Fri, 26 Apr 2013 01:00:00 GMT | By Jahabar Sadiq, The Malaysian Insider

GE13: Najib defends ‘Allah’ ban, rules out election debate

“The concept of Allah is different in the Muslim sense than in the Christian sense, we should not upset the Muslims and Muslims should not upset the Christians, we are living in harmony for years and it should continue”


AP

KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak has expressed support for the appeal to overturn a High Court ruling which bans the use of the Arabic term “Allah” for God by non-Muslim groups in Malaysia, according to an interview with global news station Al Jazeera.

The caretaker prime minister also told Al Jazeera English’s Veronica Pedrosa in the interview, to be aired tomorrow, that he did not intend to have a public election debate with Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim before the May 5 polls.

“The concept of Allah is different in the Muslim sense than in the Christian sense, we should not upset the Muslims and Muslims should not upset the Christians, we are living in harmony for years and it should continue,” he was quoted as saying in an excerpt distributed by Al Jazeera English.

The Court of Appeal has fixed May 30 for another case management on the government and Home Ministry’s appeal against the 2009 High Court decision that the word “Allah” can be used by the Catholic weekly newspaper Herald.

RELATED LINK: Overplayed issue in Malaysia: The usage of the word "Allah"

In 2007, the government limited the usage of the term to the Muslim context only. This was revoked by the High Court two years later as the judge said the law was unconstitutional. Putrajaya appealed the ruling and the short-lived implementation of the 2009 court verdict has since been suspended.

After the ruling, there was a series of firebombing and stones thrown at several houses of worship in Kuala Lumpur. Some of the culprits were charged and later punished but the case continues to rankle.

The Christian community forms less than 10 per cent of the 28 million population in Malaysia but both Najib and Anwar have long started wooing them ahead of Election 2013.

Najib also said that he preferred engaging the public directly rather than debating with his political opponent.

“There are many ways to reach out to the public, both political parties have a lot of space in Malaysia … It is unlikely we will have a debate, we need to engage with the people, the opposition will engage with people,” Najib told the Talk to Al Jazeera

Najib’s interview will be first aired globally tomorrow at 12.30pm (local time). It will be on Astro Channel 513. Repeats of the 30-minute interview will be on Sunday at 4.40pm, Monday 3.30am and 10.30pm.

He is leading the Barisan Nasional (BN) charge in the 13th general election, and has been made election director for Selangor which is under PR rule.

There are 222 federal and 505 state seats in 12 states up for grabs in the May 5 polls and pundits expect BN to keep the government albeit with a smaller majority.

The election is expected to be a tight race as the ruling BN, which has led the country in one form or another since independence in 1957, is campaigning on a series of reform initiatives introduced by Najib who took office four years ago.

72Comments
Apr 26, 2013 12:45AM
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In a humble effort to put the "Allah" issue to rest please consider the following analogy:

The President of the United States of America is addressed as Prime Minister Barack Obama by the British press. In retaliation the US press addresses the Prime Minister of Great Britain as President David Cameron. The US Secretary of State dispatches a diplomatic note to his British counterpart, the Foreign Secretary, protesting the breach of protocol. In his reply the British Foreign Secretary explained that the British have no problem with the use of the designation of Prime Minister for the leader of the USA and are puzzled by the fuss arising from it. The diplomatic impasse dragged on for years with no end in sight.

The issue of the use of the word "Allah" would not have been overplayed if we had made a serious attempt to understand the meaning of the word "Allah".

From the etymological perspective the word "Allah" in the Arabic Language is strictly defined in the Quran in Chapter 112, Verses 1-4, "Say: He is Allah the ONE and ONLY; (1). Allah, the Eternal, ABSOLUTE; (2). He BEGETTETH not, nor is He BEGOTTEN; (3). And there is NONE like unto Him (4)" which emphasise the SINGULARITY, SUPREMACY and the SOLE Authority of God Almighty.

The above verses are in direct conflict with the concept of God in the Bible as in the following passages:

First Epistle of John 5-7, King James Authorised Version: "For there are THREE that bear record in Heaven - the FATHER, the WORD, the HOLY GHOST: and these THREE are ONE,

John 3:16 " For God so loved the world, that he gave His only BEGOTTEN SON, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life".

In this concept there are THREE partners in the Trinity where God co-exists as one third of the Entity with TWO other associates. This is highly unacceptable to Muslims as God is relegated to be at par with the other TWO lesser beings of the THREE-IN-ONE union. To be continued....

Apr 26, 2013 12:47AM
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Part 2

The second contention as to why the word "Allah" is forbidden in the Malay Language Translation of the Bible is the presence of passages in the Bible which do not reflect the Grace and Compassion of God Almighty such as:

Judges 16:1, Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot and went in unto her.

Genesis 19: 30-38, (30) Now Lot went up out of Zoar and lived in the hills with his two daughters, for he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. (31) And the firstborn said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is not a man on earth to come in to us after the manner of all the earth. (32) Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve offspring from our father." (33) So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father. He did not know when she lay down or when she arose. (34) The next day, the firstborn said to the younger, "Behold , I lay last night with my father. Let us make him drink wine tonight also. Then you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve offspring of our father." (35) So they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose. (36) Thus both the daughters of Lot became pregnant by their father. (37) The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab. He is the father of the Moabites to this day. (38) The younger also bore a son and called his name Ben-ammi. He is the father of the Ammonites to this day.

Genesis 38:15-19: (15) When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute, for she had covered her face. (16) He turned to her at the roadside and said, "Come, let me come in to you," for he did know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, "What will you give me, that you may come in to me?" (17) He answered, "I will send you a young goat from the flock." And she said, "If you give me a pledge, until you send it-" (18) He said, "What pledge shall I give you?" She replied, "Your signet and your cord and your staff that is in your hand." So he gave them to her and went in to her, and she conceived by him. (19) Then she arose and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood. To be continued

Apr 26, 2013 12:49AM
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Part 3

2 Kings 18:27, But the Rabshakeh said to them, "Has my master sent me to speak these words to your master and to you, and not to the men sitting on the wall, who are doomed with you to eat their own dung and to drink their own urine?"

As space does not permit, please refer to "Let the Bible Speak" by Abdul Rahman Dimashkiah for more unsavoury passages from the Bible.

Finally this is a plea to peace-loving Malaysians to kindly undertake a thorough study of the Bible so as to enable them to present evidence-based comments on religious matters rather than making superficial and generalised statements.

Do not be intimidated by the vast number of Versions and Revised Versions of the Bible available in the market. On the contrary there is only ONE Quran in the Arabic Language whi**** complete, pure, intact, unaltered, uncorrupted and has been preserved for the past 1400 years. Rest assured that you will never find a Quran "According to Johan", "According to Lukman", "According to Markam" or "According to Mustaffa”.

Neither will you find a King Farouk Authorised Version, Revised Standard Version, New Revised Standard Version, Doha-Rabat Version, International Version or New International Versions of the Quran.

References ( in PDF format ) :

"THE HISTORY OF TRUTH" by Adel M. Elsais, Ph.D.

"THE CONCEPT OF GOD'S MERCY IN ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY" by Molana Ahmed Pandor

“ALLAH’S MIRACLES IN THE QURAN”by Harun Yahya.

“A BRIEF ILLUSTRATED GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING ISLAM” Edited by I.A. Ibrahim

“QURAN – SAHEEH INTERNATIONAL TRANSLATION”

May God Bless You.

 

May 1, 2013 8:03AM
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Part 1 (01 May 2013 @2155 hrs

Dear WITTT,

Thank you for your intellectual input. The crux of the issue is the definition of the word Allah(Unitarian and Trinitarian Concepts of God). To simplify the issue please consider this analogy. The Kilogram is defined as the base unit of mass in the International System of Units, being equal to the mass of the International Prototype of the Kilogram stored at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM in French), Pavillon de Breteuil in Sevres near Paris. Hence when adopting this unit of weight, the British or the Americans cannot claim that the kilogram used in their countries is based on their own Standards of Weights and Measures (pounds and ounces) stored in London or Washington respectively. Similarly, the word Allah, being Arabic in origin, is strictly defined in the Quran in Chapter 112, Verses 1-4 as: "Say: He is Allah the ONE and ONLY. Allah, the Eternal, ABSOLUTE. He BEGETTETH not, nor is He BEGOTTEN. And there is NONE like unto Him". In the Arabic Language this definition is the Gold Standard for the word Allah stored in the Quran. If we use the word Allah for Father in the First Epistle of John 5-7 : "For there are THREE that bear record in Heaven - ALLAH, the WORD, the HOLY GHOST: and these THREE are ONE, then these verses violate the Gold Standard in the Quran..... to be continued in Part 2

The second issue is the Human Intervention and Manipulation in God's Authority and Prerogative. The Ecumenical Councils of Antiquity (325 AD to 870 AD) are at odds with the monotheistic creed of Islam hence violating the Gold Standard of the definition of the word Allah in the Quran.

I foresee a serious problem with the Malay Bible in the following scenario:

My 12 year old daughter(D) who is an avid reader with an inquisitive mind asks me in Malay, translated as "Dad, what is the meaning of "these THREE are ONE" from First Epistle of John:7?" MM replies "I am not sure". D: "Is it something like Nescafe 3 in 1?": MM: "I really don't know." D:"What does harlot mean and how does Samson go in unto her?" MM replies "Where did you read that?" D:"Judges 16:1," MM: "It's difficult to explain but as you grow older you will understand". D: "Can a father make his daughter pregnant?" MM: That's not right" D:"But Lot made his two daughters pregnant, in Judges 19:36. MM: "You will understand it when you grow older. Those who read the Bible must have a strong faith to understand the Bible".

I sincerely hope the Caretaker Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng will spare the 250 million Malay speaking parents in the Malay Archipelago the agony and stress in explaining passages in the Bible pertaining to acts of extreme illegitimate sex (incest and prostitution) to our innocent pubescent children.

Lastly please analyse and evaluate these verses from the Bible:

"Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel...." (Matthew 10:5)

"But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matthew 15:24)

Thank you.

May God Bless You.

Apr 26, 2013 5:24AM
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The comments in three parts posted by MM sound logical. Could the Rev. Lim Guan Eng from the Penang Caretaker Administration offer his arguments to defuse the tense situation. Over to you, Sir. 
Apr 27, 2013 1:32AM
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The "Allah issue" resurfaced when the then Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng urged the Malaysian Government to lift the ban on the use of the word "Allah" in the Malay Language version of the Bible in his Christmas message on 25th December 2012. As the Malays are defined as a group who profess the Islamic faith according to the Malaysian Constitution and in the light of the lengthy explanation in three parts posted by MM on Friday 26th April 2013 at 12:45AM, would the Caretaker Chief Minister of Penang kindly clarify if he still insists on the lifting of the ban on the use of the word "Allah" in the Malay Language version of the Bible.

Apr 26, 2013 9:14AM
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What for Najib should engage Anwar in an open debate on the useage of 'Allah' issue. Firstly, is Anwar fit to talk about this issue in view of his Islamic pluralisme and other moral issues he is embroiled in. Secondly, it does not give any political mileage to Najib to debate with Anwar who has everything to gain and take advantage of the debate. Najib does not need this exposure compared to Anwar who needs it badly to bolster his tarnished image....

Apr 25, 2013 7:53PM
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by not engaging in a debate, najib is showing his weakness.if you are not confident in expressing your vision for the nation against a single person, how can you lead a country?using mainstream media to bash the opposition is not appropriate. the rakyat deserve to know both sides in order to make an effective decision!debate is a wonderful opportunity but what to do, our najib still prefer to do things his way.
Apr 25, 2013 10:48PM
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Free thinker70,

 

10% population must respect 65% majority population. Democracy means majority's decision. Allah issues is very-very sensitive issues as it involves majority feelings. Muslim cannot accept Allah to be understood as in the form what christians understood. Allah's size is infinitely huge and He is everywhere, therefore is not make sense to hang His statue on the wall or fabricate from stone. He has no form and  human cannot imagine His form. Although "Allah" that mean by christians is understood differently but the name "Allah" insulting Muslims as this incorrcet understanding of God if officially allowed in Malaysia would be very disturbing to majority of the population. Unless Christians willing to accept that Jesus is only the Allah's holy messenger and Allah is only and very only one, not 3 in 1 then we muslim and christian can be brothers an sisters loving each others by having same common believe. The only very big barrier between us is your beleif in Jesus.   

Apr 26, 2013 2:06AM
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Mac 6060,

 

Dont be defiant in seeking about the truth of God and the true religion, dont deviate from the truth by potraying bad muslim peoples deeds and actions. Islam was not replicated from jew's or christian's religions. Dont hate Islam just because it teachs you not to drink liquour or not to commit adultery which are the not so strictly forbidden in other religions. Quran is the last testament to light your way of life that have been astrayed away by the misled altered Bible. Be tahnkful to Al-Quran, dont be its enemy...If Islam replicated other religions, then the laws and the holybooks Quran and Bible and Torah would have about similar content, but Quran is vastly different from Bible and Thorah except when telling about history of several prophets before Muhammad as history cannot be changed but the laws and the regulations of religion could be changed depending on the honesty of the saints or rubbi or the followers who had amended to suit with their interests.  

Apr 26, 2013 4:13AM
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Rejecting debates, I believe, is not a weakness in the side of the Malaysian Prime Minister. As we all know, it is always easy to criticise, but the difficult part is working. What are the records of the opposition?? they do not have records, they have promises. It is not fair for the government to debate another party as in "this policy did not go down well with the people. if I won the government, I will do so and so". On the other hand, selling talk is the only strategy by the opposition. I was in Malaysia in 2008 and I read all their promises. five years later, they did not form a government.

 

Another point that I would like to remind you about is the bad influence of the opposition on Malaysian politics. Demonstrations, attacking campaign centres, and most dangerously regulating the "crossing over" policy. Did you forget the September 16 promise. They say the government play dirty politics, but who plays dirty!!! and DAP agreed on the idea saying that Anwar cannot wait for 5 more years to become a PM, he is old already,  What!!!!.

 

 

 

Nov 20, 2013 8:50PM
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Is this what we call Fair or 1Malaysia?
Apr 26, 2013 4:25AM
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Our Creator sees the hearts of all people.  Religion practises, legalism, men make laws and rules - all these will not change WHO HE IS.  He does not need anyone to fight for His NAME. 

 

MALAYSIANS seriously need repentent from darkness and sins.

Apr 25, 2013 7:45PM
Apr 25, 2013 9:40PM
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Why the used of 'ALLAH' by non-muslim no problem at all before this???Where is your democracy goverment? By overtune the court order is similar that you will bring up racist propaganda...or it is for your personal agenda..to win the election.....

Apr 25, 2013 9:36PM
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  Najib is correct that the Islamic concept of Allah is different from those believed by other cultures & religions claiming to have used the word in various forms & variations through the ages.  Najib, as a Muslim, cannot run away from this Islamic concept.  In Islam, Allah is one & unique (not a Holy Trinity), existing forever (cannot be crucified), all-knowing, not created (hence not Born of Mary), having no gender & no children (Jesus was a human Prophet not God or Son of God) and having no forms or characteristics of the created creatures (hence no Images or picture forms). However based on the Malaysian Constitutions alone, we are not sure what will be the decision of the Court of Appeal on the case.  What Najib is doing is only making a sincere appeal to all Malaysians to recognise the peace & harmony that we all have enjoyed in the past together and calls on both the Muslim & the Christian Communities especially to respect one another in this matter.

 

  On the need for a debate between Najib & Anwar, I personally feel having the debate will only elevate Anwar on par with the PM.  Win or lose in the debate proper will be secondary for Anwar as his elevated stature brought about by the debate will be a great advantage to him right from the start irrespective of the content & results of the debate.  Why should Najib freely allow this favour sought after by Anwar desperately since the beginning of his long campaign?  In politics, Najib is actually much smarter than Anwar and Najib will not be easily snared by this cheap trick.

Apr 25, 2013 8:47PM
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Now only telling the public and trying to show he's innocent during GE13 or else will be kept quiet forever.Can we trust him after election? But not for me!
Apr 28, 2013 10:52AM
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MM, in response to your 3 posts, I find your reasons for not allowing M'sia Christians to "Allah" is really quite weak and will not stand in any critical review. I won't elaborate because you can Google "Can Christians use Allah" and see Christian responses to all you have written. On the other hand, Bible translators make no claim that their translations are perfect, and you will see Bible footnotes denoting the difficulties. BUT despite the many versions, the Bible have a central consistent message. Goggle "is the bible accurate". The Bible is the most examined, debated and tested book in the world : by professors, lawyers, historians, philosophers and scientists, and provide me the most coherent and accurate description of Reality.   As for your claims regarding your holy book, you need to update your research. Here are 2 links to articles researched base on Islamic evidences and done respectfully. Peace.

 

CONCLUSION. We began this article by considering the following claim made by a Muslim leader about the Qur'an.

No other book in the world can match the Qur'an ... The astonishing fact about this book of ALLAH is that it has remained unchanged, even to a dot, over the last fourteen hundred years. ... No variation of text can be found in it. You can check this for yourself by listening to the recitation of Muslims from different parts of the world. (Basic Principles of Islam, p. 4)

This claim is wrong. All of the Islamic evidence shows that there are different versions of the Qur'an used around the world today. They are different in their basic letters, diacritical dots and vowels, and this changes the meaning of words and sentences. The different Qur'ans also have a different understanding of the Basmalah, some accepting it as part of the Qur'an while others not. Therefore how the Qur'an is recited around the world today is different.

I realise this may be hard for some Muslims to accept because in their culture they have grown up being taught there is only one Qur'an. However, the authentic religion of Islam actually teaches there are many versions of the Qur'an. Islamic leaders should stop exaggerating about the Qur'an and tell people the truth.

 

 

Apr 26, 2013 8:04AM
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Basically...Najib should accept the pre election debate.

Common....fight Anwar in open field. Now is your chance to show BN strength and protect BN. Don't be a coward. All BN election candidates is relying on you now.

 

We the citizens would sure be looking forward to hear and  understand what both these political leaders capabilities and can offers to lead our nation for the benefit of our rakyat. These understanding will definitely help the citizens to make their decision better vote which political party to be the next government of Malaysia. 

If Najib do not dare to take up the challenge, it is very clear that he cannot offer much to us citizens and also a lot of public main concern items that he dare not answer such as corruptions, business licences monopoly, miss use of rakyat money.....all by BN cronies. I presume that these main items will be brought up by Anwar (or whoever...even me) during the debate.

 

Apr 26, 2013 5:17AM
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What a traitor to his own beliefs (his beliefs as they were before the beginning of February this year)!!!!!!!! How can Najib be so fickle as to "cross the floor" to the PAS view on this matter???? I am utterly shocked that he could turn right around betray his own conscience and the long-time confidence of so many supporters. I am saddened that it's come to this because Najib just wasn't like this before. Where's your allegiance gone Najib? Talk about shallow changing your views on something whi**** intrinsically about inclusivity versus the spectre of exclusivity! Now someone else has got in on the international scene you throw in the towel too, but the difference is you, Najib have actually backed down on the very values you won so many peoples hearts over with. How could you betray your own conscience with regards to 1Malaysia? This was something built upon the foundations of what you were always proclaiming publicly, namely, that the name of God - Allah in Bahasa Melayu, should not become an EXCLUSIVISTIC aspect of Malaysian society. So why now you change your stance on this matter ? - it appears you have given up on the values you so ardently espoused in 2010 when this issues was in hot debate. I am very disappointed. I know that this type of thing is not unique to Malaysia as I reside in Australia (but have cultural connections to Borneo island). In fact the Prime Minister of Australia did a similar thing not all so long ago - she, Julia Gillard, avowed she, get this, WOULD NEVER bring in the carbon tax if she were elected to Prime Minister's office. As soon as she won the election, she overturned her promise and went down the road of doing exactly the thing she avowed she would not do in the beginning! How shallow can you get!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????
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