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Allah was used by Arab Christians before Islam was founded

Malaysian Christians, in a statement, expressed deep disappointment and regret over the comment made by a local government minister in the prohibition non-Muslims from using the word ‘Allah’ in their news publication.

By: Christian Today Australia
Friday, 11 January 2008, 9:20 (EST)
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Malaysian Christians, in a statement, expressed deep disappointment and regret over the comment made by a local government minister in the prohibition non-Muslims from using the word ‘Allah’ in their news publication.

In the statement to the media, Bishop Paul Tan Chee Ing, the head of the Malaysian Christian Federation, said the term ‘Allah’ was used by Arab Christians, which pre-dated the founding of Islam, and added the ban was contravening the right to the freedom of religion as outlined in the Constitution.

"The word 'Allah' is a pre-Islamic word used by Arab Christians before Islam came into being," said Bishop Ing.

"We maintain and we have always told the government that we have the right to use the word 'Allah' whether in our Bahasa Malaysia publications or otherwise."

The battle over the use of ‘Allah’ started when the Malaysian government threatened to revoke the permit to publish from a local Catholic tabloid for using it. However, it seemed the government back-peddle given the newspaper was awarded the permit.

The position was changed once again, when the de-facto minister for Islamic affairs, Abdullah Zin, told reporters that Cabinet agreed the term should only be used by Muslims.

Abdullah Zin, the de facto minister for Islamic affairs, told reporters Thursday that the Cabinet is of the view that "Allah" refers to the Muslim God and can only be used by Muslims, who comprise about 60 percent of Malaysia's population.


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