Monday, June 23, 2014

Allah Ban Stays

Malaysia’s highest court ruled today that the Catholic newspaper The Herald has no grounds to appeal a lower court decision preventing it from using the word “Allah” to refer to God. 

The landmark decision on a divisive issue that has fueled intense debate and heightened religious tensions in the country, brings to an end the Catholic Church’s challenge in the Malaysian court system. 

A seven-member bench at the Federal Court led by Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria (above photo) decided by a narrow 4-to-3 majority to deny the Catholic paper the right of appeal.  The Christian Federation of Malaysia rightly expressed its disappointment with the decision. Simple justice would have meant allowing the appeal to go through but it was not to be.

The above became a protracted issue only because some Muslims believe their fellow Muslims may become confused if Christians use "Allah" too. As former Perlis mufti Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin pointed out that "only stupid Muslims cannot differentiate between Muslims' Allah and Christians' Allah".
On another note, Christians are expected to continue using the word "Allah" in their Bibles, sermons and services. CFM chairperson, Reverend Dr Eu Hong Seng said the court judgment was confined to The Herald only. 

We are trapped in a theological minefield. There is no escape. And so, we cannot expect to see the end of this "Allah" issue that I am sure.


I had a craving for mashed potato. I must have been still thinking about it this evening and so I had KFC for dinner. Yup, you guessed it I had mashed potato. And a piece of chicken.

Last Wednesday, I was at Bank Negara’s Sasana Kijang to attend the Kijang Toastmasters meeting. I was a speech evaluator and as always, I enjoyed myself there. All the speeches were good and so were the evaluations. BTW, I was voted Best Evaluator.

A good meeting overall. My score for this meeting is a 7 over 10.

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