The PAS Syura Council’s stance that non-Muslims cannot use the word “Allah” in translations of religious text is not applicable to Pakatan, says Azmin Ali.
KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan is sticking to its decision that non-Muslims are allowed to use the word ‘Allah’, the party’s vice president Azmin Ali said today, despite the PAS Syura Council stating otherwise.
“The issue of Allah is resolved and has not changed. Recently, the PAS president reaffirmed the position of PAS in the meeting of the Pakatan presidential council on Jan 8, and it was the same as in 2010…
“We are bound by the Pakatan Rakyat policies that were discussed during the meeting. And because we are bound to those policies, we will stick to that decision. The Syura Council is not related to it,” Azmin told reporters at a press conference at the PKR headquarters today.
On Jan 8, Pakatan announced that it had no qualms about non-Muslims using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God as long as it was not misused.
PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said that ‘Allah’, which is written in the Quran, is special and cannot be translated properly to other languages.
“That’s why Muslims of all races refer to God as Allah. So non-Muslims can use the holy word although it may not reflect the original meeting,” Hadi had said.
But the PAS Syura council said on Monday that non-Muslims should prevent the use of the word ‘Allah’ in translations of their religious text.
“Translating the word God or Lord from any non Muslim religious texts to the word Allah cannot be allowed because it is wrong from the aspect of meaning….therefore, it has to be prevented,” PAS spiritual adviser Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat wrote in a statement.
PAS and Pakatan have received brickbrats and criticism over the apparent U-turn, but Azmin stressed today that the opposition pact would stand firm to its earlier decision.
“We PKR, DAP and PAS are bound by the common policies which have been deliberated, discussed, approved and endorsed. And the most recent meeting was on Jan 8.
“We can’t change our stand everyday. So although this issue is being discussed all over again, the stance of PAS and Pakatan Rakyat has not changed,” he said.
But when asked whether action would be taken against the Syura Council for contradicting the opposition pact’s stance on the ‘Allah’ issue, Azmin said no.
“We respect the views of the Syura Council. We can’t stop people from talking and we defend the democratic right of every individual,” he said.
“But the Syura Council’s decisions are applicable for its members.”