Malaysians argue over word for ‘God’

A church and Christian newspaper in Malaysia are suing the government after it decreed that the word “Allah” can only be used by Muslims.

In the Malay language “Allah” is used to mean any god, and Christians say they have used the term for centuries.

Opponents of the ban say it is unconstitutional and unreasonable.

It is the latest in a series of religious rows in largely Muslim Malaysia, where minority groups claim their rights are being eroded.

A spokesman for the Herald, the newspaper of the Catholic Church in Malaysia, said a legal suit was filed after they received repeated official warnings that the newspaper could have its license revoked if it continued to use the word.

“We are of the view that we have the right to use the word ‘Allah’,” said editor Rev Lawrence Andrew.



4 Responses to “Malaysians argue over word for ‘God’”

  1. 1 Ibn Luke December 28, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    Another foolishness, the Malay name for God is Tuhan not Allah, so if someone wants to write in Malay they can easily use the word Tuhan instead of Allah. The government (my poor gov.’t) could swiftly eliminate this disagreement with wisdom and clear insights to the so-called problem. And yes, one can use the name Allah (swt) but in what context is it to used. The agenda of the Christians was suspect in this case by the gov’t.

  2. 2 Abdurrahman R. Squir December 28, 2007 at 11:08 pm

    What a da’wah disaster! So much for not being petty and succumbing to an tribalistic “my God is better than your God” mentality. Allah is an Arabic word that is not only used by Arab Christians today, but it was used by the Mushrikeen at the time of Islam.

  3. 3 sarah December 30, 2007 at 1:12 pm

    that’s funny since muslims in the west are always trying to get Allah recognised as a universal nomer against widespread assumptions that muslims worship a dark heathen deity that is radically different to the judaeo-christan conception…

    how can one OWN a word? how can one OWN God? interesting philosophical questions posed by this linguistic tyranny…

  1. 1 Malaysia reverses ban on Christians using ‘Allah’ « pixelisation Trackback on December 30, 2007 at 2:18 pm

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