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Name: modgurl
Location: Singapore

New mom. New woman. Born in Singapore. Raised in the World Wide Web.
Monday, January 11, 2010 @ 10:40 pm

Dear Blogger,

I find it amazing and ridiculous that a word, or to be exact, the understanding and exclusive use of the word, can and may divide a country. You know what I'm referring to. Granted that religion has always been a sensitive issue but who or what can use a terminology is a tad immature.

I'm the first to admit that I've a lot to learn about Islam so what I'm about to write further are just my and only my opinions on this issue that has affected me every time I read about it in the dailies. I'm sure there are many other moderate Muslims in the region who are affected by this too.

Firstly, I agree with the Malaysian High Court ruling to allow the use of "Allah" by the Catholics because this term has been used to refer to God since pre-Islamic times. It's been used by the people of Abrahamic faith for centuries. If referring to semantics alone, "Allah" is just one of the many names for God.

Secondly, I strongly believe the controversy was ignited with political intent. I'm getting sick of religion being used as an excuse for personal gains. It doesn't even have to be just Islam! We've seen Christian values being used to garner votes for the US presidential elections and even for the next American Idol. Can anyone remember any edgy, alternative American Idol? Religious manipulation has long been used by politicians so why change now?

Now that Christian churches in Malaysia are under attack by blind fanatical dimwits, suddenly there's a surge of high-level politicians flocking to these churches to offer support and community service. These are the same politicians who just last week expressed their opposition to the High Court's ruling. These are the same politicians who allowed planned protests to be carried out in mosques all over the country after the Friday prayers.

Funnily enough, the turnout for these protests were significantly or insignificantly small. When will these people learn that the majority of citizens are tired of these petty protests and want more of these effort and resources put into the country's economic development?

I am not Malaysian, so why am I bothered by this event? It's because I'm Muslim and Malay. Not Malaysian Malay but Singaporean Malay. Internally, there has been a lot of flak about Malays being less successful in education and economics. Social delinquencies are also highest among the Malays. So with Malaysia behaving the way it is, it's not helping other Malays with its looked-down-upon image.

Being a Muslim too can be dangerously inconvenient in some countries. To the unknowledgeable, Islam is a terrorist religion. I'm greatly offended by that. No religion was born out of terrorism and none is inspired by it. So to have a so-called Islamic state who prides and sells itself as a multi-cultural and multi-religious country to be torn apart by something as petty as who gets the exclusive rights to the use of "Allah" is just offensive and belittling to other Muslims.

Our faith in God is not confined to bricks of walls nor names. Our belief is not as fickle and fragile as that.


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