When in Rome, do as Romans do

Archbishop Joseph Marino presenting his credentials as Apostolic Nuncio to His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong XIV

It has been reported that the diplomatic envoy from the Vatican shot his mouth, which should be deemed as insensitive and out of context. Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia Archbishop Joseph Marino supported the Christian Federation of Malaysia to use the “kalimah Allah” as a reference to God.

Church right to say Allah describes God, says Vatican’s first envoy to Malaysia

BY JENNIFER GOMEZ
JULY 11, 2013

In his first interview with the Malaysian media, the first resident diplomat sent by the Vatican to live and work in this country spoke on the controversial issue of the use of the Arabic word “Allah” to describe God in any religion.

Archbishop Joseph Marino said he supports the stand of the Catholic Church in Malaysia.

He applauded the arguments made by the Christian Federation of Malaysia to use “Allah” in its texts to refer to God as very well done.

Archbishop Marino is the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia. This position, also often known as a papal nuncio, is the Vatican equivalent to an ambassador.

This is the first time the Vatican has opened what is the equivalent to an embassy in Malaysia.

The diplomat said the only way to stop deterioration in race relations in Malaysia is through dialogue, saying it would work out if people sat down and talked.

On his experience being the former nuncio in Bangladesh, Archbishop Marino said the people in that Muslim country have great respect for Christianity. – July 11, 2013.

******************

HE Archbishop Marino should in his capacity of a diplomat and Papal Nuncio understand the sensitivities of the issue and the position of Islam as the religion of the Federation of Malaysia and views and position on the subject matter of all HRH Rulers as the absolute head on matters pertaining Islam.

It is utter negligent of him to utter such stance only in taking the consideration of the Catholic Church position on the matter. Unless he is doing it with the sinister agenda beyond appeasing the Malaysian Christians, which some of them of late have become unbearably loud and bold.

Wisma Putra should issue a protest note against this, which should be regarded as taking position in Malaysia’s domestic affairs and meddling in an ultra-sensitive issue.  This diplomatic open support could be the new ammunition for some minority within the Christian faith to divide the inter-faith harmony, tolerance, understanding and acceptance.

This opportunity would definitely be capitalised by some deviant minority groups to sow the ‘Politics of Hatred’ strategy and divide this nation wider in their attempt to rise onto power and take control over the majority. In some closed events, they have already expressed their desire “To make Christian an official religion of Malaysia”.

What is worse HE Archbishop Marino made this statement on the second day of the most revered month in Islam, Ramadan. This factor could have further expounded the sensitivities and provide an opportunity of  senseless debate. That would lead into the harbour deeper distrust and ill feeling that otherwise could be avoided.

Prime Minister’s Department, Home Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs should keep this matter under close scrutiny from now on. As for Archbishop Marino, when in Kuala Lumpur, observe what the majority of the people in this land is sensitive to. That is the mark of a good man of the cloth and successful diplomat.

*Updated Friday 12 July 0500hrs

There is a suggestion that the Vatican recall Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Marino back to St. Peter’s Basilica or Wisma Putra should send a protest note and ask him to leave. This is because HE Marino insulted the position and role of HRH Rulers as the absolute heads of Islam in this country.

In January HRH Sultan Selangor Tuanku Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah issued a decree in his titah that Non Muslims should not be allowed to use ‘Allah’ in place of God and it is a “Sacred word exclusive to Muslims”.

Published: Wednesday January 9, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Monday April 22, 2013 MYT 5:06:38 PM

Non-Muslims can’t use ‘Allah’

SHAH ALAM: The Sultan of Selangor has decreed that non-Muslims in the state have been barred from using “Allah”, saying it is a sacred word exclusive to Muslims.

A statement yesterday from Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais) secretary Datuk Mohd Misri Idris said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had expressed shock and regret over DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s recent statement urging the Government to allow the word “Allah” to be used in the Malay version of the Bible.

Lim, who is the Penang Chief Minister, had stated this in his New Year message.

The Ruler had called for an emergency meeting with officials of Mais, the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) and the Selangor mufti on Sunday.

“The Sultan made a decision and decreed that the word Allah’ is a sacred word specific to Muslims and it is prohibited to be used by any non-Muslim in Selangor, as stated in a fatwa and gazetted on Feb 18, 2010,” Mohd Misri said.

“Tuanku is disappointed that the decree had been taken lightly by some parties until the issue was brought up again,” he said, adding that the Sultan also stated that Mais and Jais could take stern action against anyone who questions the fatwa that was issued according to state laws.

To know in detail these state laws and fatwa over the word “Allah”, visit http://www.mais.gov.my.

The Ruler’s decree came ahead of a Pakatan Rakyat meeting at which the word “Allah” had been allowed to be used by even non-Muslims.

PAS ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib expressed shock that Pakatan leaders, including party chief Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, had reached that consensus.

He said the matter was never discussed, not even in the Syura council – the party’s supreme body.

“As far as I can remember, we never reached a decision on the matter,” he said, adding that it was wrong to misuse the kalimah “Allah” for any politically-motivated agenda.

In SEREMBAN, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that Sultan Sharafuddin had every right, as head of the state’s Islamic affairs, to issue the decree.

*************

Instigating and inciting matters pertaining to Islam and decree by HRH Rulers should be regarded as seditious. Since HE Archbishop Marino is a diplomat and enjoys diplomatic immunity, Malaysian Sedition Law does not apply to him.

Therefore he should just leave or risk to create serious diplomatic displeasure between Putrajaya and St. Peter’s Basilica.

Published in: on July 11, 2013 at 15:00  Comments (38)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://bigdogdotcom.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/when-in-rome-do-as-romans-do/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

38 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Melayu Islam di Malaya sudah tak ada telok.

    Pertama kali dalam sejarah Kerajaan menarek balek bill yang sedang di debat di Parliment berhubong dengan Child conversion.Bill tak akan di bawa ka Parliment jika belum di luluskan oleh Kabinet,

    Tiba tiba dalam Parliment kita dengan suara sumbang dari menteri kabinet yang meminta bill ini di tarek balek.Yang sedehnya antaranya menteri Melayu Islam.

    Sekarang kita dengan wakil Vatican buat interview menyokong tindakan Christian Group mahu menggunakan nama Allah.

    Allah itu maha esa.Tidak anak dan tidak di peranakkan.

    Tak tahu lah apa hendak jadi dengan kerajaan melayu islam.

    • Saya rakyat Malaysia berugama Islam ingin untuk mengingatkan Kerajaan Barisan Nasional jangan tunduk kepada kehendak Vatican ini.

      Sekiranya Kerajaan BN tunduk kepada kehendak gereja seperti mana Parti PAS dan PKR, PRU14 nanti ramai orang-orang Melayu ISLAM tidak akan keluar mengundi. Kami lebih rela tidak mengundi daripadi terpaksa bersekongkol utk melakukan syirik terhadap kalimah Allah itu.

    • He would not leave on his own volition. If he has discussed with and the line he put out was approved by his government before making the statement, his government would not want him to leave.

      It may be state policy towards this country. If so, a very serious matter in the relations between the two countries (Vatican a country?). Hope not and merely a case of the man making a diplomatic gaffe. In which case Wisma Putra must insist on the man being withdrawn and, if withdrawn, perhaps leave the matter to rest at that.

      If not, peaceful public demonstrations are in order.

  2. Biggie Doggie,

    This is a catch 22 situation, considering the timing.

    I believe this issue and/or any reaction to this, would be optimised by PAS in the upcoming Kuala Besut by-election.

    PAS would demonise UMNO for Malaysia having a diplomatic relationship with St Peter Basillica & if Govt react to this, they would manipulate the circumstance to accuse UMNO pre-medidated this (another ‘Sandiwara’) for the by-election.

    Coupled with the sudden withdrawal of the Child Conversion Bill, it would be a very tough & prickly issue for UMNO to overcome.

    Honest to God (the ONE!), I hv little faith on UMNO leaders who are smart & witty enough to overcome this issue.

    • The Malays hv a saying “When you give your calf, they’d want your thigh”.

      In these days of chronic & sophisticated challenges, they cant even blink. Let alone allow their guards down. Then again, I concur with you. UMNO leaders nowadays are terribly hopeless & unreliable!

      I bet no UMNO leadrs willing to stand up against something like this & this TMI report:

      MP questions need for Islamic subject in private universities

      An opposition MP today called on the education ministry to re-think its move to make Islamic Civilisation studies compulsory for local students in private universities.

      DAP Kampar MP Dr Ko Chung Sen said the ministry will make the subject compulsory from Sept 1.

      “We strongly urge the education ministry to reverse the ruling and let the individual universities decide on the needs of their courses,” he said during a press conference today.

      “If you look at the renowned universities in the world, there is no subject on religion that is made compulsory for its students.

      “How will this subject help a student studying medicine, engineering or law?” he asked. – July 11, 2013.

      *MORE TO COME

    • If this issue is exploited by PAS in the Kuala Besut by-election campaign, BN can now hit back by quoting the Selangor Ruler’s decree that non-Muslims in the state have been barred from using “Allah”, saying it is a sacred word exclusive to Muslims.

      And BN can exploit the fact that PAS ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib expressed shock at the Pakatan Rakyat meeting that claimed the word “Allah” had been allowed to be used by non-Muslims. Harun was also shocked that his own party chief Hadi Awang had said so. Clearly not only Pakatan Rakyat but also PAS are nonsensical.

      Harun clearly said the matter was never discussed, not even in the Syura council – the party’s supreme body.

      The voters should know that it was wrong to misuse the kalimah “Allah” for any politically-motivated agenda, that Pakatan Rakyat tipu the rakyat and PAS leadership kelam kabut on the matter, so how to give them votes like that.

  3. They don’t do what the Romans do because the Roman Empire is no more, the Vatican is a tiny bit of land in the city of Rome, so many Christian denominations now – the Protestants alone has some 140 sects and sub-sects (according to the renown translator, interpreter and commentator of the Qur’an) – and non-Catholics don’t really bother about them Catholics any more.

    The last Pope before the present one resigned but he was diplomatic on the reason – what he said meant that he finds he could not control the Christians all over the world any more, especially the Evangelicals and so-called born-again fellows, many churches in US led by demagogues who speak loudly to attract crowds who pay money on which they live lavishly. Financial scandals abound, the latest include the Mormons, and the Scientology Church of which the film stars Tom Cruise and John Travolta are members and donate millions. They have no allegiance at all to the Catholic Church that the undiplomatic Vatican diplomat represents.

    He meddled into the Kalimah Allah issue probably trying to win the hearts of the so-called Evangelicals in this country who have been loud about the issue, including those in the DAP.

    If we make enough noise, the Government may take action on the bloke, the most severe is to declare him persona non grata, which means severance of relations. But who cares about relations with a tiny entity except Najib, wanting votes for PRU13 and established diplomatic relations with the Vatican. Another example of the action Najib took that is not in the interest of the majority of the population, again making him deserve to be replaced at the Novermber PAU.

    • “the renown translator, interpreter and commentator of the Qur’an” = Abdullah Yusuf Ali, a Lecturer of Greek History who spent years in Europe studying the translations of the Qur’an into many languages, including into Latin by the clergy of a monastery in Eastern Europe for presenting to the Pope in Rome who was intrigued by the might of the Islamic faith spreading up to Spain in the 7th century.

      He later spent years in London doing comparative studies of religions, the first edition of his works was published in 1934.

    • “They don’t do what the Romans do because the Roman Empire is no more” – high Roman values have gone, protocol and procedures in the conduct of diplomatic relations have been thrown asunder.

      So their representatives may have gone back to being barbarians, lurking outside the gates of Rome during the days of the Roman Empire.

  4. Rome is flooded with thugs,pickpokets and the underworld kingpins,so Archbishop Joseph Marino clean up Rome first before interfering with domestic affairs of Malaysia.Joseph Marino,when you are in Malaysia do what the Malays do.

  5. The most appropriate translation for god is Hashem. Period.

  6. expel the diplomat

    • I totally agree.

      In a way, Marino insulted HRH Rulers’ position and role as absolute heads of Islam. Fact is, early this year Sultan Selangor specifically mentioned about ‘Kalimah Allah’ in his titah.

      Published: Wednesday January 9, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
      Updated: Monday April 22, 2013 MYT 5:06:38 PM

      Non-Muslims can’t use ‘Allah’

      SHAH ALAM: The Sultan of Selangor has decreed that non-Muslims in the state have been barred from using “Allah”, saying it is a sacred word exclusive to Muslims.

      A statement yesterday from Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais) secretary Datuk Mohd Misri Idris said Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had expressed shock and regret over DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s recent statement urging the Government to allow the word “Allah” to be used in the Malay version of the Bible.

      Lim, who is the Penang Chief Minister, had stated this in his New Year message.

      The Ruler had called for an emergency meeting with officials of Mais, the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) and the Selangor mufti on Sunday.

      “The Sultan made a decision and decreed that the word Allah’ is a sacred word specific to Muslims and it is prohibited to be used by any non-Muslim in Selangor, as stated in a fatwa and gazetted on Feb 18, 2010,” Mohd Misri said.

      “Tuanku is disappointed that the decree had been taken lightly by some parties until the issue was brought up again,” he said, adding that the Sultan also stated that Mais and Jais could take stern action against anyone who questions the fatwa that was issued according to state laws.

      To know in detail these state laws and fatwa over the word “Allah”, visit http://www.mais.gov.my.

      The Ruler’s decree came ahead of a Pakatan Rakyat meeting at which the word “Allah” had been allowed to be used by even non-Muslims.

      PAS ulama chief Datuk Harun Taib expressed shock that Pakatan leaders, including party chief Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, had reached that consensus.

      He said the matter was never discussed, not even in the Syura council – the party’s supreme body.

      “As far as I can remember, we never reached a decision on the matter,” he said, adding that it was wrong to misuse the kalimah “Allah” for any politically-motivated agenda.

      In SEREMBAN, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that Sultan Sharafuddin had every right, as head of the state’s Islamic affairs, to issue the decree.

      This is outrageous!

      If Vatican does not recall this Apostolic Nuncio back, then Wisma Putra should ask him to leave.

      No two ways about that!

      • This is too much. To get the government to severely punish the Vatican Ambassador, demonstrations should be held in front of the Vatican Embassy. To show our displeasure and resentment. This is a national issue.

        But make sure peaceful demonstrations. Inform as many of the press as possible beforehand.

        Good that TS Muhyiddin said those as reported. Can’t expect such a thing from Najib. He was solely responsible for the Vatican sending such a representative to this country. Najib should be replaced.

    • Govt should be principled and declare this Apostolic Nuncio Marino as persona non grata.

      And he should leave, immediately.

      It is clear he insulted a decree issued by Sultan Selangor.

  7. BD,

    Pls take a deep breadth and stop blaming this Marino chap. He is doing what he does best; defend the interest and sancity of Roman Catholicsm.

    Bottomline, its our own fault. We wanted to establish a diplomatic relationship with the Vatican.

    It wasn’t enough to just be friends and our prime ministers do formal visits to meet the Pope. We had to play the one-upmanship game.

    Why do we do that? Its unclear. However, the practice and what has now evolved into a habit which is trying to be popular lead to suspicion that this diplomatic relationship with the Vatican is about to appease the Christians.

    What’s next?

    Assign an envoy to the Russian Orthodox Church and Egyptian Coptic Church?

    How about an envoy to Lhasa?

    • If they replace the UMNO President at PAU in November, send Najib.

      Clearly it was unnecessary and a mistake to set up diplomatic relations with the Vatican. It’s not in the interest of the majority of the population. Can’t see any advantage we get from it. No trade, no nothing.

      Only a vote getting attempt. It failed. And we are saddled with that kind of blokes interfering in the internal affairs of this country. Clearly it’s an interference. Clearly it’s our internal affairs.

      Islam is stated in the Constitution as the religion of this country. No 2-ways about that. There must be respect for that. Especially by the representatives of so-called foreign countries. If no respect by any of them, kick the bloke out.

    • If there were 3 Jews as citizens of Malaysia with voting rights, Najib would have recognized Israel and an Israeli Ambassador stationed in this country. And those Jews would have voted Singapore at PRU13.

      Mengarut Najib nih.

    • Did PM Najib or BN earn substantial votes in 13GE esp the Chinese for appeasing the Christians?

      • No, he got the Chinese Tsunami. I know yours is a rhetorical question – need not be answered. But I want the point emphasized some more and answered.

  8. Barang kiranya wakil kerajaan Malaysia ke Vatican, berada ditengah tengah St Peter Square tu dan buat kenyataan,

    “Hak semua orang Islam untuk lantang mempertahankan sesungguhnya Roman Katholik itu ciptaan manusia kerana Isa itu bukan anak Allah kerana keesaan Allah itu tidak beranak dan diperanakan”

    Surah al Ikhlas ayat 1 – 4:

    بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ
    قُلۡ هُوَ اللّٰہُ اَحَدٌ
    اَللّٰہُ الصَّمَدُ
    لَمۡ یَلِدۡۙ وَ لَمۡ یُوۡلَدۡ
    وَ لَمۡ یَکُنۡ لَّهّ کُفُوًا اَحَدٌ

    Boleh?

  9. The term ‘rights ‘ is the most favourite word of any quarter who want to camouflage its real intention. The envoy should have been briefed on the sensitivity nature of the issue. There is no need for him to choose side over an issue that is known to be sensitive i.e the use of kalimah Allah in text by Christians in Peninsular Malaysia to refer to God. Wisma Putra should summon the envoy to explain the issue to him. It is true that foreign envoy accredited to Malaysia should not interfere in the domestic affairs of this country.

  10. the BN government would never dare to expel a diplomat, especially a Vatican.

    • You’d never know, TokDin. Many Malays have been calling for Najib to be replaced. If a Malay with strong Malay and Islamic values becomes UMNO President & PM, he might do it.

      You can join in the call for Najib be replaced. So long as you don’t call for BN to be replaced – cannot because PRU13 decided that and AlJuburi et all have accepted it by swearing in Parliament.
      .
      Not Pakatoon, are you?

      • Not much lost if an undiplomatic Vatican bloke is expelled, what. What trade is there with Vatican? Tourism also is mainly one way – in Vatican’s favour.

        Is there such a thing as Vatican citizenship? How many of them, do you know?

  11. Assalamualaikum….
    yg terpenting apa klo dia ckp kat sipa…wartawan o agung…
    klo ckp kat wartawan b4 jumpa agong yg pegawai agong tu naper p hanggok jew…pusing tang mana pon kita melayu terutama maaf ckp lelaki tak berani nak membangkang /menolak hajat bangsa lain…maaf ckp lah….klo zaman dulu melayu yg terpelajar berazam nak bebaskan tanah melayu melayu terpelajar la ni berazam nak benamkan m’sia n melayu dari peta dunia…..tengok jew pemimpin melayu…klo haku pm dah haku suh nazri bg surat tunjuk sebab kat haku…

  12. All is not right in our country right now. From Petronas to RUU for Islamic Shariah laws at the Dewan Rakyat up to the price hike of fresh chicken this Ramadhan and the intended abolishment of the Sedition Act by Najib. Now Dap is demanding and instructing the govt to abolish Islamic History subject in IPTS and to abolish the same provision in 5 states’ Shariah laws Enactment re: religion of children of divorced parents etc. D

    All is not right.

    Najib is a liability to the country , Malays and Islam!

    High time to replace him!

    • SOKONG, SOKONG, SOKONG.

      WAHAI AHLI AHLI UMNO TERUTAMA YANG BERPOTENSI MENJADI PERWAKILAN DI PAU 2013,

      TOLONG LAH. GANTIKAN NAJIB. KALAU TAK, BAKAL JAHANAM BANGSA DAN NEGARA KITA.

      • Pembetulan:

        KALAU TAK, BAKAL JAHANAM BANGSA, AGAMA DAN NEGARA KITA.

    • Najib should go. Unsuitable to lead UMNO. With no position in UMNO does he think he can go to national level and talk and dream about his economic transformation, and flex his liberal muscles taking Malaysia on a ridiculous liberal path?. No way, Jose. If Najib continues to neglect the UMNO aspiration and struggles, then PAU should show him the exit door – sortie de secour.

  13. […] Joseph Marino for his interview, which was published by The Malaysian Insider yesterday. The Holy See Ambassador to Malaysia supported the notion that Christians to use ‘Allah’ in place of […]

  14. HOLY COW!!!!

  15. […] the interview with The Malaysian Insider which was published on 11 July 2013 and Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Joseph Salvador Marino stated his support for Christian Federation of Malaysia’s qu…, Malay NGOs reacted called for an apology or risk be […]

  16. […]  instigate and incite the Christians on the ‘Kalimah Allah’ issue. First they got the Apostolic Nuncio to Malaysia HE Archbishop Joseph Marino to state his support for the Christian Fed… in place of […]

  17. […] yesterday evening Foreign Minister Dato’ Seri Anifah Aman issued a statement pertaining to Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Joseph Marino’s interview to The Malaysian Insider which supported… as, “Foreign interference”. Now it seems Youth and Sports Minister Khairy […]

  18. […] The funny bit is that Youth and Sports Minister Khairy “KJ” Jamaluddin asked Malaysian Muslims to ‘Let bygones be bygones’ on the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Bishop’s diplomatically outrageous statement in the interview with…. […]

  19. […] the position and role of Islam and the administration of Islam in this country. On 11 July 2013 Holy See Ambassador to Malaysia Apostolic Nuncio Joseph Marino supported the Christian Federation of… in place of […]

  20. You are going to hell with all your kind.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: