Free Web Counter Hits since 1 Dec 09

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Gov't slammed for allowing mosque protest

Wong Choon Mei

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7: Civil society and opposition leaders have given the thumbs-down to Home Minister Hishamuddin Hussein for allowing Muslim groups to hold a mass demonstration at the Kampung Baru mosque on Friday to protest the Allah ruling.

“I really don’t see this as an advisable move at this point in time. This is actually the time to cool things down, to encourage inter-faith and inter-communal dialogue,” Ramon Navaratnam, chairman of the Centre for Public Policy Studies, told Harakahdaily.

“To encourage this sort of strong-willed, over-zealous reaction especially when a stay of execution has already been obtained against the court ruling is incomprehensible and really not the wisest thing to do.”

Last week, the High Court had overturned a Home Ministry ban on a Christian magazine from using the word Allah to describe God in its Malay-language section. The ruling sparked a storm of protest, with the mostly Umno-backed groups threatening mass demonstrations as they believed the word Allah was exclusive to their community.

“If you do not allow the protest, it will cause a lot of emotional reaction. But if you also allow it, it might turn into a security threat,” Hishammuddin had said. “As long as it does not affect national security, we will not stop it."

An Umno manipulation

Hishammuddin, who is the cousin of Prime Minister Najib Razak, gave the go-ahead although the PM himself and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin have urged for calm. The conflicting actions of the Umno leaders in the past few days have spurred accusations of hypocrisy and that they were playing up the issue to rally political support from the Malays.

“Najib is more concerned about the name of Allah, whereas we are more concerned about what Allah wants us to do,” Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, PAS central committee member, told Harakahdaily.

“Allah wants his followers to defend the practice of spreading peace, love and harmony. To protect and preserve the brotherhood of man and not to go the way of violence and irrational behavior. We are absolutely against any move that can destabilize or harm society.”

Last August, despite widespread public urging, the government refused to give permission for an Anti-ISA demonstration. Nearly 50,000 Malaysians had then taken part in the rally to demand the abolition of the Internal Security Act, a draconian law used by the ruling elite to jail political and business rivals for indefinite periods without trial.

“We are not against peaceful demonstrations but against double standards,” PKR director of strategy Tian Chua told Harakahdaily. “Furthermore, the name of Allah should not be debated and decided on the streets. Surely, the Almighty deserves more dignity. Let us leave the issue to the ulamak and those who have the knowledge.”


Post a Comment

KOTA RAJA DAILY (EN). Design by Wpthemedesigner. Converted To Blogger Template By Anshul Tested by Blogger Templates.