Home English News Government Wins Appeal, Herald Prohibited From Using The Word “ALLAH”

Government Wins Appeal, Herald Prohibited From Using The Word “ALLAH”

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rsz_courthammerPutrajaya, Oct 14 – The Malaysian Catholic weekly publication, The Herald, is prohibited from using the word “Allah”.

This follows a unanimous decision of the Court of Appeal here today to allow the government’s appeal to set aside the 2009 decision of a High Court which had allowed the publication to use the word “Allah” to refer to God.

Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali, leading a three-member panel, said it was the court’s considered finding that the home minister had not acted in any manner or way that merited judicial interference on his decision to prohibit the publication to use the word “Allah”.

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“On evidence before us too we are satisfied that sufficient materials have been considered by the minister (home minister) in discharging his function and statutory power under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984,” he said.

He said it was also the court’s judgment that the condition set by the home ministry in the Herald’s publication permit, which prohibited The Herald from using the word “Allah”, did not infringe any church’s constitutional rights.

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“It is our common finding that the usage of the name “Allah” is not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity,” said Justice Apandi who read the summary of the decision.

The other two judges presiding on the panel were Justices Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim and Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh.

On Feb 16, 2010, the Roman Catholic Church led by Archbishop Tan Sri Murphy Pakiam filed a judicial review application, naming the home ministry and the government as respondents and seeking, among others, a declaration that the home ministry’s decision to prohibit the use of the word “Allah” in The Herald publication was illegal.

The weekly, published in four languages, has been using the word “Allah” to refer to “God” in the Herald Malay-language section, specially to cater for the people in Sabah and Sarawak.

On Dec 31, 2009, the High Court declared the decision by the home ministry prohibiting The Herald from using the word “Allah” as illegal, null and void.

– Bernama