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About the Crusades

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 07:32 PM PDT

Hence, what we see today is the dominant Church of Rome mainly because over 400 years they exterminated all those who were not aligned to the Church of Rome. But what if Constantine had chosen another model of Christianity instead of Paul's version? Well, then I suppose, today, the Church in Rome would not be a Catholic Church.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

One of my favourite movies is 'Kingdom of Heaven'. I have probably watched that movie three or four times and have no problem watching it again.

But that is the thing about western movies. It makes villains into heroes and heroes into villains. Basically, it all depends on how the director wants to portray things. John Wayne was the goodie who could shoot dead 20 'red skins' with his six-shooter.

It did not occur to me then that a six-shooter has only six bullets -- so how could he kill 20 red skins without reloading his gun as he utters 'the only good Injun is a dead Injun'?

Nevertheless, we would clap and cheer as the Injuns 'bite the dust' without thinking that the 'white skins' were actually the baddies who took the red skin's land by force and drove them into reservations.

And that also goes for movies regarding the Crusades, 'Kingdom of Heaven' being one example.

Do you know that there were probably twenty or more Crusades for almost 400 years from 1096 to the mid-1400s? And not all Crusades were Christians versus Muslims or fought in Jerusalem, as we are being led to believe. There were also many Crusades where Christians exterminated Christians in the power struggle being fought to determine which version of Christianity is the correct version.

And to ensure that they met their objective of exterminating 'the teachings of the devil', they had to embark upon 'ethnic cleansing' so that there were no remnants of deviants and heretics who would threaten 'the religion of God'.

Ironically, Jews and Muslims were not regarded as followers or practitioners of the teachings of the devil. Only those Christians who did not follow Rome or the Pope were. Hence Jews and Muslims were spared (except in Jerusalem) while fellow Christians suffered the brunt of the Crusades.

And these Crusades were fought in Europe, not in the Middle East or Jerusalem. And history now refers to this Crusade as the Inquisition although in the beginning it was called a Crusade. And the Inquisition was basically an attempt to eradicate heresy (a.k.a. devil worshipping).

Heresy was a concept introduced by the Church of Rome, which was set up by Emperor Constantine. Constantine wanted Christians to follow the model of Christianity established by Paul as in the New Testament rather than that of the Gospels because they considered the teachings of Jesus as being too Jewish.

Although Paul was as Jewish as Jesus, Paul lived his life outside Judaea around the Mediterranean region and hence was more influenced by the Greek and Roman religions while Jesus was more inclined towards the Essene philosophy, to which the Nazarenes were attached.

Historians even go so far as to say that Paul created a new religion with Jesus as the earthly godhead, which in the year 44 in Antioch, Syria, became known as Christianity.

Thereafter, the doctrine of Paul got assimilated into Christianity and became the official religion of the Roman Empire. Subsequently, the Church Fathers decreed that Christians who still followed the Nazarene model would be considered heretics who should be put to death.

It was not until a thousand years later, however, that the crime of heresy was 'formalised' after the 1229 Synod of Toulouse.

The Church was worried about the emergence of influential groups that were undermining Rome. One of these groups was the Waldensians. One of the teachings of this group was that people should give away their wealth and live a life of poverty. They also translated the Gospel into French, which was forbidden.

The problem with Latin was that only a handful of church leaders could read the Gospel while the masses would remain in ignorance.

Eventually, the Church ruled that the Waldensians were followers of the devil and at the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 they were declared heretics who practiced devil worshipping.

The Cathars, too, who had translated the Bible into their own language, suffered the same fate. The Cathars, who came from the Italian-German region of Lombardy, Tuscany and the Rhineland, were non-conformists. They believed that one can preach religion without a licence and that there was no need for priests and churches like what the Catholics have (just like what Jesus, too, believed). Hence they regarded themselves as the true followers of Jesus and not followers of the 'contaminated' Roman religion.

The declaration of heresy and devil worshiping against the Cathars was upheld by King Phillipe II of France and Pope Innocent III. In 1209, 30,000 soldiers under Simon de Monfort, wearing the red cross of the Holy Land, invaded Languedoc and exterminated the Cathars.

This became known as the Albigensian Crusade.

The slaughtering went on for 35 years at the cost of 30,000 lives, Catholics included (because they could not differentiate between Cathars and Catholics so better that all of them perish). Many were burned alive at the stake. And the same thing happened in other parts of Europe such as in the Netherlands and as late as the 1500s in England.

Hence, what we see today is the dominant Church of Rome mainly because over 400 years they exterminated all those who were not aligned to the Church of Rome. But what if Constantine had chosen another model of Christianity instead of Paul's version? Well, then I suppose, today, the Church in Rome would not be a Catholic Church.

No, this piece is not about theology. It is about history. And that is what history tells us.


BN lawmaker says NGO coalition’s demands against Islam, calls for probe

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 05:38 PM PDT

(Bernama) - The Registrar of Societies has been urged to investigate the status of 54 non-governmental organisations (NGO) under the Coalition of Malaysian Non-Governmental Organisations (Comango), which is planning to make demands which contradict Islam.

Datuk Raime Unggi (BN-Tenom) said the action was necessary to ascertain the NGOs concerned were registered bodies and to ensure they were not used as tools by Comango.

"The demands by Comango are not in line with our federal constitution, and their statements give a bad picture of Malaysia which can affect the country's good name and its relations with other countries," he said when debating the Supply Bill 2014 in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Raime also said the Malaysian Islamic Development Department should also investigate Sisters in Islam (SIS), which was also in the coalition.

"Comango clearly denies the role and existence of Muslims in the country... If SIS is in Comango, I urge Jakim to investigate," he added.

He said immediate action should be taken against any efforts to undermine the country's laws and Islam.

Last week, two backbenchers had criticised Comango over its plan to submit human rights issues involving Malaysia to the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva which they said were in conflict with the Federal Constitution.

Comango, which is preparing a report on human rights in Malaysia, is seeking, among others, the rights of lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people, and religious freedom.

It also questions certain provisions in the Islamic Family law, claiming they discriminated women.

The Dewan Rakyat sitting continues on Wednesday.


Pendirian saya tetap, kata Harun Taib

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 05:32 PM PDT

"Mungkin kerana saya pertahankan isu kalimah ALLAH itu, menyebabkan mereka terus memilih saya."

(Sinar Harian) - Penyandang Ketua Dewan Ulama Pas, Datuk Harun Taib sedia menggalas tanggungjawab tersebut semula pada pemilihan Pas kali ini, namun masih menunggu notis pencalonan.

Menurutnya, beliau juga tidak mengetahui punca kenapa dirinya masih dipilih untuk jawatan tersebut walaupun dirinya pernah terlibat dalam beberapa isu sebelum ini.

"Mungkin kerana saya pertahankan isu kalimah ALLAH itu, menyebabkan mereka terus memilih saya. Nak kata saya ketuai parti dengan baik, rasanya saya yang paling mundur. Tapi Insya-ALLAH, saya akan jalankan tugas dengan sebaiknya," katanya kepada Sinar Harian.

Beliau berkata demikian ketika diminta mengulas mengenai namanya mendahului senarai calon yang layak bertanding pada pemilihan Dewan Ulama Pas Pusat pada 22 hingga 24 November ini bersempena Muktamar Tahunan Pas kali ke- 59 yang diumumkan Pengerusi Jawatankuasa Pemilihan Parti, Asmuni Awi, semalam.

Harun berkata, beliau juga akan tetap dengan pendirian mengenai isu kalimah ALLAH kerana ia berkaitan dengan akidah Islam.

"Saya akan teruskan pendirian saya sama seperti sebelum ini, walaupun ada pemimpin Pas lain tidak sependapat dengan saya.

"Saya tengok diri saya bukan berdasarkan orang lain, tetapi ia berkaitan akidah," katanya.

Tambahnya, dalam isu 'tahaluf siasi' dengan PKR, cadangan tersebut sebenarnya adalah untuk Dewan Ulama membuat kajian terperinci.

"Saya rasa perlu ada kajian terperinci, mana-mana yang longgar perlu dikemaskan, kalau dah kemas, perkukuhkan lagi.

Bukan bermakna bercerai. "Mereka mungkin salah faham dengan maksud saya, atau itulah cara untuk serang saya.

Saya terima serangan cara begini kerana yang menilainya adalah masyarakat," katanya.

Beliau turut berharap, jika terpilih, perkara utama adalah meneruskan perjuangan parti sampai ke matlamatnya.

"Insya-ALLAH jika sihat badan, panjang umur, saya akan teruskan perjuangan parti sampai ke akhirnya," katanya.

Terdahulu, Harun dikecam apabila Majlis Syura bertegas menolak kalimah ALLAH digunakan masyarakat bukan Islam walaupun diminta mempertimbangkan keputusan tersebut.

Isu tersebut turut dibawa ke mahkamah yang mana keputusan berpihak kepada larangan menggunakan kalimah ALLAH bagi majalah mingguan The Herrald.

Harun menegaskan, masyarakat bukan Islam dilarang sama sekali menggunakan kalimah ALLAH yang hanya khusus untuk agama dan umat Islam dan tetap mempertahankan pendiriannya menyokong keputusan Mahkamah Rayuan tempoh hari yang tidak membenarkan penggunaan kalimah Allah dalam majalah tersebut.

September lalu, Harun turut dikecam apabila dalam ucaptama beliau mahu Pas mengkaji semula 'tahaluf siasi' (kerjasama politik) dengan PKR di dalam PR, selepas sokongan pengundi Melayu kepada Pas merosot pada PRU13.


Pemimpin DAP Kedah letak jawatan

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 05:28 PM PDT

(Sinar Harian) - Naib Pengerusi 1 Interim DAP Kedah, Syed Araniri Syed Ahmad meletak jawatan berkuat kuasa serta merta kerana hilang kepercayaan terhadap kepimpinan parti, termasuk Jawatankuasa Eksekutif Pusat (CEC).

Beliau turut melepaskan jawatan sebagai Pengerusi DAP Cawangan Taman Wira Mergong, namun pada masa sama, meragui keahliannya berikutan tidak memiliki kad keahlian sejak hampir dua tahun lalu.

Syed Araniri turut mendedahkan sikap parti itu yang double standard terhadap orang Melayu, apabila permohonan lebih 70 ahli Melayu dari pelbagai cawangan di negeri itu tidak diproses.

"Amat meragukan apabila saya dilantik sebagai Naib Pengerusi tanpa memiliki kad keahlian parti. Apabila perkara itu dibangkitkan, jawapan yang saya terima ialah tunggu.

Sampai bila perkara ini harus berlarutan, sudah dua tahun saya tunggu," katanya.

Menurutnya, beliau menyertai DAP pada 15 Januari 2012 dan sebulan selepas itu menghantar permohonan keahlian, namun amat dikesali sehingga kini, ia tidak diproses.

"Ini bermakna saya menjadi ketua di cawangan ghaib kerana cawangan itu juga tidak didaftarkan, kemudian dilantik di peringkat negeri tanpa ikut prosedur sah.

Saya juga berhasrat menghantar surat aduan kepada Pendaftar Pertubuhan Malaysia (ROS) dalam masa terdekat," katanya.

Syed Araniri turut menafikan tindakannya itu ada kaitan dengan PRK Dun Sungai Limau, sebaliknya menyifatkan sudah tiba masa kepincangan DAP didedahkan.

"Saya tiada kepentingan diri sebaliknya kecewa dengan sikap pemimpin DAP Pusat yang tidak menjaga kepentingan ahli Melayu dalam parti itu.

Permohonan lapan cawangan juga tidak diluluskan kerana dibarisi bukan pemimpin kroni," katanya.

Menurutnya, ahli dan pemimpin Melayu dalam parti itu seolah-olah diperbodohkan oleh CEC, yang dikuasai tangan-tangan ghaib yang membuat keputusan sewenang-wenangnya.

"Yuran pendaftaran diambil, namun kad keahlian tidak diproses. Ke mana perginya semua wang itu," soalnya. Syed Araniri berkata, berdasarkan buku perlembagaan DAP, pada klausa 10 (perlucutan keahlian), dinyatakan apabila diterima menjadi ahli, pemberitahuan bertulis akan diberikan selain dibekalkan buku perlembagaan, lencana dan kad keahlian.


Analyst: Long-term advantage for Sungai Limau victor

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 05:08 PM PDT

(Bernama) - Although the Sungai Limau by-election on Monday poses no threat to the Barisan Nasional (BN) state government, the outcome will impact greatly on BN and PAS in the long term, according to analysts.

Political analyst Associate Professor Dr Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani said, regardless of perceptions on the by-election, both parties were still striving vigorously to win.

"If PAS loses, it will be a blow for the party. PAS leaders and members will be demoralised. This will pychologically boost BN, and the people will give a stronger suport, more specifically to the development agenda of Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, as the new Menteri Besar of Kedah," said Dr Mohd Azizuddin.

He said although the campaigns on both sides were seen as not aggressive, they were actually intense, albeit veiled, because both sides were aware of the local sentiment.

The Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) International Studies Faculty Dean said both parties had equal chances on Monday although the seat was said to be a PAS stronghold held by Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak since 1995.

He was Menteri Besar for one term from 2008 until the last general election May. He died on Sept 26, necessitating the by-election.

But the facts show that the seat, known as Sala before the general election in 2004, often changed hands between BN and PAS.

PAS in its effort to retain the seat has played up the relations between its candidate Mohd Azam Abd Samat as a protege of Azizan who had family ties with the latter, and had even used Azizan's name and photograph in its campaign.

In the obsession to highlight the close ties between Azizan and Azam, PAS  'doctored' a photograph of a visit to Azizan by two journalists from Sinar Harian in 2011 by putting in a photograph of Mohd Azam over that of one of the journalists, in their pamphlets.

BN candidate, Dr Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim, despite being a senior lecturer at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, is low keyed, and carries out face-to-face campaigning which meets the taste of the local residents.

For Dr Azizuddin, the BN candidate's strategy is effective compared to that of PAS which mirrored desperation for still using Azizan.

Mukhriz, who is also Kedah BN chairman, recently stated his confidence that BN would be accepted by the people of Sungai Limau because only BN could bring development to the area.

Although BN had failed to win the seat since the 1995 general election, the people must look at BN's determination to develop Kedah after returning to helm the  following the 13th general election in May, he said.

Meanwhile, Kedah PAS commissioner Datuk Mahfuz Omar said according to the latest feedback from the ground, PAS was confident of retaining the seat albeit by a narrower majority of just about 500 votes.

The by-election this time is not only a collision of BN and PAS, not only between Dr Sohaimi and Mohd Azam, but also between Mukhriz and Mahfuz, who had been newly appointed to head their respective parties in the state after PRU13.  


Muslim lawyers: Dire action if Bar Council favours Church in ‘Allah’ appeal

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 05:04 PM PDT

(MM) - Leaders in the Malaysian Bar risk certain "action" if they decide to side with the Church and back its court appeal for Christians to call their god "Allah", a Muslim law group warned today.

Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar, president of the Muslim Lawyers' Association, cautioned the Bar Council against taking a partisan stand in the spat that is deepening a gulf in multireligious Malaysia.

He reminded the Bar Council that the majority of its members were Muslims, and stressed that the views of a "few scattered Muslim members" in support of the Church did not represent the sentiments of its mainstream that number in the "thousands".

"The Muslim Lawyers Association, whose considerable members are also members of the Malaysian Bar, wholeheartedly supports the decision of the Court of Appeal.

"Our Association strongly oppose [sic] any partisan action by the Bar Council over the issue," he said in a statement.

Several members in the Bar Council, which is the executive body of the Malaysian Bar, were this week reported to have voiced their support for the Church to appeal against a recent appellate court ruling overturning a 2009 landmark High Court's decision that the Arabic word for god was not exclusive to Islam.

"The Muslim Lawyers Association awares [sic] that the Bar Council has repeatedly taking steps or stands contradictory with the Muslim beliefs and would not hesitate to take further action if the Bar Council continues with the same attitude," Zainul said, without elaborating on what the repercussions.

Constitutional law expert Shahredzan Johan was reported by The Sun newspaper to have lauded the Sabah Lawyers Association's purported support of the Church on October 30, and highlighted that its counterpart in Sarawak were considering announcing the same.

The bulk of Christians in Malaysia are Malay-speaking and hail from the two Borneo states.

Syahredzan's colleague in the Bar Council, Andrew Khoo, was also reported saying the Council were considering applying to intervene in the Church's appeal if it went to the Federal Court, but added that no decision had been made.

The Malaysian Bar last month criticised the Court of Appeal's "Allah" ruling, pointing out that it is unreasonable to deny a fundamental liberty on the basis that some persons would be confused, and reinforces the notion that the use or threat of violence would win the day in court.

In a strongly worded statement on October 16, the Bar added that there was no basis for the court finding that the word "Allah" was not an integral part of the Christian faith, especially since the conclusion was made as a result of "a quick research" on the Internet.

"It is for a party asserting exclusive rights to the use of the word 'Allah' to establish that they have such exclusive rights, rather than for others to have to establish that the use of the word is integral to their faith.

On October 14, the Court of Appeal ruled against a High Court decision allowing the Catholic Church to refer to the Christian god using the word "Allah" in the Bahasa Malaysia section of its newspaper, the Herald.

The court adjudged the usage of the word "Allah" as not integral to the Christian faith and said that allowing such an application would cause confusion in the Muslim community.

The Catholic Church has said it would appeal the decision. 


Mukhriz: Dr Leong’s appointment depends on Tunku Annuar’s approval

Posted: 01 Nov 2013 05:00 PM PDT

(Bernama) - The appointment of Gurun assemblyman Dr Leong Yong Kong as member of the state executive council (exco) to fill the MCA quota depends on the approval of the chairman of the Kedah Council of Regency, Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Sultan Badlishah.

Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, however, said the appointment, if approved, would be made before the next state legislative assembly sitting scheduled to begin on Nov 18.

After his appointment as the menteri besar, Mukhriz had appointed eight exco members, leaving the remaining two seats to be filled each by MCA and Gerakan representatives.

As Gerakan candidates failed to win any state seat in the 13th general election, MCA was reported to have lobbied for the Gerakan quota to be given to MCA.

However, Muhkriz said MCA had yet to make any official application to the state government except for the letter from MCA president Datuk Seri Chua Soi Lek, proposing the appointment of Leong and Kulim assemblyman, Chua Thiong Gee as Kedah exco members.

Mukhriz was met after closing the One Community One JPJ (Road Transport Department) programme at Sekolah Menengah Megat Dewa here today. 



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