#AceWorldNews (Exclusive) – Opinion – South East Asia News – September 18
For long, Malaysia has been a multi-religious country where most people can adhere to their own religion even though Islam is the official religion. A state with a history of its diverse faith followers that lived in peace with each other. However, recent years have seen a drastic rise in growing intolerance towards the religious and ethnic minorities.
In recent developments, are the infamous Malay Court Ban limiting the use of the Arabic word Allah for Muslims “ONLY.”
The country has come under fire for its systematic evidence of targeting Christian community; the church burnings, grave desecration and the seizure of 300 Bibles. This Bible raid was justified under the Court ruling as it contained the word Allah. Come again.
When one thinks that the word Allah has been used by Malaysians for over 600 years and the name Allah was used in the Gospel printed in Malaysian 400 years ago, we can better comprehend the senselessness and impropriety of this prohibition. Ridiculous:.
The followers of Christ in the Arabian Peninsula, including some 12 million followers of Christianity are using the word Allah without any qualms or statutory rulings.
So why and what is wrong in Malaysian Christians using the word Allah?
The Koran itself is very clear on this subject, by affirming that Muslims should say to Jews and Christians that “our God and your God is one”.
However, many Malay Muslims have a rigid and schematic view of Islam. The challenge is to “educate the masses” and to promote religious freedom. Moreover, the government says Allah should be reserved exclusively for Muslims — who make up nearly two-thirds of the country’s 29 million people — because if other religions use it that could confuse Muslims and lead them to convert.
For crying out loud, is this really happening?
“The Allah ban is a direct result of our failure in Nation Building as a peoples. Everyone is responsible for it and everyone should play a role in the reconciliation process. We will have to look back as a nation and ask where did we go wrong. Then from there, we will need to find new creative ways to bridge the cross cultural gaps that led to this point,” says Malaysian human rights defender and Director, Dignity International (an international human rights based organization) Adrian Periera.
On-ground human rights groups have joined hands with Malaysian Catholics in campaigning against this ruling. One good that came out of this inanity, is the renewal of the Malaysians spirit that is seen into coming together as a united force. Needless, the Malays Catholics don’t find themselves alone in this battle and can count on the support of Muslim groups.
Organizations like Sisters in Islam (SIS) and the Front for Islamic revival (IRF) have launched initiatives on social networks to promote accurate information removed from the ideology and propaganda of the government and extremist movements.
“God, what is your religion?” This cryptic question, spotted on a T-shirt worn by a Malay Muslim woman demonstrator in a public protest for expressing solidarity with minority Christians over who can use the term ‘Allah’.
This debate has crossed national borders and sparked a debate among Muslims around the world.
In Pakistan, the English daily newspaper Daily Times questioned the ruling, asking why Malaysia would deny people of other faiths to “own God in all His attributes”. Similarly a newspaper in the United Arab Emirates called the court ruling “wrong”, and said the word Allah was never exclusive to Islam but used by both Christians and Jews to refer to God even before the advent of Islam.
“So. My God is not your God. And your God is not mine”
Is this making sense to any sane person within Malaysia and elsewhere? I guess not.
Reza Aslam, Muslim Academic writer said that the world was “laughing” at Malaysia over the court ruling that he described as a political decision more than anything else. “That you can control people’s ideas, their behavior, their faith and their minds simply by trying to control the words that they use, is absurd. It is an embarrassment to a modern, constitutional, democratic and deeply Muslim state like Malaysia,” said the religious scholar.
Indeed, congratulations to Malaysia being the first country to ban God’s name and to limit God to themselves.
Ace Related News:
On Sunday, Matthew Todd Miller, 24 was convicted of espionage.
The US has requested Pyongyang to pardon both Miller, who was sentenced to six years hard labour by the Supreme Court, and Kenneth Bae, 46, a Korean-American Christian missionary who has been held since November 2012 and is serving a 15-year sentence.
Also, Jeffrey Fowle, 56, is awaiting trial for “hostile acts” against the state.
Both Miller and Fowle were detained in April.
The US wants Pyongyang to grant amnesty to all three.
#AceWorldNews – SYRIA (Hama) – September 12 – Syrian government troops have captured the town of Halfaya in central Hama province that has changed hands several times during the war, AP said, citing the military and activists.
By retaking the key town, troops will be better positioned to defend nearby Christian and Allawite communities that support President Bashar Assad.
The army command said that the current offensive aims “to wipe out terrorists in northern parts of Hama.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Halfaya was captured by the army on Thursday.
#AceNewsServices – SUDAN – May 27 – A Sudanese woman awaiting the death penalty for abandoning her religious faith has given birth in jail near the capital, Khartoum, her lawyer has said.
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag married a Christian man and was sentenced to hang for apostasy earlier this month after refusing to renounce Christianity.
She is allowed to nurse her baby girl for two years before the sentence is carried out.
Born to a Muslim father, she was convicted by a Sharia court.
Sudan has a majority Muslim population, which is governed by Islamic law.
Ms Ibrahim was also convicted of adultery on the grounds that her marriage to a Christian man from South Sudan was void under Sudan’s version of Islamic law, which says Muslim women cannot marry non-Muslims.
For this the judge sentenced her to 100 lashes, which will reportedly be carried out when she has recovered from giving birth.
Ms Ibrahim was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, because her father, a Muslim, was reportedly absent during her childhood.
Amnesty International Reported:
That she was arrested and charged with adultery in August 2013, and the court added the charge of apostasy in February 2014 when she said she was a Christian and not a Muslim.
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, a 27-year- old Christian Sudanese woman, eight months pregnant with her second child, was convicted of ‘adultery’ and ‘apostasy’ by a court in Khartoum on 11 May. Meriam has been given three days by the court to recant her faith.
Her next hearing will be held on 15 May, when she is likely to be sentenced to flogging and death.
Treating adultery and apostasy as criminal offences is not consistent with international human rights law – including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – to which Sudan is a state party. The criminalization of adultery violates the rights to freedom of expression and association and invariably discriminates against women in its enforcement.
The criminalization of apostasy is incompatible with the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Meriam Ibrahim is a prisoner of conscience, convicted solely because of her religious beliefs and identity, and must be released immediately and unconditionally.
Meriam was arrested and charged with adultery in August 2013 after a family member reportedly claimed that she was committing adultery because of her marriage to a Christian South Sudanese man.
Under Shari’a law as practised in Sudan, a Muslim woman is not permitted to marry a non-Muslim man, and any such marriage is considered adultery.
The court added the charge of apostasy in February 2014 when Meriam asserted that she was a Christian and not a Muslim. According to Meriam, she was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, because her father, a Muslim, was absent during her childhood.
Meriam risks being sentenced to up to 100 lashes for adultery under Article 146.
If she refuses to recant her Christian faith, she risks the death penalty for apostasy under Article 126 of the Sudan Criminal Code.
The punishment of flogging violates the absolute prohibition against torture and other ill-treatment in international human rights law.
Amnesty International considers the death penalty to be the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and a violation of the right to life and opposes its use in all cases and without exception, regardless of the nature of the crime.
Reuters – AP – AFP – Amnesty International
#AceNewsServices – NIGERIA – May 06 – A Report on the abduction of the 276 girls from the school in Chibok and one girls account as it happened.
The girls in the school dorm heard the sound of gunshots from a nearby town. So when armed men in uniforms burst in and promised to rescue them, at first they were relieved.
“Don’t worry, we’re soldiers,” one 16-year-old girl recalls them saying. “Nothing is going to happen to you.”
The gunmen commanded the hundreds of students at the Chibok Government Girls Secondary School to gather outside.
The men went into a storeroom and removed all the food.
Then they set fire to the room.
“They … started shouting, ‘Allahu Akhbar,’ (God is great),” the 16-year-old student said. “And we knew.”
What they knew was chilling: The men were not government soldiers at all. They were members of the ruthless Islamic extremist group called Boko Haram.
They kidnapped the entire group of girls and drove them away in pick-up trucks into the dense forest.
The 16-year-old was among about 50 students who escaped on that fateful day, and she spoke for the first time in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
The AP also interviewed about 30 others, including Nigerian government and Borno state officials, school officials, six relatives of the missing girls, civil society leaders and politicians in north-east Nigeria and soldiers in the war zone.
Many spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing that giving their names would also reveal the girls’ identities and subject them to possible stigmatization in this conservative society.
Like all schools in Borno state, Chibok, an elite academy of both Muslim and Christian girls, had been closed because of increasingly deadly attacks by Boko Haram.
But it had reopened to allow final-year students to take exams.
Ace Related News :
1. AL-Arabiya – May 06 – http://tinyurl.com/k7jhh2g
#AceWorldNews – May 02 – JERUSALEM – A visit to Israeli-occupied Jerusalem by the patriarch of the Lebanon-based Maronite church to greet Pope Francis would be a “historic sin,” a leading secular newspaper said Saturday.
Patriarch Beshara al-Rai, whose church is the largest Christian denomination in Lebanon, told AFP on Friday he would travel to the Holy Land to welcome the pontiff during his brief May 24-26 visit.
In doing so, he would be the first patriarch to do so since the 1948 Nakba.
In response, the leading Arab nationalist daily As-Safir ran a critical piece headlined “Historic sin: Rai goes to Israel.”
#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN – April – Britain is now a “post-Christian” country, former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has said.
Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Lord Williams said Britain was not a nation of believers and that the era of widespread worship was over.
It comes after Prime Minister David Cameron said people in Britain should be confident of its status as “a Christian country”.
Deputy PM Nick Clegg said the Church and state should be separated.
Writing in the Church Times, Mr Cameron said Christians made a difference to people’s lives and should be more evangelical about it.
This prompted a group of 50 public figures to write a letter insisting that the UK was “a non-religious” and “plural” society and that to claim otherwise fostered “alienation and division”.
(Telegraph) April 26 – Britain is now a “post-Christian” country, the former archbishop of Canterbury has declared, as research suggests that the majority of Anglicans and Roman Catholics now feel afraid to express their beliefs.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Lord Williams of Oystermouth says Britain is no longer “a nation of believers” and that a further decline in the sway of the Church is likely in the years ahead.
While the country is not populated exclusively by atheists, the former archbishop warns that the era of regular and widespread worship is over.
In writing in the (Telegraph) on April 20 – SIR – We respect the Prime Minister’s right to his religious beliefs and the fact that they necessarily affect his own life as a politician. However, we object to his characterisation of Britain as a “Christian country” and the negative consequences for politics and society that this engenders.
Apart from in the narrow constitutional sense that we continue to have an established Church, Britain is not a “Christian country”.
Repeated surveys, polls and studies show that most of us as individuals are not Christian in our beliefs or our religious identities.
Ace Related News:
1. April 27 – BBC News – http://tinyurl.com/kqkjhp3
2. April 26 – Telegraph – http://tinyurl.com/k9llrgg
3 April 20 – Telegraph – http://tinyurl.com/mustt8g
#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – April 20 – Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill has urged all Christians of the Russian Orthodox Church to pray hard for peace in Ukraine in these Easter days.
“Today, we should pray for the people of Russia and Ukraine in particular; let’s pray that peace be restored in the minds and hearts of our brothers and sisters in blood and faith and that the lost ties and cooperation which we all need so much also be restored,” the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said in his Easter message.
The patriarch said that the Russian Orthodox Church like all Christianity in general united people irrespective of national, cultural and state borders because the light of Christ’s teaching enlightened everybody.
#AceWorldNews – ROME – April 20 – Pope Francis has delivered a passionate plea for peace in his first Easter Sunday message since being elected.
Francis used his “Urbi et Orbi” address to call for peace in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and across the globe.
He singled out “dear Syria”, saying: “How much blood has been shed! And how much suffering must there still be before a political solution is found?”
Easter is the most important festival in the Christian calendar and pilgrims have attended church across the world.
In Iraq, Catholics flocked to churches amid tight security. Some 200 worshippers celebrated Mass at St Joseph Chaldean Church in Baghdad
In South Africa, many congregations included ailing former President Nelson Mandela in their prayers
In a message for Easter.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron praised the “incredible role” played by Christian churches and organisations in Britain and around the globe.
Vatican – BBC – News Services Worldwide
#AceWorldNews – PAKISTAN – April 05 – (DWN) – A Court in eastern Pakistan has sentenced a Christian couple to death and according have fined them Rs100,000 each, for sending a blasphemous text message and insulting the Prophet Mohammed under Section 25C, their lawyer said Saturday.
Judge Mian Amir Habib handed the death sentence to Shafqat Emmanuel and Shagufta Kausar in a jail in the town of Toba Tek Singh on Friday, defence lawyer Nadeem Hassan told AFP.
Prosecution department officials confirmed the sentence.
#AceWorldNews – MALAYA – April 05 – Malaysian authorities have banned the Hollywood movie “Noah,” slamming it for depicting a prophet, which is forbidden in Islamic countries.
“I can confirm that it has been banned by the board, the movie could cause quite a lot of anger and distress if it is shown in Malaysia,” said the Malaysian home ministry’s Film Censorship Board unit chairman Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid, according to The Malay Mail On-line. Muslims make up 60 percent of Malaysia’s population.
Numerous Muslim groups worldwide have already condemned the film, while Christian authorities also slammed the movie’s main protagonist Noah, played by Russell Crowe, saying that he was too unconventional. Noah is regarded as an important figure in both Christianity and Islam.
#AceWorldNews – ISRAEL – April 03 – (Arutz Sheva – INN) – Arab village in the Galilee has been targeted in a suspected “price-tag” incident, according to police.
Around 40 cars had their tires slashed in the predominantly Christian village of Jish, in northern Israel, which lies some 25 kilometres (15 miles) north of the Sea of Galilee, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said Thursday morning.
“This morning in Jish, it was discovered that almost 40 vehicles had had their tyres slashed,” she told AFP, saying police had opened an investigation.
Written in Hebrew on a nearby wall were the words: “Only Gentiles (non-Jews) should be removed from our land,” she said, in an apparent reference to ongoing efforts to ethnically-cleanse Jews from parts of Judea and Samaria.
“Price tag” is a euphemism for politically-motivated vandalism and criminal damage usually attributed to Jewish extremists, carried out either in revenge for Arab terrorist attacks, or in protest of Israeli government policies such as the destruction of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria.
#AceWorldNews – AFRICA – March 31 – Chadian troops reportedly opened fire and killed at least 24 people in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, local officials says (BBC)
The attack was by a Christian militia, in a Christian neighbourhood in northern Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), an officer with the African peacekeeping force MISCA who requested anonymity told AFP.
The CAR has been hit by civil war since Seleka rebels ousted President Francoise Bozize in March 2013.
Despite 6,000 African Union and 2,000 French peacekeepers, violence has continued unabated. Around a quarter of the country’s 4.6 million people have fled their homes.
The Chadian forces are not part of the African Union peacekeeping force and were in CAR to help Chadian nationals evacuate the country.
#AceWorldNews says latest reports indicate that at least 106 people have been massacred in a Nigerian village, the country’s senator Ali Ndume told AFP, blaming the attack on Boko Haram militants.
The politician added that 60 of those killed have been buried. Witnesses say that some 200 people dressed in military uniform came at around 20:30 GMT in motorcycles and six trucks.
Locals were asked to assemble when alleged Boko Haram members started hacking and slaughtering the mostly Christian village. Boko Haram is seeking to impose Shariah law in Africa’s top oil producer.
#AceWorldNews says a senior UN humanitarian official warned on Thursday of the risk of genocide in Central African Republic. The country descended into chaos last year after a Muslim rebel coalition, Séléka, seized power. A wave of killings and looting in turn sparked revenge attacks by the “anti-balaka” Christian militia. The crisis was foreseen, avoidable and produced by the international community’s neglect over many years, Reuters quoted John Ging, director of operations for the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, as saying. Without a massive scaling up in the international response to the crisis, a genocide is possible, the official said.
PLEASE BE AWARE THESE VIDEOS SHOCK AND SHOULD BE VIEWED ACCORDINGLY
- Syrian Christians Arming For War Against Obama Allies (youviewed.com)
- Christians Raise Arms To Fight Holy War Against Muslims (patriotnetdaily.com)
- SYRIA – “In Sadad, The largest Massacre Of Christians In Syria” (voiceofthepersecuted.wordpress.com)
- Survivors Recount Horrors in Aramaic-Speaking Syrian Town (02varvara.wordpress.com)