Following the Malaysian High Court’s approval of a Catholic newspaper’s use of the word “Allah” for God, hundreds of Muslim youth have protested and the newspaper’s website has been hacked several times.
The Herald, the country’s only Catholic publication, has been threatened with the loss of its printing license for using “Allah” to name the Christian God in its Malay-language section.
The newspaper argued that its usage follows centuries of tradition, while the Malaysian government argued the usage by Christians would confuse Muslims.
On Dec. 31 Judge Lau Bee Lan ruled in the Herald’s favor.
On Jan. 2 the Herald’s website was hacked twice and was found to be hacked once again by CNA staff on the morning of Jan. 4.
Fr. Lawrence Andrew, the editor of the Herald, told the Malaysian Insider that technicians have confirmed the cyber attacks took place and the website was operating normally.
He declined to comment in detail, saying he did not want to add to the tension on a “very sensitive” issue.
In Penang, about 250 members of the group Umno Youth conducted street protests in front of the High Court building to protest the decision.
The Malaysian Insider says that protesters shouted “seditious” obscenities in their protests.
Opponents of the ruling are also using social networking sites like Facebook to rally support and to call for the ruling’s reversal.
Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said the Home Ministry will appeal the ruling.