I refrained from making any comment on the controversial issue of the usage of the name 'Allah' by Christians.Race and religion are two sensitive issues that should be prodded with extreme care.
As intellectually reprehensible as it can be to certain people the fact remains that religion can inflame the passion of those who ascribed it to their personhood.They get hot under the collar whenever it is questioned,criticised or repudiated. The extremity of such intolerance could end up in social upheaval and violence.
This is one evil that we should give a wide berth.Racial and religious violence can tear a nation to shred.Countless atrocities inflicted on humanity have been in the name of religion.There are no winners,only losers.
I am from Sabah and have many Christian friends many of whom I know use 'Tuhan' or 'God' instead of 'Allah'.Two nights ago while having a drink with a Catholic friend I was surprised with his disagreement of the Catholic church insistence of using 'Allah'.He is English speaking, therefore, the question of using 'Allah' does not arise.I have yet to hear even those Malay speaking Christians using Allah outside the church.
Allah is synonymous to the Abrahamic religions and might have been in use by Christians,Muslims and Jews for as long as the religions have existed.Indonesia must have been the place where the use of Allah took its form in the Christian's Holy Book written in the Malay language. In Peninsula Malaysia 'Allah' is only use by Muslims and is synonymous with Islam.
Since the case is in the hands of the court, Malaysians from both sides of the political divide should refrain from making incendiary statements or politicise the issue to gain political mileage.It's dangerous.
Any street demonstration should be treated in the same manner as those conducted by the oppositions in the past.There should be no fear or favour.Get the water cannons and teargas out if they go on the street.This is the time to prove that 1 Malaysia is not just a slogan.What's good for the goose is good for the gander.Non action could be misinterpreted as government colluding with the wrongdoers.
It's also very disheartening that the government did not take a neutral stand on the issue and let an Islamic organisation take up the case either by mediation or the legal process if such agreement couldn't be reached.
The government should not take lightly the fire-bombing of two churches in the country.The culprits should be brought to book as quickly as possible.