Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Banned Words

The Malaysian Insider (Webpage http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/index.php/malaysia/53167-asri-urges-review-of-islamic-laws-on-banned-words-, posted February 15, 2010) is in fact, telling us how backward we really are. That’s right – only in Malaysia, can we find movies and books and even words that are banned!
Did you know that in Selangor, non-Muslims are barred from using 25 words either orally or in writing according to the Non-Islamic Religion Enactment 1988 (Control of Propagations Among Muslims)? Among the words are Allah, Firman Allah (Allah’s decree), solat (daily prayers), Rasul (prophet), mubaligh (missionary), mufti, iman (faith), Kaabah (the Holy cubicle), Qiblat (direction in which the Muslims pray), and Haji (Muslims who have done his pilgrimage),

Selangor has also banned non-Muslims from using 10 other terms such as subhanallah, insya-Allah, astaghfirullahlah, masya-Allah and Allahuakbar orally or in writing. Those found guilty of using such terms can be fined up to RM3,000 or jailed for up to two years, or both. It’s a good thing that we are so lacking in enforcement – otherwise, many non-Muslims might end up in the slammer!

Similar enactments are found in nine other states but not used in Sabah, Sarawak, Penang and the Federal Territory. Malacca, which does not have a sultan, has banned more words and phrases than most states.

Influential cleric Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has come out to ask all states to review their Islamic enactments that bar non-Muslims from using terms and words such as ‘Allah’, saying laws should be updated from time to time. It's good for him to realize that we’re living in the twenty-first century but even his simple suggestion is bound to be met with unyielding resistance from many quarters. Obviously, there are people out there who are very, very insecure...

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