Sunday, January 04, 2009

Oppose BN ban on Malay Christian publication

I think the governmental prohibition of the Malay-language section of the Catholic periodical Herald warrants principled challenge as well as determined opposition not only from Catholics, but also peoples of all other religions and also belief-systems, including progressive Muslims in Malaysia who strive for multi-ethnic and multi-religious acceptance of the Malay language as a non-communal lingua franca in our nation.

Muslims cannot write about Islam in English ?


Blogger Monsterball said...

At one level it is a tit-for-tat against the Herald continuing to pursue the issue of using "Allah" in its Malay edition, through the courts.

At another level, there is unfortunately a deep seated suspicion among part of the Muslim community against any Christian religious material written in Malay. It is taken as an attempt at proselytising Christianity among Muslims, ignoring the basic fact that there are many bumiputras in East Malaysia who are Christians, who are mainly literate in Malay.

I'm not sure how that deep mistrust has come about, as there is really no history of any systematic attempt to spread Christianity among Muslims in this country, even going back to British colonial days. Many thousands of Muslim pupils have studied in Catholic mission schools, with no evidence at all that it affected their Muslim belief.

Its a different story with the Dutch in the former Netherlands East Indies, but that's a separate case.

9:11 PM  
Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

Happy New Year.

1. Besides the non-Malay bumiputras in Sabah and Sarawak, there is also the younger generations of Chinese and Indians whose command of Bahasa Malaysia is more fluent than English, Chinese or Tamil. So, blocking Christian messages from being transmitted in the Bahasa Malaysia system also infringe the right of non-Malays to freedom of religion;

2. Malays are, first and foremost, human beings like Britons, French, Russia, Chinese, Indian and others but it seems that the Mslays in Malaysia is the only ethnic group which does not enjoy the freedom of religion or belief. Correct me if I am wrong on this point.

2:35 AM  
Blogger Monsterball said...

Just last month, a retired judge emphasised that there is no such thing as religious freedom for Muslims in this country.

That they are not free to leave is well known. They are also not free to choose what they want to follow. Increasingly, many things which used to be personal choice, perhaps encouraged or frowned upon, are now either "compulsory" or "forbidden".

Not only that, many Muslims in this country think it is forbidden to read About other religions. Because it may weaken their "Aqidah". So over time, in this multi-racial, multi-religious country, the majority population knows less and less about other religions.

You can often see very unfortunate cases of sheer religious insensitivity in the actions of government officials.

A Sekolah Kebangsaan near my home held a function where the main dish for lunch was beef curry. They had teachers, parents and pupils from various other religions. Hindus don't take beef, and that's also the case for many Chinese. Some politely joined in and just took the rice and vegetables, some completely skipped lunch.

It wasn't a deliberate action - I think it was just ignorance.

12:35 AM  
Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

Thank you for raising a very important point. I am going to write it in a separate entry.

2:01 AM  
Blogger James Wong Wing-On said...

You see, true Muslims whose faith is genuine and strong are so much different:

8:19 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

How about the TV2 program on teachings of islam which is in Chinese/Mandarin language ? Isn't it double standards by BN government ?

9:41 PM  

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