The de facto Pakatan leader proposes inter-faith understanding to overcome the controversy on the usage of Allah by non-Muslims.
“When I was the deputy prime minister, I organised an international forum on Islam and Confucianism. There was no problem,” he said in response to a question related to the Allah controversy.
The controversy over the use of Allah’s name recurred when Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng – in his Christmas address last year – said that Christians should be allowed to use Allah’s name.
The controversy first occured early last year when there was an uproar against the usage of Allah’s name in Malay Bibles, predominantly used by the native Christians in Sabah and Sarawak.
Pakatan Rakyat has maintained the stand that everyone is allowed to use Allah’s name even though PAS’ Syura Council recently decided against Pakatan’s stand.
Early this month, the Selangor sultan, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah decreed that non-Muslims are not allowed to use the term Allah.
“To deny the right of non-Muslims to use the Allah term, that cannot be done,” said Anwar to a crowd of more than 100 people during a forum organised by Anwar Ibrahim Club entitled “Anwar meets The Young”.
Commenting further on the issue, he highlighted the hypocrisy of an Umno leader who owns an international liquor company.
“You say that non-Muslims cannot use the term Allah but you do not advise against San Miguel Brewery owner,” Anwar said.
He added that if there were attempts to Christianise Muslims, there are sufficient laws to deal with such issues. He also urged Muslims to deepen their faith in Islam.
He also said that his statement would be manipulated by the Umno-linked media, Utusan Malaysia. “They would report this as Anwar goes against Sultan’s decree.”
The hudud issue
Anwar was also asked on the differences among Pakatan partners on the hudud issue. While the DAP is against hudud, PAS is however adamant to implement the Islamic law.
Anwar said that there was a need to build consensus and understanding on the issue.
“For Muslims we accept the Quran as a revelation and we do not dispute it. The non-Muslims have to understand this.
“How do we implement? We cannot implement by force. In Pakatan Rakyat we do not deny the right of others. It must be based on consensus,” he said.
He also revealed about the Pakatan supreme council meeting on the issue.
“We had a meeting from 8.30pm until 12.30am. It is a culture unheard of in BN. PAS will not change its stand but they have assured us that they will not pressure others into accepting it.
“The DAP is against it and wants to debate it. We allow this (to build further understanding),” said Anwar.