Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest updates on news you need to know.
KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 ― Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir should have joined Muslims in demanding exclusivity over “Allah”, Perkasa Youth said today when condemning her role in a rally showing solidarity with Christians at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in Klang yesterday.
Pointing to her previous outspokenness on lesbian, bisexual, gay and trasngender issues (LGBT), the youth wing of the Malay rights group also cast aspersions over the intent of the daughter of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in joining non-Muslims yesterday in a show of support for the church that had been expected to come under protest from Muslim groups.
“Did she intend to spark another controversy or simply to seek cheap publicity and at the same time issue a statement to condemn [Selangor Islamic Religious Department]?
“As a Muslim, she should be with other Muslims to defend the name of Allah so that the sacred word would not to be used by Christians, to which Father Lawrence, editor of the Herald publication proudly asserted that the Christians will continue to use the word Allah,” Perkasa Youth chief Irwan Fahmi Ideris said in a statement today.
Irwan also said that as a Muslim and the daughter of Dr Mahathir, who has fought for Islam and is patron of Perkasa, Marina’s actions would invite suspicion from Malaysians, especially Muslims.
“I wonder where she places her faith and if she agree with non-Muslims using the word Allah.
“Perkasa Youth strongly condemns Marina Mahathir’s actions,” he said.
Yesterday, churchgoers at the Klang church were pleasantly surprised when Marina turned up along with some 20 non-Christians with flowers in hand during the Sunday morning mass, instead of protestors from Malay groups and Umno Selangor who had threatened massive protests outside Selangor churches for what they claimed was an attempt by Christians to usurp the exclusive right to calling their God “Allah”.
The planned protest failed to materialise when the groups decided instead to rally and remain at the Stadium Sultan Sulaiman.
There, Marina also said that the word “Allah” “belongs to all”.
“If we believe that God is one, then the word is for all,” she said.
Marina, who is also a member of the newly-formed National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), said the council will discuss the “Allah” issue today.
Aside from the threatened protests, the Bible Society Malaysia was also raided by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) and police on Thursday. Over 300 copies of the AlKitab Malay language bibles and Bup Kudus Iban versions were seized while two BSM officials were arrested.
Temperatures have risen of late over the so-called “Allah” row that remains unresolved four years after it shocked the nation and led to the worst religious strife in the country’s history.
The ongoing legal dispute between the government and the Catholic Church over its right to print the word “Allah” in the Herald’s Bahasa Malaysia section is still pending before the Federal Court, which is set to hear arguments from both sides on February 24 before deciding on whether it will hear an appeal by the Catholic Church.