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‘Allah’ issue: Win-lose approach not the right way

The real solutions lie in dialogue where understanding and trust is built


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The Association for Welfare, Community and Dialogue welcomes the decision by the “unity government” to withdraw its appeal against the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court on the ‘Allah’ issue.

This is about the ruling which said that Christians can use the word Allah and the three other Arabic words in the publication of their religious material for learning purposes. It is the right decision in given circumstances.

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has said that persisting with the appeal in the ‘Allah’ court dispute with a Sarawakian Christian would have been futile – given the 1986 cabinet decision.

Besides, the Conference of Rulers had decided that non-Muslims in Sabah and Sarawak could use the word under certain conditions.

The prime minister is basically taking a balanced approach which has a factual basis for a long-term solution in the context of Malaysian realities.

This is also to stop the polemics revolving around the usage of the word Allah, besides preventing a win-lose adversarial legal battle.

Taking an adversarial route in a court of law through appeals, where a win-lose approach is sought, could be detrimental to inter-religious harmony in the country.

When one takes a reasonable discourse, the grievance among the Muslim community is over the possible misuse of the word Allah.

However, in a nation where there is a mixture of politics and religion for vested political interests, the usage of the word is seen from a dominant majoritarian view – which is contrary to principles of equity and justice.

In this context, the minority communities would always be on the losing end since the majority dictates what constitutes justice.

Power and dominance are not the way to resolve a conflict and certainly, an adversarial legal approach would be detrimental to the complex inter-religious ties of the country.

If the appeal is continued where one community wins and the other loses, it will create a chasm, which could be detrimental to the safety and security of the people.

The real solutions lie in dialogue where understanding and trust is built. Political and religious leaders should play an authentic role in creating trust by bringing the communities together to dialogue.

So, the approach taken by the unity government on this is a step in the right direction that would help create a context for dialogue, reasoning and resolution.

And it should be supported by everyone for the sake of justice and reconciliation. – Malaysiakini

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

AGENDA RAKYAT - Lima perkara utama
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Tris W
Tris W
3 Jun 2023 10.30am

Seriously, I’m more confused that why a political party (PAS) can use the name Islam, but dare not condemn corruption, stealing but seems to condone to them instead if it involves their party leaders. Are this allowed in Islam? Other Muslims not confused? Or they are using Islam for their evil intentions? No other Muslim bothers to confront such hypocritical act? Not even enforcements? These … are bringing a bad name to Islam … and no one bothers they are confusing the non Muslims? Why only harbour on the “Alxxx” word alone?

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