Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Malaysian Court Rejects Church's Challenge To Seizure of Books Using Term "Allah"

Malay Mail reports that in Malaysia on Monday the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed a suit that had been filed in 2007 by Sidang Injil Borneo (Borneo Evangelical Church) challenging the Home Ministry’s decision to seize three boxes of Malay-language Christian educational books imported from Indonesia that contained the word "Allah." The books were seized in 2007 at the airport while in transit, but were returned to the church several months later. The High Court said it was bound by the precedent established by the Court of Appeal last October that prevented the Catholic Herald from using the word Allah in its Malay language editions.  The High Court said the Herald case concluded that the Arabic word “Allah” is not an integral part of the practice and faith of Christianity. (See prior posting.)

According to Malaysian Insider, critics of the decision say the judge ignored special laws on religious freedom in Sabah and Sarawak.