We must applaud the Malaysian Government for finally allowing the use of
'Allah' by the Christians in Malaysia. They must realize that if they
continue to disallow the use of 'Allah', others might decide to protest
against the use of many words in the Qur'an that are non-Arabic (let
alone of heavenly origin).

The following are just some of these foreign words that are used in the
Holy Qur'an: Janna - garden, Jahanam - hell, firdaus - heaven and
hundreds more. In fact the word 'Qur'an' is originally of
Syriac(Aramaic) vocabulary meaning 'list of Bible verses read during
Christian services, in modern English it is known as 'Lectionary'.

Gabriela Rantau

--- In zamanku@yahoogroups.com, Holy Uncle <holyun...@...> wrote:
> Posted on Thu, Feb. 26, 2009
> Malaysia to allow Christians to use 'Allah'
> The Associated Press
> KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - The Malaysian government has softened an
earlier ban on the use of the word "Allah" by Christian publications to
refer to God and is allowing them to use it as long as they specify the
material is not for Muslims, a church official said Thursday.
> The government had earlier argued that the use of Allah in Christian
texts might confuse Muslims, who might think Allah refers to their God.
> The revised order was issued Feb. 16 by Home Minister Syed Hamid
Albar, said the Rev. Lawrence Andrew, the editor of the Herald, the
Roman Catholic Church's main newspaper in Malaysia. He said the
publication has already started printing "For Christianity" on its
> The Herald publishes weekly in English, Mandarin, Tamil and Malay with
an estimated readership of 50,000. The ban on "Allah" concerns mainly
the Malay edition, which is read mostly by indigenous Christian tribes
in the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak. The other three editions
usually do not use the word "Allah."
> The dispute has become symbolic of increasing religious tensions in
Malaysia, where 60 percent of the 27 million people are Muslim Malays. A
third of the population is ethnic Chinese and Indian, and many of them
practice Christianity.
> Malaysia's minorities have often complained that their constitutional
right to practice their religions freely has come under threat from the
Malay Muslim-dominated government. They cite destruction of Hindu
temples and conversion disputes as examples. The government denies any
> Andrew, the Herald's editor, said although the order "makes things
easier" for the Herald, the newspaper will not drop a legal challenge
against the ban. A court is due to hear arguments in the case Friday.
> The Herald is arguing that the Arabic word is a common reference for
God that predates Islam and has been used for centuries as a translation
in Malay.
> Andrew said the new order is still a violation of religious freedom
guaranteed by the constitution because Christians will not be able to
use any literature that does not carry the warning on the cover,
including much imported material.
> He said most Malay-language Bibles in Malaysia are imported from
Indonesia, which uses a variation of the same language.
> "If this (order) is enforced, it will be difficult to possess
materials ... from Indonesia, and thus practicing our religion will not
be easy. This goes against ... the constitution," he told The Associated
> Andrew said the order also prohibits the use of three other Arabic
words , "solat," or prayer, "Kaaba," a holy site in Saudi Arabia, and
"baitullah," or house of God , without the warning.
> Ministry officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Home
Minister Syed Hamid's aide said he would not be available for comment
until Monday.
> http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/n ... allah.html[/b]
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