‘Allah’ Designated for Muslim-Only Use in Malaysia

Geo Beats
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An appeals court in Malaysia recently ruled that the Herald, a Catholic publication, can no longer use the Arabic word ‘Allah’ when referring to the Christian ‘God’ in its Malay-language version.

An appeals court in Malaysia recently ruled that the Herald, a Catholic publication, can no longer use the Arabic word ‘Allah’ when referring to the Christian ‘God’ in its Malay-language version.

Though one is a direct translation of the other, and regularly used as such throughout Malaysia among Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the court has decided that the name is not a crucial part of the Chrisitan faith and teachings.

The issue began in 2009 when the Malay government threatened to pull the publication permit of the Herald if it didn’t abide by the ban that had placed on its use of ‘Allah’.

Shortly after, the Catholic Church said it was a constitutional rights violation and filed a suit, which it won.

The ban was lifted, however rioting and bombing ensued and the targets were primarily churches.

Of the latest court decision, the Herald’s editor said the Church will again fight the matter.

In a statement, the Christian Federation of Malaysia said that the court’s decision will only further feelings of “misunderstandings, mistrusts and brokenness between the Muslim and Christian communities."

‘Allah’ is also used in Malay versions of the Bible, which has not been an issue.

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