Because “our Allah and your Allah is one” (Qur’an 29:46), but that doesn’t mean that many Muslims even in modern, moderate Malaysia are willing to allow the Christians to forget who’s boss. An update on this story. “Government calls for calm over Allah court ruling issue,” from The Star, January 2 (thanks to Twostellas):
KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is calling for calm among Muslims and non-governmental organisations and asking everyone to respect the court’s decision over the use of the word Allah while it takes steps to appeal against the decision.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Major-General (Rtd) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom said the groups should be patient and allow the matter to be resolved through the legal process.
“I will meet the NGOs soon to hear their views and to discuss further the matter with them,” he said in a statement on Saturday.
On Thursday, the High Court allowed the Catholic weekly, Herald, to use the word Allah.
Judge Datuk Lau Bee Lian had ruled that usage of the word was constitutional as long as the periodical was confined to educate the followers of the Christian faith.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, meanwhile, said the High Court’s decision allowing the Catholic weekly publication to use the term Allah must be governed by strict conditions.
He said whatever justifications offered for the approval, it would not diffuse the anger of Muslims in the country.
“This is because ‘God’ in other religions is translated as ‘Tuhan’ in Bahasa Melayu or Arabic, not ‘Allah’. “Allah specifically refers to God in Islam. If they understand that, they would use the word ‘Tuhan’, not ‘Allah’.
“I accept the term ‘Allah’ had been used in Sabah and Sarawak before the two states joined Malaysia but it is difficult to stop them from doing so now… but in the peninsular, we have not heard of such practice,” he told reporters after presenting a keynote address at the Malay Undergraduates Convention at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu here on Saturday.
Dr Mahathir said what he was afraid of was that the term Allah might be used in such a way that could inflame the anger of Muslims.
“They may use it on banners or write something that might not reflect Islam,” he said.
In George Town, the police said it would station personnel outside the High Court building here Sunday following a planned demonstration by a Muslim non-governmental organisation.
State police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob said his men would only move in if the demonstration turns chaotic.
“The protesters must know their limits,” he said when contacted….