Monday, December 27, 2010

Two MUST-READ statements from Catholic Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam.

Apostasy law will create fear, says Archbishop
By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani
December 26, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 26 — Catholic Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam believes enforcing of an apostasy law in Sabah by the state’s Islamic authorities will create fear as it will lead to a religious crackdown.

Pakiam said the state government must instead follow Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s message of moderation and inclusiveness.

“It (apostasy law) will create fear and it is unfortunate that these things come about like that. That is why we need to heed the call of the prime minister for moderates to be counted,” the country's top Catholic cleric told The Malaysian Insider.

“The (Federal) government must take a stand and not to cover this and keep quiet,” he added.

Sabah Islamic Affairs Department’s (Jheains) director Datuk Amri A.Suratman said yesterday that the state will enforce the apostasy law once its faith rehabilitation centre in Kinarut is ready next year.

He added that the enforcement of the law is part of Jheains five-year strategic plan. The plan will include focusing on dakwah (preaching) efforts in strategic and rural areas, especially those with a high number of converts.

While Islam is the country’s official religion followed by some 60 per cent of the country’s 27 million population, there is also a large number of Christian community, a majority of whom comes from Sabah and Sarawak.

While freedom of religion is guaranteed for non-Muslims under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution, all Malays are Muslims under the law.

Islamic laws forbid Muslims from renouncing their religion and the country’s Islamic legal system has provisioned that a state must impose mandatory punishment for apostasy.

The country’s dual system of both Islamic law and federal law has resulted in controversies to the freedom of religion under Article 11 when Muslims try to convert to other religions.

The prominent cases include Lina Joy (Azalina Jailani), Revathi Massosai and Nyonya Tahir (Wong Ah Kiu).

The decision to enforce apostasy law is set to further strain the relationship between Muslim and non-Muslim communities.

The Cabinet has set up an inter-faith panel in April, after a series of attacks on houses of worship nationwide following a controversial court ruling last year that allowed Christians the right to use the word “Allah” when referring to God in Bahasa Malaysia.

Najib has also pledged full administrative and financial support to revive the committee.

Ikim, the federal government’s think-tank, had also issued a statement on the issue, saying that under Islam “not all religions are equal”.

Religious authorities also recently arrested a Shi’a group in Gombak.

Some 200 local and foreign followers of the Shi’a group Hauzah Ar Ridha Alaihissalam were arrested at a house in Taman Sri Gombak amid concerns that their activities constituted a security threat.

The group, led by two men, including an Iranian national, had been operating in the four-storey shop-house for up to two years.

Followers included locals, Indonesians, Burmese, a Pakistani, an Iranian, some of whom are higher institution lecturers and students, lawyers and civil servants. Several children were also found at the location.

The arrests have been criticised by former Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin as proof that Malaysia was heading towards “an era of Talibanisation”.

Taken from The Malaysian Insider


Archbishop’s Christmas wish: PM’s time for inter-faith group
By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani
December 25, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 25 — Catholic Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam has asked Datuk Seri Najib Razak today to support an inter-faith group by meeting them regularly.

Pakiam said the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) should be given more opportunities.

“In your busy and overloaded schedule honourable prime minister, may we humbly request you to make time for the multi-religious body MCCBCHST. If you can find the time to meet their leaders regularly for some good-willed feedback,” he said during a Christmas tea party organised by the Malaysian Christian Association .

Interfaith dialogue at the sub-committee level was scheduled to start on April 13 but was called off at the last minute after the MCCBCHST took offence at reported remarks by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Ties between the Muslim and non-Muslim camps within the committee were further strained after the Council of Muftis contested the committee’s name and demanded a change.

The muftis had unanimously voted for a name change demand on April 3, claiming the present name would cause confusion among Malaysian Muslims.

However Datuk Seri Najib Razak has recently pledged full administrative and financial support to revive his Cabinet’s stillborn interfaith panel.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider that Najib met in all 35 members of the newly renamed Committee for the Understanding and Harmony Among Religious Adherents in September.

The Cabinet-endorsed committee was set up in April, after a series of attacks on houses of worship nationwide following a controversial court ruling last year allowing Christians the right to call their God “Allah” in Bahasa Malaysia.

The panel was formerly called the Special Committee to Promote Inter-Religious Harmony and Understanding.

The Malaysian Insider understands the prime minister wanted the committee to be more action-oriented, and has promised to fund any social and welfare activity that can draw multi-religious groups closer.

The country’s multi-religious leaders will also go on a retreat early next year to draw up practical solutions to faith issues, as debate over Muslim and non-Muslim rights continue to heat up.

The relationship between the Muslim and non-Muslim communities appear to have soured after YouTube videos of two preachers — one belittling Islam and the other, Buddhism as well as traditional Chinese beliefs — went viral on local political blogs.

Last October, a video of a Malay Christian convert accused of insulting Islam – Malaysia’s official religion and one held by some 60 per cent of the population – in a Sarawak church six years ago, created an uproar among Muslims after it was highlighted by a Malay-Muslim blogger.

“We ourselves pledge our vocal support to form our peoples in their broad, large heartedly, tolerant, forgiving, accommodating and respectful embrace of all peoples in this great country that we all love,” Pakiam added.

Taken from The Malaysian Insider

2 comments:

FirstFruits said...

Roman Catholics are just Roman Catholics and they are not Christians just like Muslims are just Muslims, Buddhists are just Buddhists and so on and so forth.

Catholic Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, cannot represent mainstream Christianity in Malaysia nor is the Pope the head of Christiandom.

Allah is the Arabic word for God (Hebrew 'El). But the Allah
of the Qur'an is not the same as Yahweh [YHWH] of the OT, nor as the Father of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the NT.

The name of the Christian God is Yahweh or Jehovah. Why do the Roman Catholic Church want to use Allah in their bulletin or call the Christian God, "Allah"? That's just kind of funny!

Anonymous said...

[ In the spirit of Interfaith and comparative religion ]

An authority on both the Qur'an and the Bible, Ahmad Hussein Deedat opined that the name of Allah is even in the 27 original books of the Old Greek Testament.

Hebrew is the language of the Semitic peoples of which the Jews and Arabs are part of. Deedat maintains "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" was propagated by the group, Jehovah's Witness, founded in the 19th Century.

Even the word "Halleluyah" is a kind of English corruption as Deedat explains that what the word in its Hebrew context is really "Ya Allah". The "Ya" in both Hebrew and Arabic is an exclamatory expression.

God Blesses.

(A Muslim)
# The name of God is Allah even in the Bible - Ahmad Deedat

# Jehovah's Witness

# Ahmad Hussein Deedat

# The New Testament (Greek and English KJV)