Arabic-speaking have used the word “Allah” for the God of the Bible since time immemorial. This is simply an assertion of supremacy. “Church cannot challenge ‘Allah’ ban, says govt counsel,” from Bernama, December 14 (thanks to all who sent this in):
KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 14, 2009): The publisher of Herald, the Catholic weekly, cannot challenge the home minister’s prohibition on the use of the word “Allah” in its publication, the High Court heard today.
Senior Federal Counsel Datuk Kamaluddin Md Said told the court the home minister had the power to impose such prohibition as condition to be attached to the permit issued under the Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984.
“A permit granted under the act must have a condition. The condition is part and parcel of the permit and it cannot be read separately, and you have no choice but to comply with it,” he said.
“Therefore, you cannot challenge the condition imposed by the minister on the permit. You can only challenge if the minister refused to grant a permit.”
Kamaluddin said this in his reply to the application for a judicial review filed by the Kuala Lumpur Roman Catholic Church over the prohibition on the use of the word “Allah” in Herald.
He further submitted that the act was one of the legislations to control the freedom of speech and expression as provided for under Article 10 of the Federal Consitution.
On Feb 16, Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam, as publisher of Herald, filed an application for a judicial review to seek a declaration that the decision by the home minister was illegal and that the word “Allah” was not exclusive to Islam.
The home ministry had approved Herald’s publication permit on Jan 7 with conditions that the usage of the word “Allah” was prohibited and the word “Limited” (Terhad) must be endorsed on its front page, to mean that the Catholic weekly must be circulated only to Christians….