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Malaysian court rules Catholic newspaper cannot use 'Allah'

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A Malaysian court said a Catholic newspaper may not use the word "Allah" to refer to God in its Malay-language edition.

A judge in the three-member appeals court said use of "the word Allah is not an integral part of the faith in Christianity. ... The usage of the word will cause confusion in the community."

Jesuit Fr. Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Herald, a Kuala Lumpur-based Catholic weekly, expressed disappointment in the ruling. Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, the paper's publisher, said the church would appeal the ruling.

An antidote to religious strife in Egypt: nationalism

After decades of polarization along religious lines, Christians and Muslims in Egypt are coming together to rally behind their flag.

The country is in the midst of a swell of nationalism that began during the revolution in 2011 and intensified when citizens took to the streets in June of this year to call for the removal of President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Children make up half the Syrian refugee population

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Fifteen-year-old Abdullah Haji Mustafa wants to fight. He has been living in a refugee camp in Turkey for a year, since his family fled Tall Rifat, an embattled Syrian town just north of Aleppo.

"Who wants not to go back?" he asks, standing between the gates of the camp and a steady stream of refugees passing through the Turkish border control. "I want to be a fighter. I will go to make freedom."

Asked whether he really thinks fighting can bring peace, he responded: "I want peace. A soldier is the maker of peace."

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September 12-25, 2014

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