Islam At the Crossroads in Malaysia

February 8, 2014

Islam At the Crossroads in Malaysia

dato-din-mericanby Din Merican

I am writing this as I contemplate the fate of our country while resting after being involved in a nasty accident last week. I feel very sorry that my wife’s car, Dr Kamsiah’s black beauty, is now a total wreck and we are not sure how long the adjusters will assess the loss as a total loss or whether it has to be repaired.

I hope the insurance company and its adjusters would be kind to my wife and I by not prolonging the painful process of making an insurance claim. The positive thing from that accident was that the driver of the other car, a non-Muslim Chinese and I, a Malay Muslim, did not have a quarrel. We resolved matters in the manner that accidents are resolved. We showed care and compassion for each other to ensure that neither of us suffered grievous bodily injury. We were civil despite our different race and religion even in those tense moments. We behaved as how civil people behave. We behaved like we are one people, like true Malaysians.

Airbags from the car!

Airbags from the car!

What was heartening also was that I received an immediate message from my young friend, Lawyer Rosli Dahlan, who heard about the accident although he was away. He was so concerned to make sure that we were not injured and made prayers for us from Makkah. Apparently, he was in Jeddah for a meeting and entered Makkah to perform umrah and made doa’ (prayers) for our safety.

To Rosli, I say thank you. At my ripe age, doa from well wishers are very meaningful. Alhamdulillah, I am safe in one piece although I was pretty jolted when the airbag exploded. I pray to Allah that the driver and passengers of the other vehicle will also recover as I have.

Religion and Politics

This brings me to the topic of religion that has plagued the country in the last few months. Since 2012, the politics of religion in Malaysia has taken a worrisome development. While Malaysia has long been known as a moderate Muslim country, that perception is beginning to change and change dramatically.

Malaysia’s moderation which is also a characteristic of Malay culture has, in the past, earned us respect in many Muslims countries. It is well known that Malaysian Muslim pilgrims for Haj and Umrah are well liked because in overseas countries Malaysians are extremely polite and rarely act in a radical way, unlike the hooliganism that they now show back at home. I am sure Rosli is one of the example of a pleasant Malay pilgrim. Moderation has become our national emblem, a badge of pride that we can wear on our chest.

Islam Hadhari disappeared when Badawi resigned as Prime Minister

When Abdullah Badawi became PM, he wanted to capitalise on that moderation by conceptualising it as  Islam Hadhari. But, like all slogans, that slogan also went out of fashion and is rarely heard today. As always, Malaysian leadership is less concerned about the substance of leadership and good governance but more concerned with popularity. And that is the problem we face today with the administration of PM Najib Razak.

badawi1Ex-PM Abdullah Badawi was brought down by his own party, UMNO, as he was seen to be ineffective– sleeping on the job, as Dr Mahathir would put it. And then, enter Najib Razak as PM. Malaysians were hopeful of him. There could not be a politician with a better pedigree than Najib. He is after all the son of Tun Abdul Razak, one of the most respected of Malaysia’s Prime Ministers. However, it did not take long for Najib to show that what his father Tun Razak had built, Najib would in a short time almost destroy.

You may ask- is that a fair comment? That is a fair question. So, let us analyse briefly why I expressed what most Malaysians are already saying.

Najib came up with this slogan – Satu Malaysia (1Malaysia). But today,we, as a nation, are not at all one united people. We can’t be more divided than ever. We quarrel about almost everything, including something so flimsy as the proprietorship of the word “Allah”. Thus, it was apt that my friend Tan Sri Robert Phang had rhetorically posed – “Why are we quareling about God?” in his New Year Message. Lim Kit Siang has taken that tag line to raise the same question in his open letter to PM Najib.

Malaysia is becoming to look like a Taliban State where the religious authorities have become so intolerant of different what more dissenting views in the area of religion, religious thought or for that matter anything concerning God, as if we own God. But more worrisome is that they are wrong in the things they did, yet they did not care.

The Borders Case remains unresolved thanks to AG Gani Patail

nik-raina-and-dr-kamsiah1In 2012, JAWI raided the Borders Bookstore and seized books by Canadian author Irshad Manji titled “Allah, Liberty and Love”. When JAWI couldn’t find anyone else to charge, JAWI decided to charge the poor Malay store manager Nik Raina Nik Rashid (seen with Dr. Kamsiah). She was charged for selling a banned book at a time when it was not banned yet.

Lawyer Rosli Dahlan successfully persuaded Tudung Judge Dato Zaleha Yusof to make a bold declaration that JAWI’s raid, seizure of books, and prosecution of Nik Raina were illegal. Judge Zaleha also declared that the Islamic Offences Act used to charge Nik Raina was ultra vires and unconstitutional and chided the Minister of Home Affairs and Minister in the PM’s Dept in charge of Religion for abdicating their constitutional duties in not clarifying the confusion that had disrupted the harmonious relationship in multiracial and multireligious Malaysia.

Despite the High Court ruling, the Syariah court refused to release Nik Raina. Although the law is now clarified that the Islamic Law Act used by JAWI is unconstitutional, yet A-G Gani Patail did not seem to consider it to be his duty to advise the government on what is the proper thing to do. He would rather cause a conflict of laws between civil and islamic law without regard to the disharmony it is causing amongst Malaysians.

I suppose A-G Gani Patail feels that he can survive better when there is anarchy in the country as that would make him more useful to those in the corridors of power. Otherwise, his position would be under threat from lawyer Tan Sri Shafee Abdullah, who has openly declared recently that he is ready to assume the role of Attorney-General to replace Gani Patail who is just a 3rd Class law graduate from University Malaya. That is what happens when the country is led by people of mediocrity.

The Allah Issue

Perkasa Rally on AllahThen the “Allah” issue erupted again, this time in a more virulent way. Unheard of NGOs like ISMA started to appear and condemned Marina Mahathir as a Dalang for LBGT and as anti-Islam. Thus, the line is a drawn between the Axis of Evil and the Defenders of Islam. Any muslim who spoke on the “Allah” issue in a manner not consistent with the Malaysian Standards of Islam (as if there is one!) projected by the likes of JAWI and JAIS are immediately branded as the enemies of Islam. You then see a herd of Malaysian politicians singing in chorus branding Islamic scholars like Professor Tariq Ramadan as liberal muslims. I am appalled.

Tariq Ramadan is the son of Said Ramadan, author of “Islamic Law: Its Scope and Equity”Tariq Ramadan and the grandson of Hassan Al Banna, founder of Ikhwanul Muslimin. Yet, Malaysian politicians conveniently branded him as such just because he gave an impartial and objective opinion about “Allah”. I will not elaborate on this as so many people have already written on the “Allah” issue.

All I would like to add is that PM Najib showed a total lack of moral courage on this issue which is now dividing Malaysians more than ever before. When he eventually made a comment recently, it was at best disappointing. Najib had no qualms about showing that his government will not honour the 10 point agreement.

Najib showed the same lack of courage over the death and burial of Chin Peng.  My counterparts in Thailand informed me that former Thai PM Chaovalit Yongchaiyudh had attended Chin Peng’s funeral in honour of an independence fighter of the time likening Chin Peng to Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam and Che Guevara of the Cuban Revolution and yet Malaysia dishonoured its own son and the treaty that it entered with the CPM. That is how dishonourable the Najib government behaved.

PM Najib also coined the slogan- Rakyat Di Dahulukan (People First). It was a beautiful slogan to show a caring and people oriented government. To demonstrate the government’s care and concern, the Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BRIM) was introduced as Najib geared up for  GE13. All kinds of asssistance and handouts were promised to bribe the Rakyat to vote for BN. Yet, immediately after winning the elections (and losing the popular votes), the Rakyat was burdened with price increases– from petrol price increase to tariff hikes in electricity, property assessments, tolls and all other kinds of tariffs. That is how PM Najib’s government betrayed the people. Rakyat didahulukan with all kinds of burdens!

Rosmah Mansor’s Opulence and Defiance

Rosmah and NajibWhen the Rakyat complained, PM Najib asked them to be thrifty, to be austere and so on, whereas all the while his domineering wife is jet-setting all over the world in a government jet, costing taxpayers to the tune of RM44 million. This did not yet take into account the numerous color Hermes and Birkin handbags (not the Shenzen or Petaling Street versions) that Rosmah Mansor is reputed to tot around costing not less than RM100 thousand each. She does not care what the Rakyat thinks about her lavish spending. Sheer defiance of public opinion.

Then, in a blatant display of grandiose and opulence, Riza Aziz, Rosmah’s son from an earlier marriage suddenly emerged in Hollywood as a big budget movie producer. The movie Wolf of Wall Street is nothing but sheer debauchery. I don’t give a hoot that it starred Leonardo Di Caprio or that it was directed by Martin Scorcesse. All I care is that there are enough stories out there in the Internet that Rosmah’s son is flaunting his very deep pockets to fund such big projects. The question on everybody’s mind is where did he get all that money? What is worse, the MACC chose not to investigate the young man.

With all these scandals surrounding his family, PM Najib has no moral authority to lecture the Rakyat about austerity when his wife and family display extreme opulence and questionable wealth.  Najib has no credibility to tell the Rakyat about how fortunate we are to be able to eat cheap kangkung when his family’s lifestyle of the rich and famous are posted all over youtube.

That is how sick the country is that leaders and those in authority cannot be trusted to take care of the Rakyat. And worst still when religion is used to rob people of their property. I read in the Malay Mail a case of the Pentadbir Tanah Daerah Batang Berjuntai conspiring with JAIS to rob a chinese company of its 26 acre land purportedly to build a mosque. I have not seen a 26-acre a mosque especially not in a kampung area like Batang Berjuntai. I became more interested when I saw that the lawyer acting for the chinese company is again Rosli Dahlan.

That makes me wonder if Rosli went to Makkah feeling guilty for acting against the religious authorities or if he was  seeking forgiveness and atonement because of all the condemnations he must be receiving for acting against the  likes of JAWI and JAIS which pretend to be the defenders and guardians of the Islamic faith. If that is why he is in Makkah, I have this to say to Rosli– don’t feel guilty. Seek justice and God will protect you.


Rosli should take it as his karma, taqdir, predestination or whatever you call it for him to be acting in such causes of justice without discriminating the race, color or religion of the oppressed party. That is what Islam is about- justice and compassion. And that’s  what our country and leadership are not. That is how sick our country is. We are at a crossroad where our professed islamic identity is made a mockery by the leadership and then aped by the Muslim mobs like PERKASA and ISMA.

Islam should be presented without any fanaticism. Without any stress on our having the only possible way and the others are lost. Moderation in all forms is a basic demand of Islam.

Islam should be presented without any fanaticism. Without any stress on our having the only possible way and the others are lost. Moderation in all forms is a basic demand of Islam.

That reminded me of the title of a book by renowned Islamic Scholar Muhammad Asad- “Islam at the Crossroads“. In case the likes of PERKASA, ISMA and their ilk are not aware, Muhammad Asad was born and raised as a Jew in Austria by the name of Leopold Weiss. So, one of Islam’s respected scholars of the recent century is actually a Jew! It was a Jew who correctly projected that Islam is at a crossroad. And I will borrow Asad’s title to say that Islam is indeed at crossroads in Malaysia. It is heading in the wrong direction because of politics of manipulation and subjugation by UMNO of Malay Muslims.

67 thoughts on “Islam At the Crossroads in Malaysia

  1. Dato
    Thank God both you and your wife are in one piece.
    As for the state of religious affairs in Bolihland I pray that the majority of Muslims will not be cowed by the misdemeanour of the disgraceful Muslims who are bringing shame,disrepute, and dishonour to Allah’s religion. Islam is not at fault but in our country Malay Muslims are responsible for their uncouth behaviour. The words coming out from the Muslim political leaders are a disgrace to the community.

  2. Hope you and Dr Kam are OK. The car should be a total loss once the air bags are deployed. This is the practice here.

    Islam is not at a crossroads, its the Malaysian Muslims who are at the crossroad. Islam is very clear on Justice, Human Rights, Equality of the Women and tolerance. Its the likes of Jais and Mais that have twisted Islam to suit their interest. JAKIM should step in as their role is the development of Islam and Islamic thoughts.
    Semper, we are both fine. How are you these days? –Din Merican

  3. Gani Patail is a 3rd class degree law graduate…

    Islam is not at cross road in Malaysia or any where else in the world.Islam is prefect.In Malaysia we have UMNO leaders anf followers who mix Islam ,Malay nationalist with politics.

  4. I have a question here that is confusing my mind as a muslim convert. Every Friday sermon they talk about Allah cannot be be spoken by non-muslim.

    I consider this as High Treason and yet the gomen could not careless. To all Malays they do not need to convert as they are automatic born a muslim. But as a non-muslim to convert, I have to repeat the words Kalimah Allah after the imam or kadi before becoming a muslim.

    So if, not if as the gomen do not allow non-muslim to say the words Kalimah Allah, the gomen has stopped right at the doorstep the propagation of Islam in Malaysia, and not just stop the non-muslim from saying the word Allah.

    This I find that the gomen itself has created a more serious offence then the word Allah.

    There is no two constitution in one country, when to convert you are allowed to say Kalimah Allah or else not allowed to say even the word Allah. If ever the prophet is aware what is happening here in Malaysia now I wonder what will happen?

  5. EVEYRONE KNOWS ITS POLITICS and NOT about religion. The problem is Islam IS HIGHLY POLITICAL, its part and parcel of the religion itself, in the Quran and further so much more in the Hadiths. The reason Malays have been moderate for so long is because they lived simpler undeveloped personal lives that did not demand defense which can be easily sought from Islam.

    It was inevitable that with development, the politicisation of Islam was going to worst. Tunku foresaw it and hence the reason for the secular nature of Constitution. Remember it was a Pakistani who put insisted it be part of the constitution, not the original UMNO founders. At that time EVERYONE in the region saw it. Sukarno AND Suharto, rivals, was DEAD SET against a political Islam that would quickly challenge them. AND remember Mahathir, the man responsible for all our troubles, is NO TRUE MALAY and his forebears come from places with leaders that are constantly lecturing other Muslims BUT have been failing their people for decades after decades even while they keep talking.

    What is so surprise about Najib shirking his responsibility? The small slack given by Tunku in his great humanity and wisdom, resulted in ruthless exploitation by foreign influence and perverted Malays that we are suffering greatly for decades now.

    What we have is nothing less that POLITICAL NARCOTICS – all wrapped up in religion. The chicken slayers are no better examples of Hallucinating addicts. So it is with Islam, Perkasa etc.. All simply political narcotics addicts..

  6. Totally agree with Dato’ Din, instead of keeping it on a straight path, so many factions of the Ustaz & the Ulamas have brought it to the Cross-roads, not sure which way they intend to lead followers to. To the front, to the Right or to the Left, leading into the footpath….and landing in the ravine….which way ?
    At least for me, I earned something of Lao Tse’s Philosophy about ” the Way ” , from what he says its impossible to describe : ” those who claim to be able to explain Toa do not know it, but the few who know cannot say it….” – But the vast majority of his followers, being hard-pressed about life & Living, fell into Superstition and resorted to magic… prostrating and worshipping
    So one who reaches the cross-road would fail to know the Left or the wrong way, or to turn Right….? No less for Muslims at the cross-roads, knowing it or not knowing it….so beware !

  7. Hope that both of you are ok.

    Many leaders of Failed Third World States are hiding behind religion and ethnic interest to remain in power for ever. Religion and ethnicity are like a drug. Initially it immediately makes you feel better and you want more of it. And as you crave for more and more of it you suddenly feel that you cannot live without it. You know that what you are doing is not right. But you over come that by convincing yourself that it is okay to be driven by self interest and your roots.

    It took the European Countries two centuries to overcome this dilemma. I hope that we can learn form history and try to short-cut the experience.

  8. Uncle Din
    Alhamdullilah that you and your wife as well as the other party are safe.
    Semper Fi is right.

    Was it Hassan Al Banna who said that when he traveled to the West he saw Islam but no Muslims, but when he traveled to the East he saw Muslims not Islam. His East must have included Malaysia.

  9. By the way, talking about Muhammad Asad who is a Jew, in the US this Jewish Muslim family of Mansour Lewis Johnson maintain a chain of schools where Jews, Christians Muslims interact with one another…..and this chain of learning and seeking is growing fast….with Al’Mighty’s Blessings….

  10. DDM,

    Praise be to God that you managed to get out of the wreck unharmed!

    Here’s my two cents worth from afar.

    I have always supported the ideals of Abdullah Badawi’s Islam Hadhari (IH) and was dismayed that the Malay moderates who form the silent majority did not offer his concept their full support. IH instead suffered a premature death at the hands of the Malay extremists within UMNO who formed the vociferous minority who were left unchecked to pursue their hidden agendas of manipulation through the dissemination of fear and hatred to divide and rule the masses.

    Outside of UMNO, IH was shot down not because the concept itself did not deserve merit but by the mere fact that its detractors were anti UMNO.

    I remember that even several commentators on this blog were taking pot shots at both Badawi and his efforts to introduce IH.

    At the end of the day, it is not Islam which is at fault. The blame lies on its misled and insecure adherents within UMNO itself and its Malay extremist cohorts who are too fearful to step out of their own
    shadows for the very thought of any loss of control of power is unthinkable to them as they know that it will spell their demise as rent seekers.

    Hence, their use of politicised Islam as a weapon to guard their gravy train and their continued use of religious and racial tension to distract the rakyat from the real issues and grievances that are affecting the nation.

  11. Glad to hear that you are fine, Datuk Din. Please make sure there are no hidden injuries too.

    There is clerico-fascism and there is progressive religion.
    Clerico-fascism as used by the extreme right wing of UMNO Baru and their sponsors and funders, the jittery kleptocrats of UMNO Baru-BN, to maintain their power.

    Then there is the progressive Islam of the highly-educated professionals from PAS.

  12. I agree with the views of the bloggers here, it’s not Islam at the crossroads, but the Muslims in this country, both the silent majority and the vociferous minority in UMNO. If the silent majority had a voice, things could have been under control. As the silent majority become more and more muted, the vociferous minority become louder and braver in their ludicrous rantings.

    I don’t believe that our political leaders and state rulers truly believe in religion at all. Judging from the way they behave, they are practising atheism more than Islam. Everything they do in the name of Islam is only for show, but their souls breed evil. The Najib and Mahathir clan are the most obvious/ overt examples of what pseudo Muslims are on this planet!!

  13. May God by whatever name protect Din & DrKam.

    Din has cleverly used Asad’s title to describe the crossroads that Malay/Muslims are in today in Malaysia. In a globalised world, we have become more closeted. In a new transparent world, we have become insular and blaming others for all our problems. First, accusing the pendatang wants to steal our political power. Now accusing pendatang/Christians as wanting to steal our God! Don’t you see just how ridiculous we sound?

    Then we turn against our own people who display some intelligence like Marina Mahathir and branding her Dalang of LBGT rights. Worst, we alienate professional lawyers like Rosli Dahlan as if he is an enemy of Islam forcing the poor man to seek solace in God in far away Mecca just because he fought cases for his clients in order to get justice. What are we becoming if we cannot recognize good people from amongst our own kind. Or is Rosli being made a target again because he acts against JAWI/JAIS and has just recently sued the AG and government again? May Allah give him the justice that he deserves.

  14. I join the others in expressing our relief that you have emerged uninjured. But let me say that your experience with this non Malay is not remarkable at all. I, and many many of my friends have similar experiences with Malays as well as with non Malays. In fact there has only been goodwill between the races here until the appearences of the likes of Dr Mahathir and his vile politics of divide and rule. Then along came Badawi and Najib who just wanted to please the minority in UMNO. But I thank you for this article where you have nicely covered the many issues facing the country.As one reader has already mentioned it is the silent majority who must speak out loud and clear. I hope we can soon see your blog in Malay so that more Malays can read how their country is being hijacked and robbed by these elite minority.

  15. First things first.. Insurance should provide you with a rental car to move along with life.. If the frame is bent and if the cost of repair exceeds a certain dollar limit. Insist on original parts repaired by the dealer of that car. Don’t know how things work in Malaysia.. In the US it is a no brainer..

  16. Good to know that both you, missus, and the other victims are safe, Din.
    Whatever it is, insurance claims should be quite clear cut, since there was no serious bodily injury. But Semper’s ‘write-off’ for the vehicle may not hold true, since this is Boleh-land, and salvaging/recycling seems to be the modus operandi.

    As for the rabid, insane Islamist credentials of the UMNO imbeciles – nothing needs to be said by us, Nons. They may have confused wanton,pagan slaughtering of innocent chickens and smearing of avian blood on ‘graven’ Images of their perceived enemies – as a sacrament of utmost fecundity and ‘regressive’ liturgy. The typical UMNO hack is truly at the crossroads of paganism, sorcery and pure tribalism. It’s not about ‘hot-button’ issues but ‘hair-triggered’ hare brained Entitlement and a chaotic breakdown of Rule-of-Law.

    Yet Islam has no mechanism for ‘excommunication’, as it is egalitarian at it’s very core.. So much for these blokes, whom even the most staunch Jihadists would be won’t to disown. So much also for the Gentle-Mein of the East. It’s no longer the Barbarians at the Gates – It’s Barbarians Within.

  17. It is Allah’s will that your accident precedes your article. Syukur everything is OK. Your article is most timely. I am not sure whether our nation will survive the ‘accident’ that our political leadership is causing due to reckless driving. Looking forward to meeting you and your charming wife.
    I read your book and will be happy to say a few words about it tonight.–Din

  18. Brother Din, am shocked to read here of your accident. I am most grateful to the Almighty for protecting both you and sister Kamsiah as well as the passengers of the other car from serious injuries.

    I will not want to be dragged into the other issues you brought up as I am complete sick of and disgusted with the political masters of our country.

    Stay well and safe brother Din and look forward to meet you again one day soon.

  19. Dato, alhamdullilah you did not incur any serious body injuries. The air bags must have saved you. Ensure you get a new car with proper safety features. It was a good article, I am with you all the way. But what has been frustrating to me is how to put what we say and believe into action. I am sure notwithstanding this motor accident your golf would not be affected. You may play better golf and become a bigger boyah. Happy golfing at RSGC

  20. Firstly, I am neither Malaysian nor a Muslim. I have loved Malaysia since my first encounter in 1987. I consider it a home. My religion is irrelevent. I was raised to know right from wrong, my grandfather instilled in me never to mock a man’s religion and I never do.

    I have read enough history to see events repeating themselves .

    What troubles me, despite the net being plastered with like minded, sane opinion, like this, well articulated blog and follow-ups, whildt informative and placating the sense of desperation in many, no doubt, that is all it is. Pixels in the ether.

    I am saddened that there is seemingly no alternative to a continuation of duplicitous maneuvering disguised as democracy. In addition to billions in financial vacuum ( which I would pose will be filled by one or more gulf states when the need arises) there is absolute bankruptcy of trust in any of the old political guard from either side.

    Any ‘ third way’ will likely dilute the opposition support more than it would the ruling party – and a subsequent coalition would merely make the scores even again. Is it check mate or wait for Darwinian progression? What is lacking in many if not all of the posts is the ‘ so what ?’ Words into action ( no revolution implied) .

    I am relieved to hear of your physical recovery Dato, would time also heal that which needs mending and in short order.

  21. I am glad you and Dr. Kam survived this nasty accident .Your guardian angels are looking out for you . Najib should learn from Emperor Akbar the Great of India ,on how to manage a diverse country and keep them united in the process ! Now you know why he is called Akbar the Great !

  22. Even his subordinates hv scandals within their own department in AGC. Who can really take care of Malaysian law if these ppl hv no morals within themselves? This is such a shameful thing.

  23. Dato, alhamdulillah both of u are safe. Hope the chinese and passengers of the other car are all well. That’s a spirit that we have missed long time back: unity! I remember only in my childhood the government expressed on being united and taught us the value of being a civil society, it is no more for decades.

    A very good reading, and I really hope dato can write in malay. Have to admit majority malays are lacking of 2: reading, and English. 🙂

  24. May the likes of you mushroom and prevail in our country; you are a thoughtful and caring citizen who has my respect and gratitude. Keep well and continue to advocate for fairness and righteousness in your living and in your writing which you do so well. Thanks, Din.

  25. Very well written. Racial harmony will be much better without those politically ambitious individuals. Also we deserve better leaders who act in the interest of all rakyats and thius beloved country

  26. Dear all,

    I’ll just give a short comment while preparing to bring my wife for her regular anti-natal check-ups this morning. Even though she’s medical doctor herself, she still needs others to do the check-up. She can’t do it alone onto herself.

    On the same volume, we as human beings need each other. But more often than not, many of us cross the lines. Why? Because we don’t talk based on in-depth knowledge but rather cosmetic ABC.

    That is clearly obvious in the case of the word Allah, and the comments made by everybody particularly here. Yes, the current government’s decision on this issue is seen as further dividing Malaysians. Malay Muslims who, together with the authorities, are defending the word Allah from being used in printed materials are now the culprit.

    Coming back to the reality that human beings need each other to live, what more in a country as colorful as Malaysia, one would not be more flabbergasted that while the defenders and the authorities are now the bullseye, the minority users of the word Allah are becoming the darling of the world.

    I agree they should be allowed to use the word Allah verbally and in the Malay bible and church magazines if:

    i) they also translate the word God in English bibles to Allah in bibles in other local languages such as Mandarin, Tamil, Iban etc – simply because Allah is not a Malay word as they argue – and along this same line, please also translate Mary, Jesus, Joseph etc in English bibles into Maryam, Isa, Yusuf etc for Malay bibles;

    ii) Christians in Sabah and Sarawak have been using the word Allah as a direct translation for God by default when Malay bibles from Indonesia were imported in the 17th century. The Popes and other highest authorities in the Christian world do not call the trinity Allah. Suddenly, the name Allah, which has been used by Muslims and those who whorshipped the One and Only God since Nabi Adam a.s., is being claimed by very few Christians here as a Malay word for God. So when a language issue is becoming more important than faith, the majority who has the clear-cut right is being asked to bow down and tolerate. The majority use the word almost every second – when they begin, perform and end their prayers, when they go to sleep and wake up, when they enter and exit the toilet, when they start having sexual intercourse with their legal spouses, and when they do everything in their lives as taught by their Nabi Muhammad SAW.

    I’d love to elaborate more but for my limited time today.

  27. A thoughtful and well written article of a pure Muslim and above all a true Malaysian. I, another Malaysian from a different religion but of the same belief, same vision and of the same thoughts, salutes you!

  28. The earthly stakes must be high for those living in the corridors of power to pursue this indifferent course of inaction. Regardless of whatever beliefs each and every Malaysian has, moral courage must be summoned to reject this idiocy and reverse the decline we are all destined toward. Inclusiveness and mutual respect must be forged to conquer the vile belief of divide and conquer.

  29. @ abahamni , as shallow as my thoughts are, I agree whole-heartedly the whole of Mankind – indeed the entire Universe – are not restrained from using and FINDING out what or ” Who ” Allah is – Afterall, isn’t Lord Al’ Mighty the Creator of the Universe ?

    My only comment or Reservation is, it cannot, should not be in the TRANSLATED COPY of the Bible into Bahasa Malaysia, because in the Original Revelation of the Bible, it was revealed to the Christian Community of the Three-in-One or Trinitarian concept – that is the ONLY Exception, why it should NOT be in the Bahasa Malaysia Translation. – If the Malay Translation uses ” Allah “, which Kalimah is NOT IN THE ORIGINAL Bible, ( in the Islamic Aqidah ) it amounts to INTERPOLATION and/or EXTRAPOLATION, ie ” ADDING SOMETHING WHICH IS NOT IN THE ORIGINAL Bible. ( Aqidah means, it is an Addition by ‘ deception ‘ or prevaricating God’s Words ( ie : in the Koran ). And, that is a Sin to the Muslims. ( If ‘Allah ‘ is used in the BM Translation, someone rightly pointed out, there is an INFUSION of The Trinity Concept, into the very Name ” Allah ” (which is not so in The Koran ) –

    The ONLY EXCEPTION, otherwise Use, yes whole Universe please Use, TUJUH PETALA LANGIT dan BUMI, ada lah Kejadian Allah SWT –
    So Interpolation is deceptively putting something which is NOT God;s Words > ” Laqum Di-Nuqum Walliyaddin….. ( Koranic ) – In the Translated Version, there WILL be Infusion of the Christian Triinity – repeat, that is the ONLY Exception……

  30. salam
    To put it gently, article is too shallow imo. Talking about the religion purely on the basis of logic doesnt really do it for me, no reference from any hadis sahih or even the words of God from Quran. Hence why Islam really are at the crossroads in Malaysia, everyone is an expert now.

    As for the ruling government, yes its far from perfect but it was ‘better the devil you know’ for me and as far as Rosmah goes, all this vilifying is just fashionable.. I’m pretty sure if she was thin and pretty, she wont be getting half as much abuse.

    And asking the Malays to tolerate over and over and over again.. what’s new.


    apologies shld my comments offend the writer.

  31. Happy and Thankful that you and your wife are well.

    Islam in Malaysia has crossed and will cross many roads with its truthfulness.

    But the pseudo Umno (the UmnoBaruputeras) who had misused and abused power and positions in creating Islam=Malays, Religion=Race, will never do so.

    ..Because Religious Beliefs and Humanity, as part and parcel of the Social, Economic and Political Fabrics in governance, will Reject them(including corruptions deceits and cheat)….and the time has arrived .

  32. Dear Dato,

    Glad I am to hear you and your wife emerged uninjured by the Grace of the Almighty.

    Pertaining to your further stated matter, myself being born a Hindu, my religion thought me to love, accept and respect all religion as religion is merely varied traditions, customs, language and way of living life righteously or I could say that is how I was brought up by my parents and the surrounding of my hood all these years. There has only been goodwill between races here until the appearances of certain (known) Leaders of our Country and their vile political plays of racial separation in lieu of rules, benefits and such.

    But I thank you for this article where you have precisely state many issues facing the country. It is the silent speaking majority who must stand out loud and clear towards further peace and happiness within races before it is disrupted by those selfish elite minorities who puts a “wanting the best for the Rakyat” facade while intending Fame, Fortune, Pleasure and Luxury selfishly.

  33. In response to muz how do you want us to write and express our views in this particular blog. There are quorums where we can discuss religion or talk on Islam academically. On Rosmah why were not wives of previous PMs abused or ridiculed? Nothing to do with their looks – character la. I dont catch asking Malays to tolerate again and again. Why do we feel that we are at the receiving end. Wassalam

  34. Dato, i don’t agree with your thought. For you It seems that the issues related to the clash between muslim and non muslim is the muslim fault. If you look deeper into the issue you can see that the real party who initialize the issue at first is non muslim. For 50 years under BN power we see the prosperity being stored and non muslim and muslim can live together without problem. However recently we witnessed some rude actions by non muslim that rised the anger of muslims. For example the COMANGo issue and more. So please look and treat the issue fairly. Blaming muslim in every corner does not make you look smart and elegent.

  35. Muz,
    Yeah, you have the right to be an idiot. I wonder what would you do if you are lived under the barrage of attacks from…….Hahahahaha

  36. @Abahamni: my questions for you are:
    (1) Are you committing sin, by default or otherwise, if the Christians use Allah as name of the God in their worship and religious literature in the Malay language meant for their own congregations?
    (2) Is your prospect to heaven lessen or affected by Christians’ usage of the word Allah?
    (3) Must the word Allah bear the same theological interpretation with that of Islam before Christians can use the word Allah (which pre-dates Islam in its usage) or in other words, are Christians obliged to hold the same theological interpretations as Islam?
    (4) What provision in the Federal Constitution that spells out Allah cannot be uttered or used by the Church in their worship or religious literature?
    (5) Are you aware that basis of the formation of Malaysia is the Malaysia Agreement and by that agreement, we the citizens of Negara Sarawak and Negara Sabah are not subject to any of your Sultans’ decree or whatsoever decree including decrees associated with religion?

    Yes, you are offending the citizens of Negara Sabah and Negara Sarawak by dictating to us how we should write our Bibles and how we should worship. You can have the word Allah for yourself, but you have no rights to stop others from using it the way they choose as long it is within the boundaries of the laws. In no point of time we are subservient to you and your religion and neither is yours to ours. You with yours and we ours. If that is not clear to you, go and do your research in depth. You are not God sitting on the throne of judgment but mere mortal like me and others. So do not pretend to take the role of God when at the end of the day you are not free from judgment.

    Peace be to all.

  37. I salute you Din Merican, a true and real muslim after reading your article. There is nothing more than I can say except that you are like one of our comrades during the era of the 50’s where each and everyone of us shared almost everything including our water bottles and food at school,scouting and also at the football fields.We go even further by calling ourselves Cina Kui,Malay Kui ,Kelinga kui and bengali Kui with no offend to each other.But now….it’s a very different episode with POWER and CORRUPTION ON THE RISE. Take care brother Din Merican and may god bless you and your entire family.Best regards…alan
    Thanks Alan. We are now in a different world and that is sad when traditional values are rejected by a new generation.–Din Merican

  38. Unreal perception:
    – Has Dato’ Din Merican been to a Taliban state? I am very sure Malaysia does not like one in any way at all

    Wrong fact:
    -ISMA commented on Marina Mahathir’s involvement in the COMANGO issue NOT the Allah issue. Two very separate issues.

    Wrong view:
    – be it Tariq Ramadan is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Tariq himself is not a member and his views contradict views of many other scholars. Why should he be singled out as possessing an impartial and objective view?

    Wrong association:
    – it appears as if Dato’ has not read the book. The message of the book is definitely not about him being a Muslim and a Jew by race.

  39. @ hisham,

    Nobody is at fault with Islam, the Christianity, the Malays or the Chinese at large.
    But the Rakyat had faulted with the Pseudo.

    The blame is on the pseudo Umno(Baru) Muslims and its brand of Islam that even attempted to spark sectarian violence and hatreds, here, among their own Muslims, Sunni and Shia , not to mention about harassments against Christians and other religions.

    The blame is on these pseudo Umnobaruputeras/Malays who have abused and misused religion and race to sustain power at all cost and torturous expense of the miseries and untold sufferings to the Rakyat, blatantly , particularly since 1980s, in sowing seeds of hatreds and divisiveness for their personal greeds and profits…. and continue to do so till this day.

  40. Randomly stumbled on your article from a FB share and I only have this to say…God bless you, Sir.
    Doc Jag, keep on reading. Your comments are also welcome. We exchange ideas and share views on this blog.–Din Merican

  41. Henry,
    Hmmm…….My sentiment when I am sparing with that idiot called ktemoc. A Penangite from Ayer Hitam who is an atheist dictating all christians must not use Allah. Please go to Ozzieland to look for that guy. You can show you the pictures of lovely sarawak tribes……Hahahaha

    Guys & Gals,
    Well, since din is the DJ blogger. There you have it……..One song from Charlene

  42. DDM
    Reputable insurance companies in the US will write off the vehicle as total loss as they don’t think the body shop can fix the air bags. What happen if you continue to drive and have an accident and the air bags don’t deploy? They don’t want to risk it. Don’t know about Malaysia though.
    By the way this coming March 01 the Shura Council of Southern California will have their annual conference and Dr. Tariq Ramadan will be the keynote speaker.

  43. Sensible, intelligent, compassionate and gracious reaction to the current insanity that the current Malaysian government has unleashed towards its citizen. I have seen friends who’d turned on others based on some over-inflated sense of entitlement because they use their religion to exclude the rest.

  44. @ Rim,

    In other words, to our Christian Brethren, my humble Request is to Translate the Bible in its ORIGINAL version into Bahasa Malaysia, but not ” inserting ” something which is not in the Bible. in the first place –

    The subject of Interpolation of God’s Words according to the Koran is a grave sin to the Muslims, b’coz the insertion is done deceptively, so even Muslims have to beware of that.

    Anyhow, thank you for your appreciation, on a topic which I admit is difficult, God Bless.

  45. Abnizar,
    I am tired of this BS. I wonder which holy book comes first. The bible or the Quran? Where more to say…….I know why I anointed Ezra Zaid Ibrahim as our next PM…….Nurul Izzah…..Step aside………Hahahahaha

  46. Very well written and it is so true… Thank you.

    I hope this article has a version in Bahasa Malaysia to share out. Coz the sad thing is many of them who still support BN are in rural places and they still believe in what Najib said..

    As we all know our education system is also going down.. Most of the children can’t speak good English these days.. I can easily find a 50 years old Malay, Indian or Chinese cleaner, general worker can speak very well English, And they are more polite compare with the adult who are in their 20s’ these days too.. 😦

  47. Dear Din and Dr Kamsiah, glad you are both OK…. that’s most important – not the car nor the insurance bit….

    On the subject of Islam at the Crossroad, I do not think Islam as a religion is of any question here in Malaysia… I think it is the extremists and bigots using Islam to further their political causes which is of concern. Muslims and the moderate majority should take a stand and correct this – don’t wait till it’s too late…

  48. I say nothing personal loose-head, but time’s up for a loony to laugh Haahaaahaa at every turn of your retorts, never mind whether yours is relevant or irrelevant, without substance, – laughing to yourself all the time….why, you must be a loony, if you are bored and TIRED with yourself go either enter the asylum, or else swing by the hammock in the forests with the Howler-m….kies…..
    Just stop laughing to yourself and do something good to improve your health….

  49. Interesting reading! Like everyone else Malaysians are very sad of what was/is happening in today’s Malaysian politics and religious bickering. Put it bluntly, this is happening because of firebrand style of politics and religious zealousness of certain UMNO members; also some hard-headed clergy from the Moslem and Christian. SIGH.

  50. I am a non-muslim and this morning (and most mornings) I listened to the call for prayer from the mosque in Damansara Heights. I felt peace and calm and told myself this is a beautiful religion. But then, my mind shifted to the many uncouth, illogical, belligerent, militaristic, offensive, confrontational behaviour of some muslims in this country towards the non-muslims in this country. Such dichotomy is unimaginable and runs against the very peaceful nature of the religion. These muslims are not at the crossroads. They have crossed the road and have taken the extremist path.

  51. As’salam n Alhamdullilah u both r ok,

    as a convert , its very sad n depressing to hear all those fanatics malays hina n insult other races n religion as they pleases. Great to hear ur views on the matter n ve total respect for u. Tq. Asian politics however has always n will always be about family business n the only way to change it is to kill the PM n all the ministers n their families!!…….. lol just kidding ” i think “….peace n onelove

  52. Din as usual writes well. We played golf yesterday. He has obviously recovered from the accident.

    I think there is not much that can be done to stop the Islamic extremists from touting their message of hatred and animosity towards non Muslims and also towards Malays who differ in their views about the use of Allah, the hadith, the shias, the LBGTs , yoga, Valentines Day etc.. As long as they do not cross the boundary lines to advocate violence and spread fear about our safety , they have the democratic right of freedom of expression.

    This freedom of expression must also be extended to those who take a secular view about Islam and who believe in moderation in applying Islam to everyday life and who strongly feel that while Islam is the official religion of the country, our constitution clearly guarantees the rights of other religions to be freely practised.

    The tragedy we are facing today is that only the official version of Islam and its dominance over other religions is allowed in public discussion. Any other view is viciously attacked in the government controlled media, making the country look like North Korea, where people can be sent to concentration camps for not clapping loudly enough to cheer the leader.

    The only sensible way of dealing with this escalation of Islamic extremism is for the media to provide space for others to make their views known to the public so that the muftis, the ulamas and the political Islamists do not get the monopolistic right to discuss about religion. I am quite sure that the Muslim public too will appreciate the openness about religion as like others, they hate to be brainwashed by those who want to use religion for their political ends.

    As with any other public policies, whether its economic, financial , education, environment , health , —-you cannot simply surrender your rights to express your opinion to the professionals and experts on the argument that they know best because they have been specially trained in these fields. They may be experts on their specific area of specialisation but the people as stakeholders , may know better whether the policy proposals made by the experts and their ministerial bosses are suitable to society. Thats why democratic societies have elections and parliaments and allow their media to debate on public issues so that the voice of the people can be heard.

    Mohd Sheriff Kassim

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