Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

In God’s name: Malaysian court bans non-Muslims from using word ‘Allah’

Published time: October 14, 2013 07:33
Muslim Protestors display a banner during a demonstration against a Malaysian Catholic newspaper using the word 'Allah' at the court of appeal in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on October 14, 2013. (AFP Photo/Mohd Rasfan)

Muslim Protestors display a banner during a demonstration against a Malaysian Catholic newspaper using the word 'Allah' at the court of appeal in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on October 14, 2013. (AFP Photo/Mohd Rasfan)

A Malaysian Court of Appeal has prohibited non-Muslims from using the word Allah to refer to God. Christians argue the ruling violates their religious rights as they have been using the word for decades.

"The usage of the word Allah is not an integral part of the faith in Christianity," Chief Judge Mohamed Apandi Ali said, adding that in court’s opinion it “will cause confusion in the community."

The unanimous decision by three Muslim judges comes as the Malaysian government appealed a lower court decision in 2009, when it ruled that the Catholic Church had the constitutional right to use the word Allah when referring to God in the Malay-language edition of the Catholic weekly newspaper The Herald.

However, the government argues that a Catholic newspaper could not use the word Allah to describe the Christian God because of concerns that it would confuse Muslims and could be used to convert them to Christianity.

The Herald's lawyers, at the same time, insist that Malay-language Bibles have used the word when referring to the Christian God since its translation in 1731, centuries before Malaysia was formed as a federal state in 1963.

The Herald editor Reverend Lawrence Andrew said he was “disappointed and dismayed,” and would appeal against the decision.

"In the Middle East and Indonesia, Allah is a term used by both Christians and Muslims. You cannot say all of a sudden that it is not an integral part," local English-language newspaper The Star Online quoted Andrew as saying. He then added that Malaysia Christians, as a minority, should be protected under the law. 

Protestors display placards reading "Allah word only can be used by Muslims" during a demonstration at the court of appeal in Putrajaya, outside Kuala Lumpur on October 14, 2013. (AFP Photo/Mohd Rasfan)  

"We are saying we have a right as a minority in this country to live in freedom," he said.

"We have been using this word for nearly four or five hundred years, people have been living in peace and harmony. We have published The Herald for 19 years and we have not caused any trouble,"
said Andrew.

Although the case is largely a dispute between The Herald and the Home Ministry, it generally expands into a wider debate between Christians and Muslims.

On the eve of the hearing in the Court of Appeal Ultra Malay groups vowed to demonstrate at the Palace of Justice court complex.

Although they have promised a peaceful gathering, local media voiced concerns that with Christian groups also at the scene, the rally may turn violent.

Muslims make up about 61 percent of Malaysia’s 28 million people. According to the Christian Federation of Malaysia, about 60 percent of the approximately 2.6 million Christians in the country use the word Allah to refer to God.

Comments (38)

 

GSmith 15.10.2013 16:21

"all messengers performed miracles you ignorant sheep."

Correction: all messengers CLAIMED to have performed miracles. Only Christ proved His claim by actually doing it.
I take note, Cid, that you have declined to contradict my statement that Mohammed was a war-mongering phony. Maybe you agree that I am right in at least one respect, then?

 

Cid FlyHigh 15.10.2013 12:35

GSmith 15.10.2013 10:31


Actually , Christ IS God/Allah, as He proved by His miracles, which were performed to give credence to His gospel.

  

see ! your very ignorance is way enough to explain why the law was created and passed.
all messengers performed miracles you ignorant sheep.

 

GSmith 15.10.2013 10:31

"Cant let those priests say God is Allah when they refer to Jesus."

Actually, Christ IS God/Allah, as He proved by His miracles, which were performed to give credence to His gospel. It's the Muslims who are at fault by giving a pedophile the status of a prophet, and exalting him above all other prophets. Mohammed was a war-mongering phony who prostituted the concept of religion in order to gain power over perceived enemies.

View all comments (38)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us