"Only Muslims can use Allah. It's a Muslim word. It's from the Arabic language. We cannot let other religions use it because it will confuse people," our clever minister said.
Of course, I fully support the exclusive use of Allah by Muslims. I hate it when other people call my Allah when they are not Muslims, because it really confuse me.
You see I don't see the same kind of piety shown by these infidels towards My Allah! They don't pray to Allah 5 times a day like me. They don't fast one month like me. They don't deserve to use Allah or Solat - because they are not as religious as me.
It's My ALLAH and not yours. My Allah cannot tolerate all these hypocrites who are not praying to the true Allah.
So what if we are the butt of jokes and laughed at by foreigners or even the Arabs in Egypt or Turkey. We are more 'Arab' then these Arabs.
In a move that may hurt Malaysia's multi-religious social fabric, the government has announced that certain Arabic words like 'Allah' cannot be used in the literature, gospel and speeches of non-Muslims faiths.
Three other commonly used words ordered excluded from non-Muslim lexicon are 'Baitullah' (House of God), 'Solat' (prayer) and 'Kaabah (Sacred House).
The decision has shocked Christians, Sikhs and Hindus, who have for centuries liberally used borrowed Arabic words in their religious practices. They see the government decision as a serious infringement on their religious freedom.
While Malaysia's constitution says Islam is the 'religion of the federation' and that other faiths are freely allowed, non-Muslims increasingly fear freedom of worship is being curtailed by officials influenced by resurgent political Islam.
"Only Muslims can use (the word) Allah. It's a Muslim word. It's from the Arabic language. We cannot let other religions use it because it will confuse people," Internal Security Deputy Minister Johari Baharum told presspersons when explaining the rationale for the decision. "We cannot allow this use of 'Allah' in non-Muslim publications; nobody except Muslims (can use it). The word 'Allah' is published by the Catholics. It's not right," he said.
But followers of Sikhism - which borrows heavily from both Islam and Hindusim and uses the word 'Allah' to refer to god - are upset over the ban. "We have used the terms 'Allah' and 'Rahim' (Most Merciful) extensively in our writings and prayers to refer to God. The word ‘Allah’ is used in our holy scripture," Malaysian Gurdwara Council chief Harcharan Singh told local media last week.
"Sikhs have used these terms for centuries and they are part of the Punjabi language we still use today," he said explaining the dilemma for followers of the faith, who are distinguished by their turbans and beards. "How are we going to fulfill our religious obligation if commonly used words are reserved for Muslims. I really don't know where we are heading as a nation with decisions like this," he said.