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Malaysian court invites affidavits on case about use of ‘Allah’


Kuala Lumpur : All parties to the dispute over the use of the word “Allah” in a Christian publication should have their say, a judge has ordered, after a church official went to court against a home ministry ban on the publication using the word.

To enable all sides to have their say, the court which has been hearing the case since last December has now set Feb 27 as the next date of hearing.

The imborglio started after the use of the word “Allah” in the Herald-The Catholic Weekly, a Christian publication.

The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur has applied for a judicial review of a Home Ministry directive forbidding the Herald publishers from using the word “Allah”.

The Archbishop’s counsel Porres Royal said the directive was unlawful under the Federal Constitution and that the word was not exclusive to Islam.

On Dec 5 last year, the publisher filed a writ of summons in the Kuala Lumpur High Court to seek a declaration on the use of the word.

The respondents are the Home Ministry, the government and the state Islamic Councils of Federal Territory, Terengganu, Penang, Selangor, Kedah, Johor, Malacca and the Malaysia Chinese Muslim Association.

Mubashir Mansor, counsel for the Terengganu, Penang and Malacca Islamic councils said Friday that they would file an affidavit in two weeks to the Federal Court saying that no court of law could hear this case, Star Online said.

Malaysia is a multi-religious, multi-ethnic society that has majority Muslim Malays, about 33 percent Chinese and eight percent Indians who follow different faiths.