This article is taken from Malaysiakini.
Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s assurance that he would not allow ‘others’ to interfere in the use of the word ‘Allah’ by Christians in Sarawak as the state has no such law is actually aimed at federal leaders.
That includes judges who have banned the use of the word in the peninsula.
“There is no such law in Sarawak reventing Christians from using the word ‘Allah’ and I will not permit such a law in Sarawak as long as I am chief minister,” he said yesterday during a meeting with the people at the Catholic Centre in Mukah.
Adenan made the declaration on the eve of a Federal Court decision after the Court of Appeal declared that non-Muslims cannot use the word ‘Allah’ as it is exclusive to the Muslims.
The Catholic Church appealed against that decision.
The chief minister who is known to be the only Muslim leader daring enough to protect Christians in the state also warned ‘outsiders’ not to interfere in its religious affairs.
Adenan must have referred to overzealous federal officers in Sarawak who seized over 30,000 copies of the Bible from the Kuching Port in January 2011, sparking a big row in the state.
So far there has been no news as to what had happened to the copies of the Bible.
“A chief minister has to make sure everyone can practise their own religion in their own way without hindrance. Whether mosques, churches or temples, I will give some grant. I will never distinguish among them.
“Christians are at liberty to practise their religion as religious freedom is enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
“We have lived in peace for hundreds of years without quarreling over religious issues and for that the people (and leaders) in the peninsula have a lot to learn from Sarawakians,” he added.
Everyone’s a child of God
Citing the Melanau communities in Mukah as a good example of living harmoniously, he said: “There are Melanau families here whose parents are Christians while their children are Muslims, but they are living under one roof.
“I don’t want that to change. I don’t want them to quarrel among themselves,” he said.
Adenan, who on Feb 28, 2014 took over from Abdul Taib Mahmud as chief minister, believes that everyone is a child of God regardless of race and religion, and that God loves everyone irrespective of their faiths.
He regards ‘Allah’ or ‘Tuhan’ as the same God of many colours and there is no difference among the people.
Adenan’s assurance is certain to allay fears among the about two-million strong Christian community in Sarawak, the majority being Dayaks.