Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dear Vladimir Vadim Kryuchkov,

If a Muslim proselytised outside a church, he might find a cold welcome. He would be legally within his rights. But he would be socially provocative.

Same goes to the Malay language edition of The Herald. Using the word “Allah” in reference to the Christian God, may be perceived as the exercise of freedom of speech and rights to practice religion. It may me theologically correct as Allah is the Arabic word for God and that Arab Christians use the word Allah when they refer to God. And indeed, it is true under the freedom of speech and freedom of religion, one should be able refer to the supreme deity any way one wants.

But the question here is not whether one can do something, but whether it is wise to do so.

Do we put peace and harmony at stake just because we can do something? Among Malays who are practically all Muslims, states the Constitution, (well most, since the conversion rate has been escalating throughout recent years) Allah refers to the Islamic Supreme Being. The attempt by The Herald to appropriate the word Allah to refer to the Christian God appeared to some Malays to be seeking to convert them away from their faith.

Using the word Allah to mean the Christian God may be theologically and legally correct, but in the context of Malaysia, it is socially provocative. In a country that is easily triggered emotionally and has a thin line between love and hatred, that can be deem to be unwise. This fiasco is no longer about freedom of speech or freedom of religion. It has become about freedom of conscience.

On the other hand, just because one is in fear, it never justify him to create fear for others. Whoever that attacked houses of worship did not understand his religion in its true meaning. And worse, when issues of faith and belief become instruments of politics, God's name turned into the toy of the devil's spawn.

So Vladimir Vadim Kryuchkov, this is what I think about all this church burning stuff.

1 comment:

Amir A said...

Rights come with Responsibilities