Posts Tagged ‘religion’


The Sabah government upholds religious freedom and views seriously any issue that could jeopardise peace and harmony among the people of different faiths in the state.

To this end, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman hoped the National Registration Department (NRD) would immediately rectify existing weaknesses in the issuance of MyKad, such as inadvertent insertion of ‘Islam’ in the identification documents of non-Muslims.

He also wants a full report from the NRD on the extent of the problem in Sabah and the measures to be put in place to prevent a repeat of such errors.

“This looks like an administrative problem. Nonetheless, I want the problem to be rectified in a speedy manner by the relevant authorities,” he said in a statement here today, in reference to a recent claim on the issue by Sabah Borneo Evangelical Church (SIB) president Datuk Jerry Dusing.

Musa said while there were weaknesses in the NRD, the issue at hand should not be blown out of proportion.

“Certain quarters should not be so quick to state that the government has allowed religious radicalism to go unchecked far too long, supports religious intolerance and corruption as well as criminal activities like abduction,” he said.

He said it was highly irresponsible to make such public accusations especially when it came from religious quarters, adding that it could fan religious sentiments among the diverse communities that practise different religions in the county and state.

“Let me make this clear that there is no room for religious or racial intolerance in Sabah. We are a multi-racial and multi-religious state whereby the people live in peace and harmony,” he said.

He also said the state government gave millions to churches and mission schools as well as Chinese vernacular schools and temples.

“Please be more sensitive in making statements especially in such an ethnically and religiously diverse state like Sabah,” he said. — Bernama


MUSLIMS ACCOUNT FOR 2% OF WORLD TERRORISM.

Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims. How many times have you heard that one? And that comment is often followed up by the question: Why don’t we see Christian, Buddhist, or Jewish terrorists? Or Hindu?

However, and this will probably shock many, so you might want to take a breath: Overwhelmingly, those who have committed terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe aren’t Muslims. Let’s give that a moment to sink in.

Are All Terrorists Muslims? It’s Not Even Close

By Dean Obeidallah

THE DAILY BEAST

What percentage of terror attacks in the United States and Europe are committed by Muslims? Guess. Nope. Guess again. And again…

“Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.” How many times have you heard that one? Sure, we heard Fox News’s Brian Kilmeade say it, but to me, that was simply part of the Fox News plan to make their viewers dumber, as we saw again this past weekend when its terrorism “expert” Steve Emerson was caught fabricating the story that Birmingham, England, is closed to non-Muslims. But more alarmingly, even some reasonable people have uttered this statement.

And that comment is often followed up by the question: Why don’t we see Christian, Buddhist, or Jewish terrorists?

Obviously, there are people who sincerely view themselves as Muslims who have committed horrible acts in the name of Islam. We Muslims can make the case that their actions are not based on any part of the faith but on their own political agenda. But they are Muslims, no denying that.

However, and this will probably shock many, so you might want to take a breath: Overwhelmingly, those who have committed terrorist attacks in the United States and Europe aren’t Muslims. Let’s give that a moment to sink in.

Now, it’s not your fault if you aren’t aware of that fact. You can blame the media. (Yes, Sarah Palin and I actually agree on one thing: The mainstream media sucks.)

So here are some statistics for those interested. Let’s start with Europe. Want to guess what percent of the terrorist attacks there were committed by Muslims over the past five years? Wrong. That is, unless you said less than 2 percent.

As Europol, the European Union’s law-enforcement agency, noted in its report released last year, the vast majority of terror attacks in Europe were perpetrated by separatist groups. For example, in 2013, there were 152 terror attacks in Europe. Only two of them were “religiously motivated,” while 84 were predicated upon ethno-nationalist or separatist beliefs.

We are talking about groups like France’s FLNC, which advocates an independent nation for the island of Corsica. In December 2013, FLNC terrorists carried out simultaneous rocket attacks against police stations in two French cities. And in Greece in late 2013, the left-wing Militant Popular Revolutionary Forces shot and killed two members of the right-wing political party Golden Dawn. While over in Italy, the anarchist group FAI engaged in numerous terror attacks including sending a bomb to a journalist. And the list goes on and on.

Have you heard of these incidents? Probably not. But if Muslims had committed them do you think you our media would’ve covered it? No need to answer, that’s a rhetorical question.

Even after one of the worst terror attacks ever in Europe in 2011, when Anders Breivik slaughtered 77 people in Norway to further his anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, and pro-“Christian Europe” agenda as he stated in his manifesto, how much press did we see in the United States? Yes, it was covered, but not the way we see when a Muslim terrorist is involved. Plus we didn’t see terrorism experts fill the cable news sphere asking how we can stop future Christian terrorists. In fact, even the suggestion that Breivik was a “Christian terrorist” was met with outrage by many, including Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.

Have you heard about the Buddhist terrorists? Well, extremist Buddhists have killed many Muslim civilians in Burma, and just a few months ago in Sri Lanka, some went on a violent rampage burning down Muslim homes and businesses and slaughtering four Muslims.

Or what about the (dare I mention them) Jewish terrorists? Per the 2013 State Department’s report on terrorism, there were 399 acts of terror committed by Israeli settlers in what are known as “price tag” attacks. These Jewish terrorists attacked Palestinian civilians causing physical injuries to 93 of them and also vandalized scores of mosques and Christian churches.

Back in the United States, the percentage of terror attacks committed by Muslims is almost as miniscule as in Europe. An FBI study looking at terrorism committed on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 found that 94 percent of the terror attacks were committed by non-Muslims. In actuality, 42 percent of terror attacks were carried out by Latino-related groups, followed by 24 percent perpetrated by extreme left-wing actors.

And as a 2014 study by University of North Carolina found, since the 9/11 attacks, Muslim-linked terrorism has claimed the lives of 37 Americans. In that same time period, more than 190,000 Americans were murdered (PDF).

In fact in 2013, it was actually more likely Americans would be killed by a toddler than a terrorist. In that year, three Americans were killed in the Boston Marathon bombing. How many people did toddlers kill in 2013? Five, all by accidentally shooting a gun.

But our media simply do not cover the non-Muslim terror attacks with same gusto. Why? It’s a business decision. Stories about scary “others” play better. It’s a story that can simply be framed as good versus evil with Americans being the good guy and the brown Muslim as the bad.

Honestly, when is the last time we heard the media refer to those who attack abortion clinics as “Christian terrorists,” even though these attacks occur at one of every five reproductive health-care facilities? That doesn’t sell as well. After all we are a so-called Christian nation, so that would require us to look at the enemy within our country, and that makes many uncomfortable. Or worse, it makes them change the channel.

That’s the same reason we don’t see many stories about how to reduce the 30 Americans killed each day by gun violence or the three women per day killed by domestic violence. But the media will have on expert after expert discussing how can we stop these scary brown Muslims from killing any more Americans despite the fact you actually have a better chance of being killed by a refrigerator falling on you.

Look, this article is not going to change the media’s business model. But what I hope it does is cause some to realize that not all terrorists are Muslims. In fact, they are actually a very small percent of those that are. Now, I’m not saying to ignore the dangers posed by Islamic radicals. I’m just saying look out for those refrigerators.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/01/14/are-all-terrorists-muslims-it-s-not-even-close.html?via=desktop&source=facebook



Pope Francis may have been an unlikely successor to Pope Benedict XVI, but he is already emerging as a remarkable pontiff, one who has always led a simple life himself, who understands the kinds of lives led by many Roman Catholics, and who also knows the dangers of a remote clergy apparently more concerned with specific forms of orthodoxy than with the mission of providing a spiritual space for all of the faithful in our complex and troubled times.

That the Church of Rome faces serious problems is clear, with declining attendance and a shrinking priesthood, especially in developed countries, with widening rifts between followers’ attitudes in the developed and developing worlds, and with terrible scandals of child sex abuse, corruption, and incompetence which would have destroyed many a lesser institution. The Pope’s fellow priests probably know that very well, but the way His Holiness has responded to the situation is making the world sit up and take note.

In an interview with the Italian Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, which has been translated and republished in the American Jesuit journal America, the pontiff says the Church is “the community of God’s people.” Therefore, one of its first tasks is to recognise “how human beings understand themselves today.”

The Pope had already made waves by replying to a question on gay priests, “Who am I to judge?” but now he has gone further, saying that the Church must not “interfere spiritually” in the lives of gays and lesbians and that priests must not be obsessed with homosexuality, abortion, and contraception to the neglect of their wider mission, which is to proclaim and spread the “saving love of God.” Even the way that is done could be radically reformed; Pope Francis says local doctrinal issues are best addressed by local bishops’ conferences, with the Vatican available for consultation.

Furthermore, the pontiff is clear about a stronger role for women: “the feminine genius is needed wherever we make important decisions.” Just as radically, on September 22, the Pope told 20,000 listeners in Sardinia that the world must abandon its “idolatry of greed” and reform the global financial system.

Significantly, the Pope has not proposed changing the church’s line on homosexuality, contraception, and abortion — or on women priests — but he has reminded all the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics that if they do not end their obsession with those issues and start acknowledging humanity as it is today, the Church’s moral edifice could fall “like a house of cards.” For Roman Catholicism, His Holiness may well be a truly world-historic figure.


(A fourth century fragment of papyrus that divinity professor Karen L. King says is the only existing ancient text that quotes Jesus explicitly referring to having a wife)

A historian of early Christianity at Harvard Divinity School has identified a scrap of papyrus that she says was written in Coptic in the fourth century and contains a phrase never seen in any piece of Scripture: “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’” The faded papyrus fragment is smaller than a business card, with eight lines on one side — in black ink legible under a magnifying glass. Just below the line about Jesus having a wife, the papyrus includes a second provocative clause that purportedly says, “she will be able to be my disciple”.

The finding was made public in Rome at an international meeting of Coptic scholars by the historian Karen L. King, who has published several books about new Gospel discoveries and is the first woman to hold the nation’s oldest endowed chair, the Hollis professor of divinity.

The provenance of the papyrus fragment is a mystery, and its owner has asked to remain anonymous. Until Tuesday, Ms. King had shown the fragment to only a small circle of experts in papyrology and Coptic linguistics, who concluded that it is most likely not a forgery. But she and her collaborators say they are eager for more scholars to weigh in and perhaps upend their conclusions.

Ms. King gave an interview and showed the papyrus fragment, encased in glass, to reporters from The New York Times, The Boston Globe and Harvard Magazine in her garret office in the tower at Harvard Divinity School last Thursday.

She repeatedly cautioned that this fragment should not be taken as proof that Jesus, the historical person, was actually married. The text was probably written centuries after Jesus lived, and all other early, historically reliable Christian literature is silent on the question, she said.

But the discovery is exciting, said Ms. King, because it is the first known statement from antiquity that refers to Jesus speaking of a wife. It provides further evidence that there was an active discussion among early Christians about whether Jesus was celibate or married, and which path his followers should choose.

“This fragment suggests that some early Christians had a tradition that Jesus was married,” Ms. King said. “There was, we already know, a controversy in the second century over whether Jesus was married, caught up with a debate about whether Christians should marry and have sex.”

Ms. King first learnt about what she calls “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife” when she received an email in 2010 from a private collector who asked her to translate it. Ms. King (58) specialises in Coptic literature, and has written books on “the Gospel of Judas”, “the Gospel of Mary of Magdala”, “Gnosticism and women in antiquity”.

The owner took the fragment to the Divinity School in December 2011 and left it with Ms. King. In March, she carried the fragment in her red handbag to New York to show it to two colleagues, both papyrologists: Roger Bagnall, director of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, at New York University, and AnneMarie Luijendijk, an associate professor of religion at Princeton University.

They examined the scrap under sharp magnification. It was very small — only four by eight centimetres. The lettering was splotchy and uneven, the hand of an amateur, but not unusual for the time period, when many Christians were poor and persecuted.

It was written in Coptic — an Egyptian language that uses Greek characters — and more precisely, in Sahidic Coptic — a dialect from southern Egypt, Ms. Luijendijk said in an interview.

What convinced them it was probably genuine was the fading of the ink on the papyrus fibres, and traces of ink adhered to the bent fibres at the torn edges. The back side is so faint that only five words are visible, one only partly: “my moth [[er]]”, “three”, “forth which”.

“It would be impossible to forge,” said Ms. Luijendijk, who contributed to Ms. King’s paper. Mr. Bagnall reasoned that a forger would have had to be expert in Coptic grammar, handwriting and ideas. — New York Times News Service


I received this from Suaram…

Media Release

The Christians in the Temiar village of Pos Pasik, about 70 km northeast of Gua Musang Kelantan, have been told by the Department of Orang Asli Affairs (JHEOA) that they have no permission to build a church on their land.

On 20 May 2010, the village head wrote to the Director-General of the JHEOA to inform him of their plan to build the church in their village, half of whom have converted to Christianity in recent years.

However, on 9 August 2010, the Deputy Director-General, writing on behalf of the D-G, replied that their “application” to build the church had been rejected and the community was asked to stop work on the building immediately.

The Orang Asli are not happy with this answer as they did not seek permission from the JHEOA. They merely exercised courtesy to inform them of their plans. The Orang Asli of Pos Pasik consider it their right to build such a structure on their land, in accordance with the Constitution.

The lawyer representing the Temiar headman has recently written to the D-G informing him that the department’s permission was not being sought. He also sought the reasons for the rejection of the church building.

If the church is demolished or stopped, it will be the second Orang Asli church in the state of Kelantan (and no less than 5 in the peninsular altogether) that have been demolished by the authorities on the basis of various excuses, including that the Orang Asli do not have rights to the land concerned.

But it is evident that the issue is religion-related as other structures, including suraus, have been build on such lands without any issue.

But as land is a state matter, the Temiars of Pos Pasik are seeking the intervention of the Menteri Besar of Kelantan in this matter.

For further details, please contact: Pastor Moses Soo – 012 3255678

_______________________________

Background facts

Pos Pasik is situated about 70 km northeast of Guas Musang in Kelantan. It is in forested area at the foot of the Titiwangsa Range. The post includes the villages of Kg Pasik, Kg Ayung, Kg Bayor and Kg Serai.

The Orang Asli here are of the Temiar ethnic group with a few being Jahai. It is situated on both sides of Sungei Jenera, with a population of over 600. The villagers are connected to the main road at Meranto by a logging track. Pos Pasik is only reachable in a proper 4 wheel-drive vehicle and takes about 2-3 hours of traveling time.

On 3 December 2001, 297 villagers of Pos Pasik were baptized as Christians, including the two Penghulu (headmen). A bamboo church was then built in the old village across the river (Sungei Jenera).

In the late afternoon of 19 December 2004, the Sungei Jenera overflowed its banks, rising to a height of 30 feet above the normal water level of the river. The bamboo houses of the Temiar by the river were all washed away. So too the church. By 2006, many of the villagers shifted to the current side of the river and the bamboo church was relocated there as well.

Currently, a total of 530 villagers of Pos Pasik have converted to Christianity but quite a number have left Pos Pasik to work in other areas.

In 2008, the government provided brick houses and agricultural plots for the communities there. The road has also been improved though it is almost inaccessible during the rainy season.

In late 2009, the Christians requested the pastor from the Gospel to the Poor church to help them build a brick/concrete church since most of their houses are already made of brick. This is to replace the dilapidated bamboo church.

Existing church constructed from bamboo

By April 2010, they started clearing the land of rubber trees belonging to one of the villagers. At one of their meetings, it was decided that the headman should update JHEOA of the latest development by informing them through the mail.

Work then began on the church construction. The workers were all Orang Asli volunteers with the necessary materials being raised through church donations.

The new church under construction

During this period of construction, they had a lot of uninvited visitors especially those from the religious bodies.


By: JOE FERNANDEZ

FORMER Sabah Chief Minister, Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat wants to leave the fate of the aborted Mazu, Goddess of the Sea statue in Kudat in the hands of the people.

The million ringgit question whether the erection of statue will still go ahead lies unanswered.

“Let the people decide whether they want the Mazu statue to be up or otherwise,” said Chong. “I will accept whatever decision they make. For my part, I have done no wrong in putting up the statue.”

“Someone, either a court, a government body or an arbitrator has to decide on the erection of the Mazu statue. All of them don’t want to get involved,” he stressed.

“So far, no court has ruled that Mazu was illegal. So, now it’s up to the people to decide Mazu’s fate.”

He has however reluctantly resigned himself to the fact that the courts in Malaysia don’t want to get involved in his dispute with the Sabah state government.

“The Federal Court had not only deprived me of the legal avenue to seek redress but also denied itself the opportunity to hear out an aggrieved party,” lamented Chong.

Read more at; http://www.sabahkini.net/v1/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4619:statue-ex-sabah-cm-wants-people-to-decide&catid=35:berita-sabah&Itemid=27


Hear this….I picked this up from Agence France-Presse

Three women have been caned under Islamic law for having extramarital sex, and this is the first case in Malaysia.

Officials said the three women were caned on February 9 at a women’s prison outside the capital Kuala Lumpur after being convicted of “khalwat” or “close proximity” between an unmarried couple.

“I hope this will not be misunderstood until it defiles the purity of Islam,” Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said according to state media.

“The punishment is to teach and give a chance to those who have fallen off the path to return and build a better life in future,” he said, adding that none of the three sustained any injuries.

Hishammuddin said the three women and four men were caned following a December decision in the religious courts — which operate in parallel to the civil system in Malaysia.

He said one woman was released from prison last Sunday while another will be freed in several days and the third will be released in June.

Malaysian Islamic authorities triggered uproar last year when they sentenced mother-of-two Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno to six strokes of the cane for drinking beer.

Her case, which was to have been the first time a woman was caned under Islamic law in Malaysia, is under review and human rights groups have urged religious authorities to reverse the sentence.

Kartika’s case has been given wide media coverage but the case of the three women convicted of extramarital sex came as a surprise.

Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan said it was worrying that the punishment had gone ahead even as the caning issue was being hotly debated by Muslim scholars, religious groups and human rights activists.

“The impression was that Kartika’s case would be the first so I’ve got no idea what has happened,” he told AFP.

“It’s not as if this is the Middle East… it’s not a good signal that they’re sending out.”

“We are against any form of corporal punishment, for men or women,” he added. “The fact is that any form of whipping is barbaric.”

By the way, my friend Antares wants to know if these 3 girls in the picture below are the ones who got caned? Antares is willing to give the mobile number of these girls if anyone care to find out straight from the horse’s mouth. Anyone care?


I’m joining all other right thinking peace-loving Malaysians in the condemnations against the cowardly violence committed against the 3 churches in the Klang Valley yesterday morning.

I’m also so proud to know that leaders of all the Churches have been so consistent when they all said with one voice that they do not harbour any ill-feeling against the culprits who damaged and set fire to their churches. The church elders did not stir up the emotions of Christians in this country and the appeal for calm and asking all Christians to forgive those who had done the damage is so heavenly and so inspiring. I’m lost for words!

The statement of forgiveness and tolerance made by the church elders
just goes to show that Christians in this country are both Godly and forgiving.

This is what Malaysians are all about – forgiving!

I take my hats off to the church elders.


Wishing all my Muslim friends a Selamat Hari Raya Haji specially to you BABY, SHYAM and your PARENTS wherever you all are. Also to MY BUDDY RAJA PETRA & MARINA wherever you two are my heart will always be there. Also not forgetting my good UMNO BUDDIES in Penang.

And also not forgetting all the MUSLIM staff of Tanjung Aru Tours And Travel Sdn Bhd…Rosdiana Wasimin, where is my rendang and ketupat?

Hari Raya Haji, as I know, marks the Prophet Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice even his own son, Isaac/Ismail, on the orders of God. Prophet Abraham had to show his commitment and obedience to God, as a final act to make the blessings of the covenant between him and God. With faith Prophet Abraham executed the request, with exactness, thus demonstrating his willingness to trust in the word of God and in his ability to do all that he had promised.To me, this is the true meaning of sacrifice.

Selamat Aidil Adha dan Selamat pulang ke kampung masing-masing dan semoga berhati-hati di jalan raya.


I always had great admiration and respect for His Holiness The Dalai Lama, although, I have never ever got to see him in person. To me, His Holiness is a remarkable man. His commitment to peace is no easy matter after he left his Tibet 50 years ago. He knows very well he cannot go back to his Tibet for a long long time.

I always wondered how he managed to avoid starting an armed resistance in Tibet. In spite of what is happening in Tibet he still shows compassion for the Chinese regime.

His Holiness has a nice way to reach out to people of all faiths. He doesn’t seek to convert anyone but rather sees his own religion as a way to enrich others of different faith. I know, this is very much in keeping with the Buddhist way which seeks everyone to become enlightened and free from suffering.

His Holliness is the best example of compassion.

And compassion, for him, isn’t simple.

Let me post the Statement of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan people’s peaceful uprising against Communist China’s repression in Tibet.

Read Here the Statement of His Holiness The Dalai Lama.

I have written in the past about His Holiness here.