“Allah” can no long be used by a Christian newspaper in Malaysia to refer to “god” after a landmark court ruling on Monday, reversing a decision made four years previously that maintained the term transcended different faiths.
“It is my judgment that the most possible and probable threat to Islam, in the context of this country, is the propagation of other religions to the followers of Islam,” said Chief Judge Mohamed Apandi Ali, announcing the change.
The panel of three judges was unanimous in their decision that the use of “Allah” by the Roman Catholic Herald newspaper constituted a threat to the sanctity of Islam, as defined in the federal constitution. Herald editor Reverend Lawrence Andrew said he was “disappointed and dismayed,” vowing to appeal.
The issue is contentious in Malaysia.
The previous 2009 ruling was followed by a spate of attacks on churches, and critics fear the issue is once again being used to stoke religious tensions in the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian nation. “Narrow-minded and prejudiced people are creating an atmosphere of hatred,” Mujahid Yusof Rawa, an MP for Malaysia’s opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, tells TIME.
According to the Rev. Eu Hong Seng, chairman of the Christian Federation of Malaysia, “The Bahasa Malaysia–speaking Christians have been using the word Allah before and after the independence of Malaya and the formation of Malaysia.”
Plenty of academic evidence suggests that Allah has also been used by Christians and Jews in Arabia for generations. “And what about the 10 [million] to 12 million Arab Christians today? They have been calling God ‘Allah’ in their Bibles, hymns, poems, writings, and worship for over 19 centuries,” says Fouad Accad in his book Building Bridges, that examines commonality between the different faiths.
Allah was common parlance even before the birth of Islam in the sixth century. “Arabs used the word ‘Allah’ for the supreme being before the time of Muhammad,” writes Kenneth J. Thomas, a United Bible Societies translation consultant based in New York. “Inscriptions with ‘Allah’ have been discovered in Northern and Southern Arabia from as early as the fifth century B.C.
The complete article here : http://world.time.com/
And from The Guardian
The Malaysian ‘Allah’ ban is about putting minorities in their place
The ‘Allah’ ruling is as ridiculous as a UK law saying that ‘God’ is a Christian designation, and other religions can’t use it.
The Malaysian ban follows a depressingly familiar pattern of using religion as a pretext for promoting the status of the majority ethnic group and thereby monopolising the national character. The anger expressed by non-Muslims in Malaysia since the ruling and their insistence on being able to continue to use the word Allah do not constitute an aggressive encroachment on some hallowed Muslim space. It is a re-assertion of a pluralistic national identity and of a determination to use a word that is Malay, rather than Muslim.
Full report http://www.theguardian.com/malaysian-allah-ban-
A major part of this Allah controversy involving Islam, seems much like another plot in subordinating the status of others.
And a major part of subordinating others is citing superficial differences, in order to lay claim to fundamental distinctions of superiority/inferiority.. citing attitudes towards religion , race, sex, sexual orientation, and money. Or even economic status.
All used to reinforce the supremacy notion.
Xenophobia ,. Xeno-mania? Somehow when there are double takes , oftentimes it is found that Religion always has something to do with it.
But as for this Allah ban, many do recognise the reek of political cynicism and the hypocrisy is not unnoticed.
‘ALLAH’ MEANS ‘GOD,’ UNLESS YOU’RE A CHRISTIAN IN MALAYSIA…bold headline in a international media .
Malaysia is fast becoming a joke of a Islamic moderate country in SE Asia,
We should learn from the Arabic state UAE , what Islamic moderation means in media and journalism.
Even Indonesia can teach us a thing or two.
Instead of consistently acting like a clownish country with Malaysian Muslims supposedly setting an example of Islamic moderation in a multi diverse society among the international community that all can talk about as a shining example of what moderate muslims are like.
But now besides “talking about” also “laugh at” but not take seriously , thanks to Perkasa and the same ilks or mentalities on that ugly side from UMNO and BN !