----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Holy Uncle 
  To: National ; media care 
  Sent: Saturday, November 29, 2008 1:49 PM
  Subject: [mediacare] M'sian Christian sues govt

  M'sian Christian sues govt 

  Posted by admin 

  Friday, 28 November 2008 12:51 

  KUALA LUMPUR (AP) - A MALAYSIAN Christian is suing the government for 
allegedly violating her religious rights after airport officials seized 
Christian educational CDs that she brought from Indonesia, the woman's lawyer 

  Customs authorities in this Muslim-majority country confiscated eight CDs 
from Jill Ireland when she flew back to Kuala Lumpur on May 11 after a trip to 
Jakarta, her lawyer, Ms Annou Xavier, said late on Thursday. 

  The Home Ministry informed her in a letter that the CDs were seized mainly 
because their cover titles contained the word 'Allah', which is prohibited in 
non-Muslim religious material, Ms Xavier said. 

  Ireland wants the Kuala Lumpur High Court to issue a declaration allowing her 
to transport any religious material for her own personal use, Xavier said. 

  The court on Thursday scheduled Jan 30 for a preliminary hearing. 

  Government lawyer Suzana Atan declined to comment on details of the case, but 
noted that authorities have barred the use of the word 'Allah' except for 
Muslim publications. 

  Malaysia's constitution guarantees freedom of worship for non-Muslims, who 
make up more than one-third of the country's 27 million people. 

  However, minority Buddhists, Christians and Hindus have increasingly voiced 
allegations of religious discrimination due to incidents in recent years such 
as the occasional demolition of Hindu temples by state authorities. 

  The government last year ruled that non-Muslims cannot use the word 'Allah,' 
an Arabic word that is a synonym for 'God' in Malaysia's national language. 

  The ban has sparked criticism by Christians who use it to refer to God in 
their Malay-language Bible and other publications. A Malaysian church and 
Christian weekly newspaper have launched court actions to challenge the ban. 

  Government officials have expressed concerns that using 'Allah' in Christian 
literature could confuse Malaysia's Muslims and draw them to Christianity. -- 


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