Non-Muslims cannot use word 'Allah', says Malaysia

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(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

A court in Malaysia has ruled that non-Muslims may not use the word ‘Allah’ to refer to god, overturning a 2009 ruling on the matter.

The country’s appeals court ruled that permitting Malaysia’s Christian, Hindu and Buddhist communities to use the word would “cause confusion” and was “not an integral part of the faith in Christianity”.

The previous verdict by the lower court in 2009 had allowed a Malay language version of the Catholic-owned Herald newspaper to use the word. Lawyers for that newspaper had argued that use of the word Allah predated Islamic beliefs and had been used by the region’s Malay-speaking Christians for centuries. In neighbouring Indonesia, Christian communities commonly use the word, derived from Arabic, to refer to god.

The Herald’s editor Reverend Lawrence Andrew said that he would appeal against the decision. "It is a retrograde step in the development of law in relation to the fundamental liberty of religious minorities," he said.

Following the decision, more than 100 Muslims gathered outside of Malaysia’s appeals court to celebrate the verdict.

Malaysia’s population is divided along ethnic and religious boundaries, which has led to communal tensions in the past. The country is home ethnic Malay, Chinese and Indian communities, with beliefs including Islam, Christianity and Hinduism widely practised.

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Posted by: Edmond J. Philippi

The word of ALLAH has been used with the Arabic speaking people long before Islam and even christianity,
The moslem clergy commitee should have gone through the internet to find out that the word Allah does not belong to any religion,
there is also a study that there was a godess in ancient history called Allat (female)so they derrived from her name the name Allah for God (Male)
Whatever the causes that our Malaysian Clerics ruled ,the name of Allah will stay with all Arabic speaking people for eternity.

Posted by: Knowledge Is Power

Allah is arabic for God. It is not a word exclusively reserved for Muslims to use. I once saw a program on National Geographic whereby a Christian gathering was being performed in arabic in Jerusalem. The priest used the word Allah to refer to God. Just an example of how non arabic speaking muslims fail to understand the real meaning and use of the word.

Surely with the means of communication we have today, some clarification could have been sought from the non-muslim Arabic speaking world on how the word is really used by arabic speaking nations who practice religions other than Islam.

Posted by: Mohamed (or maybe not)

Well Allah be praised. Are you going to confirm everyone's identity when they use the word Allah

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