The Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) warns Muslims against “a conspiracy by ‘enemies of Islam’ to manipulate them through ideas like secularism, pluralism, socialism, feminism and positivism.”
Conspiracy Paranoia Update: –˜Allah” row an attempt to gauge Islam’s limits, JAKIM officer alleges,” by Zurairi Ar for Malay Mail Online, October 19
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 “” The ongoing legal tussle over the use of the word “Allah” was simply a test by Christians to determine how much of Islam can be challenged in court, an officer with Malaysia’s Islamic authority alleged today.
Speaking to a forum organised by Islamist NGO Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA), the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) officer also claimed that it was Muslims” rights as the majority to determine “the right kind” of Islam that can be practised here.
“It is proven, that there is an agenda behind what is being done by these quarters,” said Mohd Aizam Mas”od, Assistant Director of Akidah in JAKIM”s Research Division here to a 50-strong crowd.
Quoting the editor of Catholic weekly newspaper The Herald, Father Lawrence Andrew, Mohd Aizam alleged that the case was only brought to court initially to ensure that syariah law will never be implemented in Malaysia.
“If they had won, there will be many more demands they will try in the courts. This was just a test to see how far the strength of Islam’s position in our country is,” he added.
The JAKIM officer also questioned the motives behind The Herald’s use of “Allah”, even as he admitted that Christians in East Malaysia have long used the word.
“Why are they suddenly bringing up the issue in the peninsula? Are there pockets of Malay Christian community?” he asked.
“We all know in Christianity, the issue of God’s name is not fundamental … The name of God can be translated,” he said, mirroring an argument by Malay rights group Perkasa that claimed yesterday the case showed Christians have no name for their deity.
The Court of Appeal ruled unanimously on Monday against allowing the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” in its weekly publication the Herald, saying that the government did not impugn on the Church’s constitutional rights in banning the use of the word.
The ruling has since drawn condemnation from various quarters, including opposition lawmakers, the Bar Council, and international commentators from the Arab world, Indonesia and Australia.
Mohd Aizam was one of the two speakers in a seminar held by ISMA titled “Ancaman Liberalisme” (The Threat of Liberalism) here, which criticised an alleged “human rights agenda” by the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs (COMANGO).
COMANGO had recently issued its list of recommendations ahead of the October 24 UPR (Universal Periodic Review) by United Nations” (UN) Human Rights Council.
Among the recommendations was to recognise the freedom for Shia followers””also called Syiahs here””to practise their teachings, which is the second largest Islamic sect in the world.
But Mohd Aizam today rejected the call, claiming that a “trustworthy” Islamic government has the rights to block its citizens from practising the “wrong” version of Islam.
“It is the rights of Muslims to self-determination … As an Islamic country, we deserve to determine, to ensure that Muslims practise the real Islam,” he said.
“(Denying that) is against the majority”s rights. That is why we have laws. Laws are to take care of the majority”s “maslahat” (benefits).”
In its weekly Friday sermon yesterday, JAKIM had claimed that there is a global liberal conspiracy to challenge the position of Islam in Malaysia and local rights groups were acting as its agents, pointing particularly towards COMANGO.
JAKIM has also frequently warned Muslims nationwide against liberalism, with an official sermon for the Aidilfitri celebration in early August warning of a conspiracy by “enemies of Islam” to manipulate them through ideas like secularism, pluralism, socialism, feminism and positivism.