**(LOL ...I'm sure Fr. O.C. Lim will be real pleased ....)
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — The controversial ban on the word “Allah” to mean God for non-Muslims is still in place, said a Malaysian Catholic priest involved in a court dispute over its use.
The Associated Press had reported earlier today that the ban had been lifted with conditions.
“The ban has not been lifted,” Reverend Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of The Herald, a Catholic weekly newspaper, told The Malaysian Insider this afternoon.
He said he had recently received a letter from the Home Ministry reinforcing the rule forbidding the word “Allah” in a non-Muslim context.
He explained the ban made exceptions for Christians to use the word “Allah” only in print and under stringent conditions.
“The printing, publishing, sale, issue, circulation and possession of any document and publication relating to Christianity containing the words ‘Allah’, ‘Kaabah’, ‘Baitullah’ and ‘Solat’ are prohibited unless on the front cover of the document and publication are written with the words ‘FOR CHRISTIANITY’,” Fr Lawrence said, quoting from the letter dated Feb 16, 2009.
“The words ‘FOR CHRISTIANITY’ referred to in subparagraph (1) shall be written clearly in font type Arial of size 16 in bold,” he added.
The notification, which falls under the Internal Security Act, was gazetted on Feb 16 this year.
“We feel good we can use ‘Allah’ again,” Fr Lawrence said, adding that the March 1 issue of The Herald will bear the required warning on its front page.
But he is wary of celebrating too soon, noting that the order does not allow Christians to use it orally, whether celebrating Mass or other forms of prayer and worship.
“If I had a Malay Bible, but if ‘FOR CHRISTIANITY’ were not printed on its front cover, ahhh, trouble,” the priest said.
Fr Lawrence noted that with the case still going on, the government’s latest move could be seen as acting in contempt of court.
Tomorrow, the High Court here will resume hearing the judicial review filed last year by the Catholic Church against the government over the “Allah” ban.
Not to be left out in seeking publicity and conflict - we have the Rising Taliban of PKR, the one and only, the skullcap restrained mind of the intellectual amoeba, Zul Nordin!!
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — PKR’s Zulkifli Nordin today questioned the decision made by the Home Ministry in allowing the Catholic weekly The Herald to use the word “Allah” in its publications.
“Have they referred to the related decree? The ministry should not compromise on this matter,” said the Kulim Bandar Baharu MP when asked about the decision.
He told The Malaysian Insider that his opposition to the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims were not motivated by theological arguments.
The Home Ministry has allowed Herald to use the word “Allah”, but the publication has to clearly print the words “For Christianity” on its cover.
“We should look at the social context where the word is used by the Malay Muslims in the country, what is the reason behind their insistence on using ‘Allah’,” said Zulkifli.
Earlier in his speech while debating the motion of thanks to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, the first term MP express his unhappiness with The Herald’s editor Lawrence Andrew’s statement on the use of the word Allah by the publication.