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Where is Malaysia’s imam Mazhar Shaheen?

Mon 2013-Jan-14 @ MYT 09:00:10 am

A standing ovation and thunderous applause greeted the preacher of Egypt’s Tahrir Square, Dr. Mazhar Shaheen, when he joined Coptic Christians in celebrating Christmas last Monday at the nearby Qasr al-Dobara Church, and delivered a stirring message of brotherhood and unity in the face of Islamist pressures threatening Christian-Muslim relations. [VIDEO]

(Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan 7, following the calendar of the Eastern churches.)

Addressing the congregation at the invitation of Samih Morees, his friend and confidante and pastor of the church, imam Mazhar Shaheen spoke of how all Egyptians carried out the Tahrir Square revolution of 2011, and the 18 days from Jan 25 to Feb 11 when millions of Egyptians rose in a people’s revolution to overthrow the dictatorship of Hosni Mobarak.

But the revolution led to the rise of an Islamist president (who did not attend Christmas celebrations) and of the hardline Muslim Brotherhood movement, and to declarations that wishing Christians a Merry Christmas was haram and forbidden, and Christians were condemned for protests against the president.

PAS  Non-Muslims can't use 'Allah' for 'God' - Malaysiakini-121405

Post-revolution politics and Islamist pressures have placed the centuries-old tolerance and understanding between Muslims and Christians under great strain and imam Mazhar’s message of love comes in sharp contrast to the rising voices of hate. (» Christmas Confusion as Copts Experience “Other” Egypt — commentary by the Brookings Insitution.

Mazhar Shaheen’s message is bound to resonate with Malaysian Christians and other non-Muslim communities feeling marginalised by the campaign for racial and Islamic superiority and domination.

In Malaysia, official Christmas festivities have become a political gimmick, celebrating Santa Claus, reindeer and snow and not the Nativity, with a political leadership afraid to be seen next to crosses and other signs of Christian worship — and also accompanied by devout declarations that it is haram to wish Christians a Merry Christmas.

And then there is the racist campaign for superiority and domination by claiming exclusive ownership of the word for God.

Jan 13: » Sikhs ‘banned’ from using the word ‘Allah’ A web site in Vancouver for the South Asian diaspora

Jan 13: » Tunku Aziz: Don’t politicize “Allah” — a comment by a DAP renegade now part of the Najib Razak-Barisan Nasional fan club

Jan 10: Christians Banned From Using Word ‘Allah’ in Arabic by New Fatwa in Malaysia — the Christian Post on the edict by the Selangor Sultan

Jan 10: » “Allah” Royal Decree Inflames Malaysia — The Cairo web site On Islam, quoting Free Malaysia Today

Jan 9: » CFM: Christians have constitutional right to use ‘Allah’ — the Christian community asserting its rights

Jan 8: » Can Christians Say ‘Allah’? In Malaysia, Muslims Say No — Time magazine interviews a Malaysian who believes “Allah is the Muslim God and belongs to Muslims”

Jan 3: » Convert to Islam for using word “Allah”: Malaysian Mufti to Christians — The UK-based Islam Online quoting Barisan Nasional’s favourite mufti

Three years ago…

• Jan 3, 2010: » PAS backs use of Allah by Christians — Malaysia Today quoting the Malaysian Insider
• Jan 30, 2010: » The Christians who call God ‘Allah’ — commentary in the Daily Telegraph. Quote:
“The implicit thinking (among Malaysian Muslims) seems to be that Allah is the name of God used in the Koran, and that the God worshipped by Christians is a false god. …The clinching argument against such an assumption is that Christians explicitly worship the God of Abraham. They worship the same God that Jews worship. … The problem in Malaysia has erupted among people who do not use Arabic as their first language. No such misunderstanding would be possible between Arabic-speaking Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians, for whom the only word for God is Allah.”

Is there anywhere in Malaysia an imam like Mazhar Shaheen?

As-salāmu ʿalaykum السلام عليكم, Gloria in excelsis Deo
 

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3 Comments
  1. KL Le permalink
    Mon 2013-Jan-14 @ MYT 11:52:02 am 11:52

    What’s wrong with our society ?? Had it gone to that stage of intolerance where even our leaders are afraid of attending a celebration they thought may have a repercussion…??

  2. Shadaan permalink
    Tue 2013-Jan-15 @ MYT 05:03:11 am 05:03

    Inter religious harmony is temporary or done for political reasons. These people who live their lives with religious ideology have images with them and their images do not agree with the images of people with other religious. Hpow could one trust these people. Religious organizations throughout the world have done a great deal of harm, there has been religious wars, endless prosecutions, tortures, burning people especially in the west, forceful conversions, trickery, violence and the list goes on. They try and dominate other people’s lives as if they are approved agents of the creator. Their version of God is here say and they provide absolutely no proof of any kind. If one looks at the world with all his five senses one will see that there is and has been a great deal of suffering in the world since the dawn of mankind. The suffering has been there with us all the time although religion has tried to explain this but their explanations have all been futile. Instead of bringing relief they add to human suffering by dividing us. There are five major organized religions with a different version of God. Does this confusion tell you something about their lives? They live in the past and project their future with their ideology and we fail to live in the present. “What is” has no place in this world but it is always “what was” and “what should have been”. They are also arguing about the use of the world Allah. If Allah is a word then it obviously cannot be the creator God because it is only a word. The word is not God either God must be beyond the word. Also note that it does not matter if the word Allah is used by Muslims of non- Muslims because there is no God in their places of worship if he exist in this places of worship there would be love and compassion and we would all be happy. They preach that there is God who gives us happiness and they are in contact with this God but what we have is suffering and selfishness on earth. Looks like truth is different from the reality we live in.

  3. KL Lee permalink
    Tue 2013-Jan-15 @ MYT 09:38:50 am 09:38

    And I will like to add……..Religious fanatics are not the same as religious people. They are the opposite of religious people. A fanatic’s only allegiance is to her or his own interests. A fanatic’s only God is his or her own self. A religious fanatic is a sociopath who finds blabbering about God very convenient to dupe the simple-minded into putting up with the fanatic’s exploitation and nastiness.

    Religious people worship God. Religious fanatics believe they are God. So much of the ‘Allah’ issue pivoted on that….
    January 10 at 11:37am · Edited · Like

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