National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysian court upholds ruling that Catholic paper may not use 'Allah'

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Malaysia's highest court upheld a lower-court ruling that a Catholic newspaper may not use the word "Allah" to refer to God in its Malay-language edition.

The lower court had 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."

Malaysian official: Investigation of priest for sedition will continue

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The nation's inspector general said he would continue investigating a prominent Jesuit under the country's Sedition Act, but he would not question him again.

Jesuit Fr. Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Catholic Herald, is under investigation for telling the news portal Malaysian Insider that "Allah" would continue to be used in Malay-language Masses in the state of Selangor, because it is the Arabic word for God.

In November, the sultan of Selangor, who is also the head of Islam in the state, said only Muslims may use the word "Allah."

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.

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September 12-25, 2014

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