April 6, 2014
FMT LETTER: From P Ramakrishnan, via e-mail
The only reason bandied about by the Muslim zealots for refusing to allow non-Muslims to use the word Allah is that, according to them, the Muslims will be confused. There has been no study undertaken to establish the validity or veracity of this claim. All that we hear are the screaming of these zealots vociferously claiming that Muslims will be confused. It is a claim that is not supported by any research.
The strategy seems to be that when they shout the loudest, the Muslims in Malaysia will be taken up by this hollow claim and join in the chorus. But luckily this has not worked in spite of the Malay media, especially Utusan Malaysia, playing up this issue. Outlandish claims have been made without any respect for the truth. When this lie is committed by a religious personage, it is preposterous!
Perak mufti Harussani Zakaria had previously falsely alleged that up to 250,000 Muslims in Malaysia had become apostates, including 100,000 who converted to Christianity. This is utter nonsense! If anybody else had made such false claims, as deemed by the authorities, they would have been hauled to court and hounded. We remember the fate of Irene Fernandez and Lim Guan Eng who became victims of selective prosecution.
How is it that Harussani can make such provocative false claims and get away with them? Do religious personages have special licence to lie and demean? Why did the AG overlook this dangerously false statement? How did it escape the Home Minister’s scrutiny? Why did the police fail to act on this dangerous and inflammatory statement that had the potential to disrupt our harmony?
All these lies have been effectively nailed by none other than the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Jamil Khir Baharom. In a written reply to Parliament, he stated in no uncertain terms, “Not one Muslim applied to convert out of their faiths in the Sharia Courts over the past decade,” thus laying to rest previous claims of apostasy repeatedly made by religious fanatics.
The minister further confirmed that 4,520 individuals embraced Islam in just four years between 2008 and 2012, according to the records of the Federal Territories Religious Department (Jawi). He emphasised, “So far, there were no Muslims, including new converts, who left the religion, based on the lack of applications to convert out of Islam in the Sharia courts.”
This is the reality. This is the irrefutable truth. The fears expressed by these fanatics – that when the non-Muslims use the term Allah, the Muslims can be confused and be led astray to forsake their religion – are nothing but a lot of hog-wash completely without any merit.
These fears are deliberately cooked up and the vast majority of Muslims are insulted by implying that their faith is so shallow that they can be so easily influenced by the non-Muslims to leave their religion. But according to the facts, these ridiculous fears are totally unfounded.
Since the vast majority of God-fearing Muslims are not confused, it is pertinent to ask whether Ibrahim Ali, the president of Perkasa, is confused when non-Muslims use the word Allah? Is Zulkifli Noordin, the vice-president of Perkasa, confused? Is Dr Mahathir, the patron of Perkasa, confused? Are the other zealots confused as well?
We need an honest answer from these stalwarts of Islam!
If they are confused then it does not speak well for their faith. If they are not confused, then what gives them the right to presume that others will be confused when, according to statistics, we have millions of Muslims who are absolutely strong in their faith and are not easily led astray?
It may be useful to be reminded: “The deepest sin against the human mind is to believe things without evidence” – Thomas H Huxley.
The writer, a former president of Aliran, is now an executive committee member
~ Free Malaysia Today