Loading
Malaysian Catholic weekly in ‘Allah’ controversy still waiting on license renewal

.- A Catholic weekly in Malaysia involved in a controversy with the government over its use of the word "Allah" has not yet been granted its publishing license for next year.

While the weekly’s editor said there is no indication the license will be renewed, a government official blamed an application backlog for the delay.

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.

For the past year The Herald, the main Catholic weekly in Malaysia, has been in a court dispute with the government over its use of the word "Allah" as a Malay translation for the word "God." The government argued the usage would confuse Muslims while the newspaper insisted it uses the word "Allah" as it has been used for centuries in the Malay language.

According to the Associated Press, Herald editor Father Lawrence Andrew said Malaysia’s Home Ministry has not renewed the paper’s license, though it submitted an application months ago.

"If they want to delay it like that, it doesn't give me any indication that it (the license renewal) will happen," Father Andrew said in a telephone interview, the Associated Press reports.

Speaking to Reuters, he said: "The Catholic Herald's 'Allah' is seen as a threat to national security."

"We are now a scapegoat, a means for the Malay-Muslims to rally together."

The license expires on December 31.

According to Reuters, the government insists it is still reviewing the Herald’s license and is following due process.

"Until Dec. 31, we are not going to announce anything. There is plenty of time till then. Let them wait," Deputy Home Minister Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh told Reuters.

Che Din Yusoh, an official with the Home Ministry's publishing unit, told the Associated Press that officials were backlogged by the large number of applications.

"We will issue it by the end of the month," he told the Associated Press. "There is nothing to worry about."

The Herald publishes reports in four languages:  English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil.  It reportedly has a circulation of about 14,000.

There are more than 800,000 Catholics in Malaysia, among an overall population of 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
18

Liturgical Calendar

April 18, 2014

Friday of the Passion of the Lord (Good Friday)

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Gospel
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

Homily of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

Homily
Date
04/18/14
04/17/14
04/16/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: