I'm no expert on religion, and I certainly do not pretend to be. There is plenty more I need to learn and explore about Islam, and I really hope to do so. But recent events that have taken place in this country, I think, does not require a religious expert to comprehend and rationalize. The issue of the court allowing the usage of the word 'Allah' in the Bahasa Melayu version of the Holy Bible has brought out a kind of behaviour among Muslims that is neither logical nor sensible. The group in Facebook that aims to collect one million Muslims to go against the court ruling just baffles me. What baffles me more is that a lot of people I know joined that group.
I am not here to condemn the existence of Facebook groups, though. I am here to express my views on this matter. Actually this outrage by Muslims is not surprising. Not too long ago there was the same outcry over the publication of the Bible in Bahasa Melayu. Which is even more absurd than this issue I think. Are those protesters so deluded as to thinking that Bahasa Melayu belongs to Islam? That other religions are not allowed to use it? I wonder if they know that in Arab-speaking countries, the Bible is published in Arabic, which is the same language in which our Holy Quran is written in. What do they say to that? I don't think there are words that can describe how flabbergasted I am at some people's mentality. The fundamental problem of Muslims in this country is that we seem to think that Malay and Bahasa Melayu and Islam are synonymous. I think it might shock them that not all Arabs are Muslims.
Those who oppose the court ruling also seem to think that the usage of the word Allah in the Bible is some sort of insult and propaganda that the Christians have against the Muslims. I think that these people don't know the difference between an insult and a compliment. I'll tell you what an insult is. An insult is when a Danish cartoonist draws caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a terrorist. An insult is when a Dutch (was it Dutch? correct me if I'm wrong) member of Parliament makes a video depicting Islam as a religion of violence. An insult is when American soldiers flush the Holy Quran down the toilet bowl, or use its pages as toilet paper. The massacre of Muslims in Gaza and Bosnia are also insults to Islam. But the usage of the word Allah in the Holy Bible, the Holy Book of Christianity, which, like Islam, is an Abrahamic religion (agama Samawi), that is no insult at all. In fact, don't you think that it emphasises the fact that we, Muslims and Christians, are not so different after all? Or is that idea just too disgusting to you?
These protesters also have this idea that the usage of the word Allah in the Bible is somehow a propaganda that is intended to 'confuse' our Ummah, to turn us away from Islam. This is just so embarrassing. Is our faith so weak that it is easily shaken and 'confused'? And besides, if anyone should be confused by this, its the Christians, because its in their Holy Book that the name of Allah is going to be printed. They are the ones who should be complaining about propaganda or confusion. In fact, they are the ones who should feel threatened. Lets say a Muslim managed to obtain a court ruling to replace the word 'Tuhan' to 'Jesus Christ', or something of the sort. I'm sure the reaction would be outrage from the Muslims, and welcome from the Christians. Not the other way round. Get it? The Christians should logically be the ones making a fuss right now, but they are not, instead it is the Muslims who seem to have such little confidence in their own faith, and the faith of their future generations.
Those who went to school in Selangor might remember our state's national anthem, 'Duli Yang Maha Mulia'. You would also remember that the third line of the anthem goes 'Allah Lanjutkan Usia Tuanku'. As far as I know, the citizens of Selangor include non-Muslims as well. And these non-Muslims are supposed to sing the state song together with Muslims during official functions or assemblies. So, if I got it right..they not only have to mention, but even sing the word 'Allah'! Now isn't this blasphemous? Insulting? Won't we get 'confused' by this? And most importantly, shouldn't there be Facebook groups trying to get one million signatures to prevent non-Muslims from singing the Selangor anthem? Its only logical right?
I may not be so articulate in expressing my views. These views do come from my own heart and mind, but they are also the result of reading other people's views as well. I am particularly impressed by views from people like Marina Mahathir, Anas Zubedy and Art Harun. These are opinions and views that are sound, rational and non-racist.
Lastly, I would like to borrow a few words from Marina Mahathir. She mentioned this in an article in The Malaysian Insider today, and I think they're beautiful and makes perfect sense:
"Remember that Allah does not belong to us, but we belong to Him."
I hope those protesters keep this in mind. Allah or Islam is not for any of us to claim the right of control over, its not like Allah is mine or Islam is mine, but rather, we belong to Allah and we belong to Islam.
May God bless us and keep us safe always.