Marino’s apology is not enough 

(Bernama) – The Selangor Islamic Religious Council want Archbishop Joseph Marino expelled and tough action taken against any Muslim or non-Muslim who insulted Islam.

It appears that an apology from the Vatican’s envoy to Malaysia is simply not enough for the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS).
MAIS said Archbishop Joseph Marino’s  comment  over the use of the word “Allah” by Christians in Malaysia was tantamount to contempt of the rule of law assented to by the Malay rulers.
Its chairman Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa, said Marino, had incurred the anger of Muslims at a time when they were observing the Ramadan fast.
Mais is most disappointed that the issue of the use of the word “Allah” had been assumed to be trivial by certain quarters, so much so that it cropped up every year, he said in a statement.
Mohamad Adzib said the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, had emphasised repeatedly in 2009 and 2010 and, most recently, on Jan 6 this year that the word “Allah” could not be used in the state by non-Muslims.
“In fact, the sultan had expressed disappointment over the practice of some non-Muslim individuals who had insulted the sanctity of Islam in the country,” he said.
Mohamad Adzib urged relevant authorities such as the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais), the police and the Home Ministry to act firmly against any Muslim or non-Muslim individual who intentionally insulted the sanctity of Islam, the religion of the federation according to Article 3 of the Federal Constitution.
This was because the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims, by associating the word with other entities, was clearly in violation of Islamic law, he said.

Fatwas issued
He said that the “fatwa” (edict) gazetted in Selangor on Feb 18, 2010, and the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988 had been in force for some time.
However, they seemed to have little significance among a handful of non-Muslims towards the sensitivities of Muslims in the country despite the legislation being in force in almost all states in peninsular Malaysia, he said.
“Mais fully supports the statements and commentaries made by religious experts and scholars in the media, such as Johor Islamic Religious Council advisor Noh Gadut, Muslim Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim) vice-president Nakhaie Ahmad and Negeri Sembilan Mufti  Mohd Yusof Ahmad as well as several others who censured the actions associated with the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims.
“Mais urges more religious experts and scholars, regardless of political background, to come forward to express their objection and criticise the misuse of the holy word,” he said.
He also said that Mais backed the call by Islamic NGOs to the Foreign Ministry to expel the Vatican’s ambassador to Malaysia for having made what he described as an irresponsible statement.
Marino has apologised for the misunderstandings and inconveniences that his comments might have caused and said it was never his intention to meddle in the internal affairs of the country.
Foreign Minister Anifah Aman had summoned Marino to Wisma Putra and advised him to be mindful of the religious sensitivities of the country and also informed him that the issue he had commented on was pending hearing at the Court of Appeal.

Maintain harmony
Meanwhile Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department  Joseph Kurup said he hoped with Marino’s apology the issue is regarded as settled.
Kurup, who is the federal minister responsible for unity and national integration, thanked all quarters who had extended cooperation and shown a high level of enthusiasm in handling the issue.
“I urge all quarters to work together to consolidate unity and enhance understanding through discussion and mutual understanding to maintain harmony in the country,” he said in a statement.

Kurup urged for the issue to be left to be decided by the courts.