The controversy over the use of the word “Allah” has shown once again the attitude of our local Muslim leaders when it comes to dealing with modern society’s problems. They are satisfied by just issuing edicts and rulings, as if doing so reaffirms their position as knowledgeable leaders and fulfils their religious obligations at the same time. They don’t care about the consequences of these rulings and don’t weigh their effectiveness. They don’t even care what the law of the country says.
Look at the statements from Selangor and Pahang and perhaps the religious authorities from other states. The ban is against non-Muslims using the word “Allah”. If these non-Muslims – Sikhs, for example – continue to use the word, exactly what are these religious authorities prepared to do? What law gives them the power to take any action? Absolutely none. So why issue this prohibition when you cannot enforce it? You only end up making a mockery of the law and exposing your own lack of enforcement powers.
These Muslim leaders are emotional and rush to make statements as if the fate of Muslims is in danger. They should have waited for the final Court ruling on the matter. If the Court’s decision is contrary to their wishes, then they should lobby their Members of Parliament to pass the laws to deny non-Muslims use of the word. If the Constitution needs to be amended to make way for such laws, then they must work hard to do so.
Good leaders – Muslim or otherwise – must respect the process by which rights are regulated. They don’t decide according to their own wishes, regardless of the effect on others.