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Why was it okay for a Christian pastor to burn the Quran?

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In March 2011, a Florida Christian pastor made good of his threat to burn Muslims’ holy book, the Al-Quran. In spite of worldwide condemnation and protests, he went ahead with the provocation.

Many god-fearing and law-abiding Muslims watched the Christian pastor’s insensitive and provocative blasphemy with disgust. Many others silently prayed, “The owner of Al-Quran is Allah SWT. There is no other better protector than Allah Himself. He will protect His book just as He had protected Kaaba from the onslaught of Abrahah’s army, if He so wishes.”

There were also those who took the street to protest. In the end, at least 12 protesters were reported dead, no thanks to Terry Jones… the purportedly man-of-god?

Subsequently, Jones launched a new organization named, ‘Stand Up America’, to protest against the Quran, Shariah law and what he referred to as, “radical” Islam.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations based in the US, although apparently appalled, finally conceded to the aging pastor’s chance to be under the international lime-light.

“Terry Jones had his 15 minutes of fame and we’re not going to help him get another few minutes,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Malaysia, the provation toward Islam continues. The Malaysian church insisted upon its right to translate its English bibles into the Malay language, the Bahasa Melayu. Judging from the fact that non-Malays in Malaysia prefer to communicate in their own mother-tongue and/or English (prevalent from their insistence to maintain vernacular education system), the motive behind the translated bibles seemingly was to confuse-and-convert the Malays into Christianity.

This is particulaly evident when a group of Christian evangalists were caught distributing free bibles to unsuspecting high school students in front of a national school in Penang. In the past, there were also reports that young girls were taken into the church and given holy water. When the girls came out, they weren’t able to recite simple Quranic verses.

To top it up, the Malaysian church further demanded that its Bahasa Melayu version of the bibles must be allowed to refer God, as Allah. This is when the line has been crossed. So crossed that PERKASA, a right-wing NGO decided to organize a Bible-Burning Day as a protest. The same manner that Terry Jones had conducted. Suddenly, the church proclaimed, “To burn the bible is the same as to burn the church.”

When the Islamic Political Party of Malaysia (PAS) Council of Elders (Majlis Syura) made a decree regarding the use of Allah’s name, the church plead ignorance. Which part of the Malay language couldn’t the church understand?

Majlis Syura decreed that EVERYONE—non-Muslims included—can use the word, ALLAH. However, the word ‘ALLAH’ is a proper noun (nama khas) to refer to the Muslims’ Al-Mighty. Allah does not take a wife, nor does He need to. Neither does He ever bear a son. Jesus, Abraham, Ismael, Moses and Mohammad were merely human messengers.

Hence, according to the Majlis Syura, although Allah’s name can be used by anyone, it cannot be used as a translation of the common noun, God.

Buddha is a God. Lord is a God. Allah is God. Zeus is God. But Zeus, Buddha and Lord are not Allah. They have different traits. Different religions have different gods. Different gods have different names. Different names have different characteristic traits. So simple.

Just as Tony Blair is Prime Minister. Tun Mahathir is a Prime Minister. But to say Tun Mahathir is a British Prime Minister would be…stupendous. The difference is so glaring that even a child would know the difference. But not the Malaysian church. Not Malaysian pastors.

In fact, the word Allah in Christian bibles does not exist. In the bible, God has always been refered to as, LORD. The older version of bibles (in Hebrew) had instead use the word, Rab. In contrast, God had clearly spelled out his name in the Quran: “I am Allah.”

Moreover, Muslims start his or her daily life with a prayer, “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”

Ofcourse the Malaysian church knows and understands this. So do the pastors and fathers. Yet, they still have to continue with their unreasonable demand because to win Allah’s name, is to win Malay converts. They would not be good Christians if they fail to convert as many Malays as possible, even though converting Muslims into Christianity is illegal, according to the Malaysian law.

Hence, two questions remain.

1. If Muslims—so often projected as violent by the west—can sit still and witness Terry Jones’s idiocracy, why cant the so-called peace-loving Christians do the same? If burning a bible is the same as burning the church, wouldnt burning a Quran the same as burning mosques?

2. Evangalism is illegal in Malaysia, no matter if it is done forceably or discreetly. So why cant the authorities impose SUPER hefty fines to the church or any individual who either secretly or openly attempt to convert a Muslim? Impose SUPER HEFTY fines to those who distributes free bibles to Muslims. impose SUPER HEFTY fines to those who bring Muslims inside a church, let alone those who shove holy water down Muslim throats.

It can be done. It is within the rule of the law. The real problem lies with the fact that Malay politicians are busy with opposition-bashing, and less time to restudy or change the law. Less time to rid Malaysians from the outdated laws imposed by the colonial powers.

What good is freedom, if we still have to live under colonial rules? Colonial laws? What good is freedom if the Malay majority cant live in accordance to the Malay community’s customs, culture and religion?

According to the constitution, a Malay is one who follows the Islamic faith, speaks the Malay language and professes the Malay culture. As it is, there seems to be a well-coordinated move to dispose the Malays from Malaya.

ASTRO brings in yellow western-culture. The English language which used to take precedence in daily business communication, is now taking more strength in education. And finally, our last stand, the Islamic faith. The church’s sudden insistence to disseminate Malay bibles freely to the Malay community is not without motive.

At the end of the day, the Malays could cease to exist. At least, constitutionally.

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