“Allah is only for Muslims, that was my stand” – Harun

(The Kuala Lumpur Post) – Pas Dewan Ulama chief  Datuk Harun Taib says Vatican City ambassador to Malaysia Archbishop Joseph Marino has no business to speak on matters which may affect the sensitivity of Muslims.”

Saying Marino should be respectful over matters relating to Islam in this country, Harun added:

“He should understand that this is a Muslim country. This is a Muslim country, not a European or Christian country. His remarks are uncalled for.”

Harun said this to The Mole on Friday when asked to comment on remarks made by Marino in a news report on Thursday where he applauded the stand by the Christian Federation of Malaysia in using “Allah” in the Bible to refer to God.

A news portal reportedly quoted Joseph as saying that the Christian Federation’s arguments are “quite logical” and “acceptable.”

Commenting on the issue of usage of the word “Allah” being raised again, Harun said: “I do not know about others but my stand on this is clear.”

“Allah is only for Muslims. That was my stand then, today, and it will remain so.”

Prior to this Harun had said that the word Allah cannot be used in the Bible stating Allah is not a name of God for the Christians.

Pas had also said its decision that the usage of the word “Allah” is not allowed in Malay-language bibles is final and it will not entertain any request from its partners in Pakatan Rakyat to rescind it.

The party’s information chief Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man had said this when asked to comment if there was any possibilities that the party may change its stand on the decision following  the request from DAP chairman Karpal Singh that Pas’ Syura Council review its decision.

Late last year, the issue over the usage of the word ‘Allah’ was sparked off again when DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng urged the federal government to allow the use of the word Allah on the Bahasa Malaysia version of the Bible in his Christmas speech.

Prominent blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan wrote that Marino’s remarks will make it hard for Muslims in Malaysia to accept it, as the issue of the word “Allah” is still being disputed in the court.

“It’s going to be hard for Muslims here to swallow Marino’s declaration, especially so since the dispute is an on-going court case. While the Vatican’s first Apostolic Nuncio to Kuala Lumpur may not care too much about such trivial, surely he’d like to make sure that his statement does not divide Muslims and Catholics in Malaysia further,” Ahirudin or better known as Rocky wrote.

Meanwhile several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) had urged the government to take a stern action by expelling the diplomat for his remarks.

Muafakat Sejahtera Masyarakat Malaysia (Muafakat) president Ismail Mina when contacted asked the Home Ministry to expel the diplomat and declare him as the persona non grata.

“As a diplomat he should know better than to interfere in other country’s internal affairs.”

“Secondly, apart from violating his position, the diplomat had shown lack of respect towards the majority of Malaysians who are Muslims,” said Ismail.

“The government should take a stern action by expelling the diplomat. His remarks and presence are not welcomed if he failed to respect the country’s law and its official religion.”

Blogger Zakhir Mohamed in his latest post stated that Malay NGOs strongly condemned the remarks by Marino in his interview, and had asked him to withdraw and apologise or deny making this statement, within seven days. Failure to do that, they would demand the Government expel the diplomat.

Jati president Datuk Hasan Ali reportedly said that Marino had misused his immunity by interfering of the matters in the country.