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Muslim Majority Malaysia Could Ban Guru Granth Sahib Ji – The Living Guru Of The Sikhs

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The Court of Appeal ruling on the Allah issue yesterday has given wide-ranging discretionary powers to the Home Minister to make pre-emptive executive decisions, says Tony Pua.

By: Sikh24 Editors

KUALA LUMPUR (October 15, 2013)The Malaysian Court of Appeal decided this week that the government can controland banthe use of the word Allah, Arabic for God. The ruling has also given wide-ranging discretionary powers to the Home Minister to make pre-emptive executive decisions.

The judgement read by Justice Mohamed Apandi Ali stated that the Home Minister had sufficient material before him to ban Catholic weekly The Herald from using the Allah word as such usage if allowed will inevitably cause confusion within the community.

In a swoop, the court has empowered the Home Minister to make pre-emptive executive decisions to ban words or publications which he deems will cause confusion, said Petaling Jaya Utara MP and DAP National Publicity Secretary Tony Pua today.

He added that with such powers, the Home Minister will be able to rule that Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikhs Living Guru and Holy Book should be banned due to the use of the word Allah in Gurbani, the Gurus word.

Should any church in East or West Malaysia be declared illegal for the widely accepted use of the term Allah, and the court will deem itself to have no plausible reason for the High Court to interfere with the ministers decision, he said in a statement.

He pointed out that the ramifications of the Court of Appeal decision to empower the Home Minister were wide-ranging.

It is not the place of the Court of Appeal to decide who are the majority and what they want, and they certainly have no competence to do so.

It should be emphasised again that the role of the court is to determine legality and not making highly subjective moral judgments on ill-defined subjects, he said.

Deciding Religion on behalf of the church

Pua further said that the Court of Appeal judges had decided on behalf of the church on what was deemed integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity.

The court found Allah not integral to the church and hence they find no reason why the respondent is so adamant to use the name Allah in their weekly publication, he said

The court has no role in deciding what is integral or otherwise in any religion practised in Malaysia. Such a finding is completely irrelevant to a decision over the legality over the use of Allah.

Hence the court have clearly overstepped its boundaries into the realm of theological discourse, and more critically, breached the Article 3 of the Federal Constitution which allows for other religions to be practised in peace and harmony, and and Article 11 which states that every religious group has the right to manage its own affairs, he added.

He warned that the long-term impact of the Court of Appeal decision was well beyond the issue of the churchs use of Allah. This decision in regards to the Catholic Church could have a huge impact on Sikhs.

Decision must be appealed

He added that the court had given itself the power to make discretionary judgments not on the basis of the constitution and the law passed by the parliament, but by the judges own personal viewpoints and bias.

Secondly, the court trampled on the rights of the minority by endorsing the oppression by the majority as well as to give discretionary and absolute pre-emptive powers to the Home Minister for actions against anyone deemed to be wrong.

The whole argument behind the judgment is clearly unreasonable and cannot be left to stand, he said.

He said the decision must be challenged in the Federal Court not just because it affects a particular religions use of a specific term, but on the implied powers of judges as well as the executive branch of the government to make discretionary decisions and mete out punishments without legal or factual basis.

The Court of Appeal yesterday allowed an appeal from the government to bar The Herald from using the word Allah in its Bahasa Malaysia edition, overturning a 2009 High Court ruling which favoured the Christian publication.

The panel of judgesMohamed Apandi Ali, Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahimwere unanimous in their decision that there was no infringement of constitutional rights as claimed by the publishers.


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Sikhs will use Allah as it is in their holy scriptures, says Gurdwara council chief


OCTOBER 16, 2013


Jagir Singh stresses the word Allah has been used by Sikhs for more than 6 centuries. The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, October 16, 2013.

Sikhs will continue to use the word Allah in their religious practices as the word appeared numerous times in their holy scriptures, said the Malaysian Gurdwara Council president Jagir Singh.

"There is no way the word can be excluded since it is found in the Guru Granth Sahib, just like in the holy Quran for Muslims," he said, adding that Sikhs throughout the world has used the word in the past six centuries.

He said the 350,000 faithful in Malaysia can continue to use the word found in the holy scriptures despite the Court of Appeal decision on Monday when it banned the word Allah from being used in the Bahasa Malaysia section of the Catholic weekly, Herald.

The Sikh scriptures are recited during weddings and home purification ceremonies. There are some 180 gurdwara (temples) in the country, with about 10 in Sabah and Sarawak.

On Monday, a three-man bench which allowed Putrajayas appeal to reverse a High Court ruling that the Herald could use the word, said the word Allah was not an integral part of the Christian faith and practice.

The court said it saw no reason why the church was so adamant in wanting to use the word Allah.

It said such usage, if allowed, would inevitably cause confusion within the Malaysian community, and added that the welfare of an individual or group must concede to the majority community.

Jagir, who is also president of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism, said the Court of Appeal judgments covered a "wide dragnet".

"I dont know how the government and Muslim religious authorities want to enforce the court decision," he said.

He said there were already state enactments that banned non-Muslims from using the word since Islam came under the authority of state governments.

Jagir said the (Gurdwara) council was also waiting to see how the Home Ministry was going to react to the court ruling.

"But we have always maintained that nobody has a monopoly over the word from the cultural and religious perspective," he added. - October 16, 2013.


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Allah is just the name for God in SGGS Ji just as Bhagwaan, krishna, ram, etc is. It is not the same Allah that is of the vengeful, hateful and jealous islamic Quranic God Allah that sees his own supposed created non-muslims inferior to muslims.

Anyways they cant stop Sikhs using the word Allah nor can they stop Christians or other religions. They should be grateful we honour and hold the word in such high regard and respect.

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