Spat breaks out at sidelines of Allah hearing

siti kasim

( – The heat wave is not the only cause for temperatures to rise outside of the Palace of Justice (POJ) today, when the “Allah” hearing caused a spat to break out between two individuals who carried polar beliefs of what Islam is truly about.

Concerned citizen Siti Kassim was speaking to reporters outside the courthouse and voiced out her opinion that the gathered Malay Muslims led by Perkasa and other extremist NGOs to “protect” the word Allah from being used by non-Muslims were not representative of the other Malay Muslims in the country.

“I am here, along with a few other individuals to give out flowers as a symbol of peace which is reflective of Islam. We are not here to antagonise but just like these fellows out here, we have a right to express our opinion as well,” said Siti who was leading a group of more than 20 individuals from all ethnicities.

She pointed to her t-shirt which has the words: “Allah hu rabbi al amin” (Allah is the universal God) and stated that this is the true meaning of Islam, where Allah belongs to all.

“I would like to call out to all Malay Muslims, don’t let these people taint your akidah. Read the Quran and if you have your beliefs, don’t be afraid to speak up and voice it out. It’s time we, the unrepresented Malays, represent ourselves,” said Siti.

In the middle of her explanation on the meaning of “akidah” (faith), she was interrupted by an unnamed Egyptian chap who asked her what her interpretation of akidah is, to which she replied that she was not there to give out lectures but to show support for the Christians.

She was then immediately interrupted by Persatuan Muka Buku Penang (Penang Book Cover Association) chairman Salleh Ismail who blasted her in public, accusing her of “offending” and “provoking” the gathered protesters who easily numbered nearly a thousand.

“You say you are not here to antagonise anyone but your words and actions are very provoking and offensive. What is your understanding of akidah? You tell me now,” he questioned aggressively.

Siti then tried to calm Salleh down and handed him a flower while he tried to refuse her gift.

Calling him brother, Siti then tried to explain her position before the spat was broken up by the police, who quickly ushered Siti into the courthouse while taking an agitated Salleh to one side.

“She’s a murtad. She’s already a murtad,” said the 34 year old Salleh who arrived here this morning at 5.30am via bus.

Murtad is a Muslim term for an apostate.

Later, Siti told that she expected that kind of behaviour from the NGOs supporting the call that Allah cannot be used by non-Muslims in Malaysia.

“Of course I expected it. They need to learn to take a chill pill. It seemed today carrying flowers is more dangerous than carrying weapons. People fear flowers more than weapons.

“As for him calling me a murtad, only Allah knows my faith. And if his claims, that I am murtad are published, I believe I can sue him for slander or defamation. But I need to check on the legalities of it all,” said Siti.

Salleh was also seen verbally challenging and arguing with another concerned Christian Chinese citizen, who only wished to be known as Joe, over the history and usage of “Allah” throughout the world.

Joe, who was quietly conversing with an elderly Malay gentleman, said he was rudely interrupted by Salleh, who started giving his opinion on the word Allah.

The trio attracted a big crowd, including members of the media and was finally broken up by the police.

When approached, Joe said: “I was merely talking to the elderly Malay man and  discussing intellectually on the history of the word Allah. The Eastern Church, who speak Aramaic, call Allah – El, but pronounced as Al.

“The original context in Hebrew is Elohim, but their pronunciation of the word is Alohim. And this has been used by the Old Testament which is more than 2,000 years old and the Eastern Church has used it for more than 1,900 years.

“Al-Kitab has been using the word for at least 300 years,” said Joe.

Elohim is the Hebrew term for the Arabic Illahi.

Salleh on the other hand maintained that in Egypt they are “allowed” to use the word Allah because Arabic is the spoken language there whereas here, the spoken language is Bahasa Melayu.

“It’s a matter of language and geography. We speak Malay. We don’t speak Arabic,” he said.