Controversial Perak Mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria has asked Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom to resign if the latter is unwilling to stand up to a Catholic priest in the ongoing “Allah” row.
Harussani accused the minister in charge of Islamic affairs of being
“weak” in handling Father Lawrence Andrew’s reported insistence that
Catholic churches in Selangor would not abide by the state religious
authorities plan to prevent them from using the Arabic word in their
worship, in a report by Utusan Malaysia today.
“This is challenging the courts, even challenging the Yang diPertuan
Agong. Why do we allow it? I saw on television last night, Jamil Khir
saying, ‘Don’t cause a commotion, just wait for the court decision’.
“The courts have decided, what is there to wait for? If you are too
weak to be a minister, I say just quit,” he was quoted as saying by the
Jamil was previously reported as telling all parties to be patient and
await the Federal Court’s decision on the ongoing “Allah” case.
Harussani also demanded the arrest of Malays who had shown up outside a
church in Klang to show solidarity with Christians ahead of a
threatened protest last week, saying this depicted them as supporting
the non-Muslim right to use “Allah”.
“Today we see when the ‘Allah’ issue surfaced, there were Malays who
went to a church in Klang, singing and carrying flowers. So, the Malays
are encouraging this and should be arrested,” he added.
Harussani previously insisted that “Allah” was exclusive to Muslims in Malaysia.
Andrew is currently under investigation for sedition over his reported
remarks over the use of “Allah” in Catholic churches in Selangor.
The ongoing “Allah” row traces back to a 2009 High Court decision
upholding the Catholic Church’s right to print the word in the Bahasa
Malaysia section of its weekly the Herald.
But the decision was overturned by the Court of Appeal last October.
In upholding the ban on the word “Allah” in the Catholic Church weekly Herald, the Court of Appeal ruled that the word was not an integral part of the Christian faith.
The ongoing legal dispute between the government and the Catholic
Church over its right to print the word “Allah” in the Herald’s Bahasa
Malaysia section is still pending before the Federal Court, which is set
to hear arguments from both sides on February 24 before deciding on
whether it will hear an appeal by the Catholic Church.