Malaysian Catholics win right to challenge ‘Allah’ ban
The Herald, a Catholic newspaper who has challenged a government ban on the use of the word “Allah” as “God” in non-Muslim publications, has won the right to take the step in their case. This decision will allow for a judicial review of the government ban.
5/5/08 Malaysia (Yahoo) Malaysian Catholics on Monday won the right to mount a legal battle against a government ban on the use of the word “Allah” as a translation for “God” in their main publication.
The Muslim-dominated government last year declared that the word could only be used by Muslims and threatened to close down The Herald newspaper if it defied the prohibition.
Authorities warned The Herald not to print the word in future, but instead it is asking the High Court to revoke the ban and make a declaration that its use is legal.
Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of The Herald, welcomed the decision which paves the way for a judicial review of the government ban.
“I am very pleased that we can now proceed. We will see what will happen at the next stage,” he told reporters.
The church’s lawyer Porres Ryan said they would soon submit an application to proceed with the case.
“The effect of the decision today is that our application is not frivolous and we can now proceed to address the issues at the review,” he said.