Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang was reported by Bernama (22 March, 2010) to have called on the government during a debate in the Dewan Rakyat, to amend the first Rukun Negara from belief in God to belief in Allah since the Quran did not bar followers of other religions from using the word Allah. LINK
In her article “Rukunegara: M’sia not Quite Secular”LINK , Helen Ang expressed her puzzlement over the absence of official response from Christian leaders to Hadi Awang’s comment with a hint of sarcasm.
“All those who insisted on the Catholic Herald’s ‘right’ to ‘Allah’ should now warmly welcome Hadi’s proposal made in Parliament when debating the motion of thanks on the Agong’s speech. After all, these people had so enthusiastically embraced the idea that ‘your Allah is my Allah too’.”
Hadi Awang has merely made a preliminary statement. It is reasonable to wait and see how the government will respond to him. Only when the rationale for both the government’s and Hadi Awang’s positions becomes clearer will Christian leaders be able to give a more specific and substantial response.
But Helen Ang seems to think that the hesitation of the Christians arises because they are caught in a bind of their own making. That is to say, since Christians have been so adamant about using the word Allah, they would now have to adjust their theology to make it consistent with what is deemed a proper Islamic understanding of Allah. Helen elaborates,
“Once ‘Allah’ has been adapted into our national set of guiding principles, then every citizen should learn to understand and appreciate this word in its proper context. According to Hadi’s Jan 7 statement on kalimah Allah, “there are among followers of Christianity who have made a ‘wife’ and ‘son’ for God”. What a no-no!
Should ‘Allah’ be incorporated into the Rukunegara, then Malaysians reciting it must be mindful that Allah has no Son, and adjust their mindset accordingly.”
Unfortunately, Helen’s comments betray a lack of understanding not only of the basic impetus that led Christians to use the word ‘Allah’(the translation imperative), but also the rationale that undergirds the Christian usage of the word ‘Allah’ (linguistic justification).（全文）