Thursday, 31 December 2009

Malaysia's court ruling: Allah is not exclusive to Islam

Even in Indonesia, where Allah is used sporadically in the translation
of the Bible, its use is discrete and are not meant to mislead, unlike
in Malaysia.

Allah is substituted for Jesus when it should be just god. The bible
never uses the word Allah as a translation to God. Allah is not a
Malay word for God. The Malay word for God is Tuhan.

In Malay, Allah is meant to be the God of Muslims. Since the bible is
to be translated to Malaysian Malay, it must be translated according
to the normal rules of translation, not to mislead the readers.

Why on Earth should Christians in Malaysia want to use the word Allah
to describe God when the correct translation is Tuhan? Unless it is
attempting to mislead readers to consider that that Jesus is also the
god of the Malays, which is completely nonsense.

Just because Allah is not exclusive to Islam, does not mean that it
can be used without any just cause. Just because Koran is not
exclusive to Islam, does not mean that it can be used to translate the
word "Bible" into Koran in Malay. This is what it amounts to.

If the Christians want to translate the Bible to Malay, then use
proper Malay words and grammar. Usually poor Malay grammar and words
is an insult to the language and customs of the Malays and Muslims.
Use the correct word for God, i.e. Tuhan!!!

Malaysian court rules Catholic paper can use "Allah"
Royce Cheah
Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:57am EST
Related News
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Mon, Nov 23 2009
KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - A Malaysian court ruled on Thursday that a
Catholic newspaper can use "Allah" to describe God in a surprise
judgment that could allay worries about the erosion of minority rights
in the majority Muslim country.


The High Court said it was the constitutional right for the Catholic
newspaper, the Herald, to use the word "Allah."

"Even though Islam is the federal religion, it does not empower the
respondents to prohibit the use of the word," said High Court judge
Lau Bee Lan.

Last January, Malaysia banned the use of the word "Allah" by
Christians, saying the use of the Arabic word might offend the
sensitivities of Muslims who make up 60 per cent of Malaysia's 28
million population.

Analysts say cases such as that involving the Herald worry Malaysian
Muslim activists and officials who see using the word Allah in
Christian publications including bibles as attempts to proselytize.

The Herald circulates in Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo Island where most
tribal people converted to Christianity more than a century ago.

In February, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Murphy
Pakiam, as publisher of the Herald, filed for a judicial review,
naming the Home Ministry and the government as respondents.

He had sought to declare that the decision by the respondents
prohibiting him from using the word "Allah" in the Herald was illegal
and that the word "Allah" was not exclusive to Islam.

The Home Minister's decision to ban the use of the word was illegal,
null and void, said Lau.

Lawyers representing the government said they would refer to the Home
Ministry on whether to appeal.

"It is a day of justice and we can say right now that we are citizens
of one nation," said Father Lawrence Andrew, the Herald's editor.

Christians -- including about 800,000 Catholics -- make up about 9.1
percent of Malaysia's population. Malays are by definition Muslims and
are not allowed to convert.

Malaysia was rated as having "very high" government restrictions on
religion in a recent survey by the Pew Forum, bracketing it with the
likes of Iran and Egypt and it was the 9th most restrictive of 198

Published since 1980, the Herald newspaper is printed in English,
Mandarin, Tamil and Malay. The Malay edition is mainly read by tribes
in the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo Island.

Ethnic Chinese and Indians, who are mainly Christians, Buddhists and
Hindus, have been upset by court rulings on conversions and other
religious disputes as well as demolitions of some Hindu temples.

(Editing by Nick Macfie)

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