Malaysia says Herald not allowed to use ‘Allah’ in its publications

January 4th, 2008 - 4:47 pm ICT by admin  

Putrajaya, Jan 4 (ANI): Malaysias Cabinet has decided that weekly publication, The Herald, is not allowed to use the word “Allah” in its publications.
The restrictions on the use of the word “Allah” was still enforceable and shall be upheld as decided by the Cabinet in two of its meetings - on October 18 and November 1, 2006, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdullah Mohd Zin said.
Abdullah said that the Prime Minister had instructed him to clarify the matter so that the public would not be confused.
“One of the reasons given to uphold the restriction is because that it has long been the practice of this country that the world Allah refers to God according to the Muslim faith,” he said.
It was only proper for other religions to use the word “God” and not “Allah” when referring to their God in respective beliefs, Abdullah said.
The use of the word “Allah” shall not be made a public debate that may give the impression as if there is no freedom of religion in the country, he added.
“The use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims may arouse sensitivity and create confusion among Muslims in the country,” he said.
On December 31, the publication’s editor Father Lawrence Andrew said the weekly was allowed to continue printing its Bahasa Malaysia section with no restriction on the use of the word “Allah” for God.
He said a representative from the Internal Security Ministry delivered a letter dated December 28 with the permit to print the newspaper and that according to him, the letter did not place any restrictions whatsoever.
The newspaper carries reports in English, Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil and Chinese, about the Catholic community. It has a circulation of 12,000.
The ministry had earlier issued directives to the publisher to cease the use of the word “Allah” in the weekly, failing which its permit would either be suspended or revoked. (ANI)

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