Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quick solution needed for the Allah word controversy

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who had recently delivered his message at the Oxford Centre of Islamic Studies' lecture said that ' violence cannot be allowed in the name of religion. No religion condones violence as a means to pursue an essentially religious objective'.

I totally agree with him.

The recent spate of firebombing and arson attacks on places of worship must therefore be condemned by all who cherish religious freedom and racial harmony. The Police should be commended for nabbing several suspects of the attacks.

According to the Bernama report, during a question and answer session, Muhyiddin had told the audience of messages he received from his non- Muslim friends from Sabah and Sarawak which said that there were Christians who felt that things would not have happened in the first place if "we, the Christians would just not use the word "Allah".

I am not surprised that there can be such reactions from Malaysians who are worried about peace and harmony in the country as a result of the shameful acts of religious extremists in attacking churches.

But some Malaysians who are Muslims and non Muslims , have asked me a very pertinent question. -- would we have faced such controversy over the use of Allah word if the Home Ministry had not banned The Herald from using the word in its publication?

Undoubtedly, the controversy and the spate of attacks on places of worship have hurt Malaysia's international image and therefore foreign direct investment into the nation.

The government must therefore seek a quick solution to the controversy.

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