Nov 2, 2009
World media like CNN, BBC and international press have been giving extensive coverage to the news involving Malaysia authorities seized more than 15,000 Bibles in recent months. The reason given by the authorities was the Bibles translated the word "God" as "Allah" banned in Malaysia. For almost a year, Malaysia has banned non-Muslims from using the word "Allah" in their texts, saying the word is Islamic. Read here- Bibles seized as Malaysia minorities fear fundamentalism here- Bibles seized as Malaysia minorities fear fundamentalism and here- Church officials: 15,000 Bibles seized in Malaysia.
In fact, several months ago Nik Aziz Nik Mat, the influential spiritual leader of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, said that a verse in the Quran in which non-Muslims of Mecca call their God as "Allah" supported his point. Read here- Malaysia politician: Non-Muslims can use 'Allah'. The Islamic leader admitted that the word 'Allah' is for all. So, I wonder why authorities banned the word 'Allah' to non-Muslims?
According to Hermen Shastri, general secretary of the Council of Churches of Malaysia says authorities seized 10,000 Bibles in September and the rest 5,100 Bibles were seized in March. Both were sent from Indonesia. He also stated that Indonesian and Malaysian languages both use "Allah" as a translation for God.
It’s a fact that Christians already used the word ‘Allah’ for a long time, so this is not an issue and the holy bibles should be returned to the churches. A growing sense of discrimination among the minorities is chipping away at Malaysia's reputation as a harmonious multiethnic nation that practices a moderate brand of Islam.
Besides the Bible seizures, Malaysia has been embroiled in other religious disputes. Some were over the conversion of minors to Islam and the religion of deceased people who are said to have converted to Islam secretly before their death. Hindus have also protested the demolition of hundreds temples by the authorities.
The right to practice their faiths freely has come under threat as the government panders to the Muslim majority. Non-Muslims banned God as to use the word “Allah” raising concerns and fears of religious intolerance in the country, I think Malaysia is the first country in the world that rule out such law to show their religious intolerance. What a shame! Can I say that Malaysian authorities are hypocrite?