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A Malaysian Church Wins Case Over Use Of Word “Allah”

Church in Malaysia
Church in Malaysia

A church in Sabah, Malaysia won today its appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of its suit against the government over the seizure of children’s books containing the word “Allah”, in the first such victory since the Federal Court sought to limit the effects of a controversial ruling on the usage of the Arabic word for God.

Court of Appeal judge Justice Datuk Rohana Yusuf said the three-man bench ruled unanimously that the High Court was not bound by the appellate court’s decision that the use of “Allah” was not integral to the Christian faith. As Putrajaya has already returned the books seized from the Sabah Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) church seven years ago, the church is now seeking a declaration that it has the constitutional right – under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution upholding religious freedom – to use the Arabic word for God in the Bahasa Malaysia and Bahasa Indonesia translations of the Christian bible, as well as in all other religious publications and materials.