel for the local people
Dr David Beresford-Jones
University of Cambridge, UK

"These were very special forests," says Dr David Beresford-Jones from the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, UK who led the team.

The huarango tree (Prosopis pallida) is a unique tree with many qualities and played a vital role in the habitat, protecting the fragile desert ecosystem, the scientists say.

"It is the ecological keystone species in the desert zone enhancing soil fertility and moisture and underpinning the floodplain with one of the deepest root systems of any tree known," Dr Beresford-Jones says.

The tree was also a useful resource.

"This remarkable nitrogen-fixing tree was an important source of food, forage timber and fuel for the local people."

Researchers have previously found evidence that suggests the disappearance of the Nazca society was a due to catastrophic flooding event as a result of El Nino around AD500.

El Nino is a cyclical event that occurs as a result of a change in ocean temperatures that can cause a change in climate and severe flooding to the the west coast of South America.

The researchers have now found new evidence that suggests the society would not have been so easily destroyed if they had not cut down the forests around them.

Nazca canal
An ancient Nasca canal crosses a desertified modern landscape in the lower Ica Valley, south coast Peru.

Analysing plant remains and pollen in soil 1.5m deep, the team was able to trace an important sequence of events which show the clearing of woodland for agriculture.

"At the bottom of the profile there is a lot of huarango pollen and little evidence of human impact," explains Dr Alex Chepstow-Lusty from the French Institute of Andean Studies in Lima, Peru who also took part in the study.

"Then, at 80cm deep, maize pollen becomes common, showing the importance of this crop, suggesting a greater need for food and an increasing population," he says.

"It is now we notice a big impact on the huarangos and a major decrease in their pollen."

The landscape only became exposed to the catastrophic effects of that El Nino flood, once people had inadvertently crossed an ecological threshold
Dr David Beresford-Jones
University of Cambridge, UK

"Then suddenly corresponding with the El Nino event at AD500 or shortly afterwards, the pollen is dominated by weeds in the family Chenopodiaceae, which are adapted to salty conditions and this landscape is now the desert seen today."

The Nazca are famous for creating complex line drawings that can only be seen from the air in the Nazca desert, Peru 400km south of Lima.

They were created between 500BC and AD500 and depict animals such as monkeys and whales as well as geometric figures several kilometres long.

As well as the lines, the Nazca also formed a sophisticated society, constructing complex irrigation systems for agriculture.

However, despite their skills and expertise, the researchers say the Nazca society inadvertently contributed to their own demise through the removal of the tree species.

Our research contradicts the popular view that Native American peoples always lived in harmony with their environment until the Spanish Conquest
Dr David Beresford-Jones
University of Cambridge, UK

"The landscape only became exposed to the catastrophic effects of that El Nino flood, once people had inadvertently crossed an ecological threshold," explains Dr Beresford-Jones.

"Such thresholds or 'tipping-points' are sharply defined in these desert environments."

"Our research contradicts the popular view that Native American peoples always lived in harmony with their environment until the Spanish Conquest," Dr Beresford-Jones says.

Dr Beresford-Jones explains that with sufficient huarango cover, El Ninos were in fact not great disasters and actually created years of abundance replenishing water aquifers.

Once too much clearance had occurred the landscape was exposed to the effects of the El Nino floods.

"The river down cut into its floodplain and that floodplain narrowed hugely, irrigation systems were left high and dry," he says.

"Human induced gradual change is just as important to the full story of Nazca collapse as the major climatic impacts that eventually precipitated them."