Archive for April 7th, 2011

The bigotry of forbidding the use of an English word in the name of Islam

By N H Chan

In the Malaysian Insider, Tuesday, 29 March 2011, I find this article;

Mufti says Islamic law bars release of Alkitab
By Syed Mu’raz Syed Putra

Selangor Mufti Datuk Tamyes Abd Wahid said the crux of the controversy is over the use of the word “Allah” in the bible, which is forbidden to religions other than Islam, as written in 1988 state enactment on religious propagation.

I am still of the view that they [the distribution of the Bahasa Malaysia Bibles] should be blocked, as this translation that contains the translation of the word “God” to “Allah” is dangerous and confusing, especially to the young,” the senior Islamic cleric told The Malaysian Insider yesterday.

He explained that young Muslims who had shallow knowledge of religion and faith would be confused by the use of the word “Allah” by Christians, which to them meant “Allah has a son … that Allah has a wife … God is a father”. Read the rest of this entry »


Longing For A Free Mind (Part 5 of 14)

By M. Bakri Musa
Liberation Through Education

The crucial role of this second instrument – education – in liberating us from underneath our coconut shell is encapsulated in the wisdom of the Greek philosopher Epictetus (Discourses): “Only the educated are free!” Having been born a slave, Epictetus knew a thing or two about freedom besides philosophizing about it.

Teachers are liberators! Hence my high regards for them, quite apart from the fact that both my parents were teachers. Consider that as a doctor, the best that I could do is return my patients to their pre-morbid state. With a good teacher however, there is no limit to the height of achievements of her students.

As that great teacher Munshi Abdullah noted, “Antara mereka yang berguru dan mereka yang meniru, jauh beza-nya!” (Between those who are taught and those who parrot, is a vast difference!) Those who parrot would merely repeat and follow orders; those who are taught, and taught well, pave their own path. Others would then follow on that path.

The best articulation of the value of education to an individual is captured by Prameodya’s words in Bumi Manusia (This Earth of Mankind), “Seorang terpelajar harus sudah berbuat adil sejak dalam fikiran apalagi dalam perbuatan” (An educated person must be just, first in his thoughts and then in his deeds.)
Read the rest of this entry »