Will the Real Prime Minister Please Stand Up?- Defending Kalimah Allah

Following the Court of Appeal judgment, the Prime Minister assures Christians in Sabah and Sarawak that the judgment only bans the Catholic Herald from using the Allah word. A few cabinet ministers suggest the 10-Point agreement continues to allow these Christians to use the Christian al Kitab notwithstanding the Allah word.

The PM’s assurance sounds feeble, wishful and arguably misleading when the Appeal Court judgment prohibits the Christian community from using the Allah word on grounds that the word is not integral to Christian faith, that any religious practice must be circumscribed or limited by Islamic sensitivity, and finally, that the prohibition is necessary for national security.

Be assured that officers from JAKIM and the Bahagian Kawalan Penerbitan dan Teks Al-Quran (The Publication and Quranic Texts Control Division) will be waving at Christians the Appeal Court written judgment when they decide in due time (chosen at their convenience) to raid a Christian institution and seize its publications or stop any activity deemed offensive to Islamic sensitivity.

The PM sounds reasonable and moderate when he addresses Malaysians in English. But quietly and almost unnoticed by the media, the PM proclaims a different public policy in Bahasa Malaysia [until it gets highlighted by Utusan Malaysia in “Tetap pertahan kalimah Allah” . See the PM’s address, “Perutusan Perdana Menteri Sempena Sambutan Maal Hijrah 1435h” November 4th, 2013” LINK

Note the disturbing paragraph:

6. Menghayati pengertian hijrah yang lebih luas, kita tetap memartabatkan agama dan mempertahankan kalimah Allah demi agama, bangsa dan negara tercinta. Malaysia yang menjunjung tinggi perlembagaan dan Islam sebagai agama bagi negara, tetap istiqamah mendaulatkan kedudukan Islam di negara ini berlandaskan Maqasid Syariah dan pendekatan berhemah berkonsepkan Wasatiyyah.

Only the most obtuse reader or court sycophant can miss the rallying cry to uphold religion [Islam] and defend the Allah word. The PM unequivocally declares he will defend the Allah word (tetap mempertahankan kalimah Allah), a favourite battle cry from the extremist Muslim NGOs like Perkasa and ISMA, “Kalimah Allah ada-lah hak mutlak Islam.”

Even more disturbing is the coupling of the phrases “Islam sebagai agama bagi Negara” and “berlandaskan Maqasid Syariah [the objectives of Islamic law]”. It is bad enough that the PM refers to Islam as the religion for the country while ignoring the qualification that Islam is not supposed to have a role in legislation and that it is for ceremonial purposes, as was thus understood by the leaders who framed the Federal Constitution in 1957 and 1963. The East Malaysians were assured that Malaysia and its Constitution would be secular in contrast to an Islamic state where Shariah is supreme.

It can only be alarming to read the PM proclaiming his administration would stand firm and steadfast (istiqamah) in basing his administration on the objectives of Islamic law. See also his earlier speech reported by the Edge, “The prime minister said with the guidance of revelation, the government would ensure that the national administration would adhere to ‘Maqasid Syariah’ (the objectives of Islamic law) aimed at driving the people to strive for success, prosperity and progress.” – “Najib: Translate Guidance from Quran into Transformation Programme) LINK

The PM’s caveat of moderation “Wasatiyyah” is empty of substance since making Shariah the basis for public policy effectively undermines the secular Federal Constitution and transforms Malaysia into an Islamic state via backdoor channels.

Looks like the PM gives a moderate (or modulated) speech when he addresses Malaysians in English, but he spells out the real, unvarnished Islamic, Shariah policy when he addresses his Malay Muslim constituency.

Will the real prime minister please stand up?

Or is it the case of “Lain padang lain pandangan?”


Update: Just came across a similar report at Malaysian Insider shortly uploading this post:

Najib Vows to Defend Use of Allah as Exclusive to Muslims

Malaysia Insider 5 Nov 2013 LINK

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…

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