The prohibition on the usage of the word Allah and several other Arabic words and phrases for non-Muslims is disheartening and ridiculous.
As a Malay-Muslim myself, I’m rather ashamed by the ban enforced by the religious authorities. I guarantee you’d be embarrassed too if you took a peek at some of the words that’d been banned.
For the full list of banned words click here.
This is, without a doubt, one of the biggest jokes in Malaysian history. And, for most of us sensible Malaysians, it’s not funny at all.
Honestly, it’s just sad.
I wish I could separate myself from these religious zealots and practice peaceful Islam on my own. I do not need these jokers telling me (or others) what to do.
Their brand of Islam is about subjugation, intolerance and enmity. They will never view anyone outside of their fold as equals. Look at how obnoxious and arrogant they have become. In a peaceful country such as Malaysia, these are the values we can do without.
The religious authorities, backed by several ultra-Malay organizations and individuals, have indeed misunderstood and misrepresented Islam. They are a confused bunch – these so-called Muftis, Ulama’s and religious officers. Knowingly or not, they are misleading the Government and the general public.
So, is this really a religious issue (as we are led to believe)? Or is there something else at play here?
First and foremost, we have to understand the crux of the matter to try and work out a solution. Let us go over some of the details.
Allah not exclusive for Muslims
We know for a fact that the word Allah is not Arabic in origin and that Arabs (Pagans and Christians in the past) used it as a generic term to denote God. We’ve yet to hear any Arab-Muslim uprisings over the right to use the term. So the argument that Allah is exclusive for Muslims is flawed and baseless.
For Origins of The Word “Allah” click here.
Islamic or Arabic?
In general, Malays would consider most anything Arabic as Islamic. This is partly true due to the fact that a large percentage of Arabs are Muslims. Islam came from Arabia. So, they generally assume that being Arabic is Islamic. As Malays identify themselves as Muslims, they feel an obligation to honour the Arabic language (and culture) as they feel it reflects on faith. So, the Arabic term for God has been misconstrued as Islamic, hence the need to try and overprotect it. Sometimes, Malays act more Arab than Arabs. This has got to stop. We have our own beautiful, unique language and culture to preserve.
Islam should create unity not division
Given the fact that Malaysia is a multiracial, multicultural and, most importantly, multilingual country, shouldn’t it be logical that we share common linguistic terms? These common terms should be a cause for unity not division. We are, after all, peace-loving people. We love to share. Look at the Malay language (Bahasa Malaysia) for instance. It is made up from “borrowed” words from all sorts of influences… Sanskritic, Arabic, Portuguese and other cultures we’ve come into contact with in the past. It gave us our identity. It’s time we give back.
Do the Religious Authorities even care?
The religious zealots; the Muftis, The Ulama’s and the lot don’t really seem to care about the country’s well-being. It took the efforts of ALL Malaysians to build this country. And now that Malaysia has reached a rather “safe and comfortable” point in its development, these sleazy characters are popping up everywhere. One even more irrtating than the other. With the aim of regulating and pressuring others to follow in their lead, they try to influence top government officials and the vulnerable public.
Using religion as a means, they intend to disrupt our unity.
As a conclusion, I think it’s important to uphold unity at all cost. Religious and political views should never compromise our freedom as human beings. Menial issues such as this should never have surfaced in the first place had we practiced tolerance and understanding between religion & beliefs. I say we do away with extremist ideologies and learn to accept change.
I vote for the Allah ban to be lifted.