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Malaysian court rules only Muslims can say ‘Allah’

- The Washington Times - Monday, October 14, 2013

A Malaysian court ruled on Monday that a Christian newspaper may not use the word "Allah" to refer to God, because it may cause "confusion" in the mainly Muslim country.

The unanimous decision by three Muslim judges in Malaysia's appeals court overturned a 2009 ruling that allowed The Herald to use the word, The Jerusalem Post reported.

"The usage of the word Allah is not an integral part of the faith in Christianity," chief judge Mohamed Apandi Ali said in the ruling, The Jerusalem Post reported. "The usage of the word will cause confusion in the community."

The Malaysian government argued that the word Allah is specific to Muslims, and the earlier ruling was justified on the basis of public order, the report said.

The Herald's lawyers argued that the word Allah predates Islam and has been used extensively by Malay-speaking Christians for centuries.

The Herald will appeal against Monday's decision to Malaysia's highest court, The Jerusalem Post reported.

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