Malaysia: Muslim groups laud Allah decision

There are greater challenges ahead for Muslims, said former PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa (pic) after the Court of Appeal verdict today that banned Catholics from using the word “Allah” in the Herald, the church’s weekly newspaper.

He said the court’s ruling that Allah was not a fundamental word for Christians was sound.

Calling it a victory for Muslims, he said this was the start of greater challenges to come where the position of Islam and the role of the Syariah court were being challenged by certain non-governmental organisations at the Universal Periodic Review in the United Nations.

Calling the UN case an “even bigger challenge”, Nasharudin said that he would be in Geneva on October 24 to assist the Malaysian government with the human rights case filed at the UN.

He explained that even though it was a human rights case, the position of Islam as the religion of the country and the Syariah court’s role had been brought into the argument.

Meanwhile, Persatuan Belia Islam Malaysia spokesperson Iqbal Hakim Abdul Razak expressed the hope that with today’s ruling, acts of provocation against Muslims would stop.

“We don’t like it, because we do not go and provoke other religions,” he said.

Ikatan Muslim Malaysia representative Taqiuddin Tabarani also hailed the court ruling as a good one, adding that the origins of the Bible never contained the word “Allah”.

 “The translated Bibles of old never used the word, which is why we cannot understand why the Christians in Malaysia are so insistent on using it,” he stated.

Pekida Malaysia chairman Mohamed Ismail Osman said that the rights of Muslims have been protected given the verdict.

However, he added that he respected the church’s right to appeal.

“We will wait patiently for the appeal process to be exhausted and hope for the same outcome,” he said. – October 14, 2013.