By Haraka Daily
After a special meeting to discuss a recent controversial court ruling, PAS has decided to reiterate its stand that the use of the word Allah by Christians was not against Islam and in accordance with the federal constitution which guarantees religious freedom.
“As a responsible Islamic body, PAS is ready to explain this issue to all parties in order to ensure a harmonious environment that is based on the principles of fairness such as is guaranteed in the constitution and by Islam itself,” PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang said in a statement issued after a three-hour long discussion.
He also called on all parties not to politicise the matter as this could threaten the peace among the different religious groups in the country.
“We would like to state that based on Islamic principles, the use of the word Allah by the people of the Abrahamic faiths such as Christianity and Judaism, is acceptable,” Hadi said. “PAS strongly objects to any aggressive and provocative approach that can lead to tension in society.”
He was referring to the emotional outbursts from some Umno-back NGOs, who have threatened to hold mass demonstrations at mosques throughout the country if a recent landmark court decision was not reversed. A slew of Umno leaders including Jerlun MP Mukhriz Mahathir, Wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and former Selangor mentri besar Khir Toyo have led the storm of protests, condemning the ruling as an ominous development for Muslims and Malays.
But do not misuse or abuse
In a bid to appease these groups, Prime Minister Najib Razak has promised to appeal last week’s High Court decision overturning a Home Ministry’s ban on a Chistrian magazine the Herald – to use Allah to describe God in its Malay language section. The appeal was filed on Monday.
On Sunday, PAS spiritual adviser Nik Aziz Nik Mat had told reporters that the word Allah was not exclusive to Muslims and it was acceptable for non-Muslims to say and use it. However, he was worried there might be abuse in its usage and invited Christian leaders to a meeting to sort out these concerns.
Hadi again stressed the usage of Allah must not be misused or abused or it will affect racial and religious harmony in the country.
Also present at Monday’s meeting of the political bureau, which was also attended by central committee members, were deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, vice presidents Salahudin Ayub and Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, secretary-general Mustafa Ali and head of women’s wingUstazah Nuridah Salleh.