Monday, January 21, 2013

‘Ibrahim a menace to national security’

G Vinod
 | January 21, 2013
Father Lawrence Andrew of The Herald draws attention to fact that PM Najib has okayed the use of the al-Kitab among Christians.
PETALING JAYA: Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali is a menace to national security, said Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of weekly Catholic newspaper, The Herald.
“Action must be taken against Ibrahim for fanning religious discord,” said Father Lawrence.
The Herald which enjoys a circulation of about 14,000 copies nearly lost its publishing licence for using the word ‘Allah’ as a translation for ‘God’ in its Malay language Bibles.
On Saturday, at Perkasa a convention in Penang, Ibrahim caused a stir when he urged Muslims to burn the al-Kitab (Malay-language Bibles) containing the word ‘Allah’.
His statement drew condemnation from various quarters, with civil rights lawyer Syahredzan Johan calling for Ibrahim to be investigated under the Penal Code and the Sedition Act.
Father Lawrence said that Article 11 of the Federal Constitution guarantees the freedom of worship to all Malaysians and how they managed their respective religious affairs.
“And the use of the al-Kitab (Bible) is protected under the Constitution.What Ibrahim said goes against the highest law of the land,” he said.
Ibrahim is not above the Cabinet
Father Andrew added that even Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, via a letter in 2011, had okayed Christians to use the al-Kitab, after a meeting with the Cabinet.
“Najib is clear about it. Ibrahim is not higher than the Cabinet,” said Father Andrew.
Mar Thoma-Syrian Church of Malaysia’s senior priest Thomas Phillips said that it was sad and disgusting for someone to call for the burning of another’s religious scripture.
“If you’re not happy with something, hold dialogues instead of creating fear and animosity,” said Phillips.
He urged the authorities to look into the matter as his comments does not bode well for the government’s image.
“But Malaysians are fair minded people and I believe that good sense will prevail,” said Phillips.
Whether he would lodge a police report on the matter, Phillips said: “We learn to forgive people. Some say things out of ignorance. We’ll tell our members to be patient.”

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