Loading
Language Barrier
“Allah” is only for Muslims, Malaysian official says

.- A senior government official in Malaysia has ordered a Catholic newspaper to drop the use of the word “Allah” in its Malay language section if it wants its publishing permit renewed, the Associated Press reports.

The Herald, published by Malaysia’s Catholic Church, has translated the word God as “Allah.”  Che Din Yusoff, a senior official at the Internal Security Ministry’s publications control unit, has said this usage is erroneous because “Allah” refers to the Muslim God.

"Christians cannot use the word Allah. It is only applicable to Muslims. Allah is only for the Muslim god. This is a design to confuse the Muslim people," Che Din told the Associated Press.

Che Din said that the newspaper should use the general term for God, the word “Tuhan.”
Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Herald, explained the newspaper’s usage of the controversial word:

"We follow the Bible. The Malay-language Bible uses Allah for God and Tuhan for Lord. In our prayers and in church during Malay mass, we use the word Allah," Father Andrew said.  "This is not something new. The word Allah has been used in Malaysia for a long time. There is no confusion," he continued.

Che Din said that since Christians don’t use the word “Allah” in English-language worship, they shouldn’t use it in the Malay language.  In addition to “Allah,” Che Din said three other Malay words ought not be used by non-Muslims:  "solat" for prayers, "kaabah" for the place of Muslim worship in Mecca and "baitula" the house of Allah.

Publishers in Malaysia are required to obtain annual permits from the government, a policy that has been criticized for infringing on the freedom of the press.  Members of minority religions have also complained that they do not enjoy full freedom of religion, despite such guarantees in the nation’s constitution.

The Herald, a 13-year-old weekly, is in talks with the government to renew its permit, which expires December 31.  Che Din said the publication’s permit would only be renewed if The Herald stops using the word “Allah” in its pages.

The Herald publishes reports in four languages:  English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil.  It has a circulation of 12,000.

There are more than 800,000 Catholics in Malaysia, whose overall population is 27 million.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: