Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Catholic Newspaper in Malaysia had the guts to use the word Allah for God

The government of Malaysia has expressed regret that Catholic weekly Herald has defied the government’s ban on the use of word “Allah” as a translation for “God” in its publication.

While calling for a stop on public debates regarding the matter, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said he will ask the ministry’s legal division to see “what can be done” against the newspaper.

“Usually, we will study what happens when there is no compliance. Religious issues are very sensitive. That’s why I avoid debating about it. But if one religion decides to show its strength and all sort of things, it is a bit dangerous.

"To me, it is best (that) we sort it out in an environment which is not confrontational - an environment of goodwill and understanding. That’s why we have taken this approach. "We did not take action, (but) we gave conditions so that they would not create problems,” he told a press conference after the ministry’s monthly assembly today.

Syed Hamid said the newspaper should have waited for the court’s decision, scheduled Feb 27, instead of acting according to its own judgment and defying the Cabinet’s decision to lift the ban imposed on the Malay edition of Herald. MORE IN THESUNDAILY.

In Malaysia, there is ofcourse also much discussion among Muslims about this issue. Have a look here for instance.

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