Monday, April 28, 2008

Will Christians see the "Allah" court case vindicated?

Well, let us pray for a fair treatment to all religions by our government. We want to see the "Allah" court case vindicated.

The following was taken from
KUALA LUMPUR: The government Friday (25 Apr) opposed the suit filed by the Titular Roman Catholic Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur regarding the use of the word “Allah” but has asked for the case to be adjourned to next Tuesday (29 Apr) to give its reasons. However, it is not objecting to the Archbishop’s application for leave to pursue the matter. The court allowed the postponement.
In his application before Madam Justice Lau Bee Lan, Archbishop Datuk Murphy Pakiam contends that the Minister of Internal Security and the Federal Government are wrong in law for not allowing the Bahasa section of Herald-The Catholic Weekly to use the word “Allah.” He is represented by Porres Royan, Leonard Teoh, S. Selvarajah, and Annou Xavier while the respondents are represented by senior Federal Counsel Suzanna Atan. The current minister is Syed Hamid Albar who has taken over this portfolio from Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi recently.
In his affidavit, Pakiam said, “ I am advised by my solicitors that I have a legal right to use the word “Allah” in the Herald-The Catholic Weekly- (published by him) and this legal right stems from the right to freedom of speech and expression as enshrined in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution and from the right to profess and practice the Christian faith as enshrined in Article 11 of the Federal Constitution which includes and is not limited to propagating the faith amongst the non-English speaking faithful in Malaysia especially the Indonesians and the Arabic-speaking of the Christian faith.”
He said the word “Allah” is the correct Bahasa Malaysia word for “God” and in the Bahasa Malaysia translation of the Bible, “God” is translated as “Allah” and “Lord” is translated as “Tuhan”.
He added that for fifteen centuries, Christians and Muslims in Arabic-speaking countries have been using the word “Allah” in reference to the One God. The Catholic Church in Malaysia and Indonesia and the great majority of other Christian denominations hold that “Allah” is the legitimate word for “God” in Bahasa Malaysia.
“Therefore state that it has now been universally accepted that the word ‘Allah’ is not exclusive to the religion of Islam both as a matter of faith and as a matter of the use of language,” he said.
Pakiam also complained that he is constantly harassed by the minister and government to cease to use the word “Allah” in the Herald and the numerous threats to him to either suspend or revoke the Herald’s publication permit over the use of the word “Allah” has infringed his legal right and has caused him much apprehension, anxiety and uneasiness.
He added that it is unfair, unreasonable and irrational for the respondents to classify and to continue to classify the use of the word “Allah” as a security issue which is purportedly causing much confusion and which threatens and endangers peace, public order and security when in fact in the thirteen years of the Herald’s publication, there has never been any untoward incident arising as a result of the use of the word “Allah” in the Herald.
The Herald’s publishing permit for this year was subject to a condition dated 12 Feb 2008 which prohibits the use of the word “Allah” in the Herald.
“I am advised by my solicitors and verily believe that the Respondents in making the decision dated 12.2.2008 acted in breach of the rules of natural justice, procedural and substantive fairness and the duty to act fairly,’ he said.
He added that they had acted irrationally and unreasonably by prohibiting the Applicant from using the word “Allah” or directly quoting the word “Allah” from the Al-Kitab.”
In doing so, they have created a state of affairs which endangers his right to publish the Herald which serves to disseminate news and information weekly on the Catholic Church in Malaysia and elsewhere to a wide readership, Pakiam said. Hearing continues 29 April. (MySinchew)
MySinchew 2008.04.25

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