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Only Muslims can refer to God as Allah – Malaysian court

Published:Tuesday | October 15, 2013 | 9:18 AM

A Malaysian court has ruled that non-Muslims cannot use the word Allah to refer to God, even in their own faiths, overturning a 2009 lower court ruling.



The appeals court said the term Allah must be exclusive to Islam or it could cause public disorder.



People of all faiths use the word Allah in Malay – Malaysia’s national language – to refer to their Gods.



Christians argue they have used the word to refer to their God for centuries and that the ruling violates their rights.



The 2009 ruling sparked tensions, with churches and mosques attacked.



It came after the government said that a Catholic newspaper, The Herald, could not use the word in its Malay-language edition to describe the Christian God.



The newspaper sued, and a court ruled in their favour in December 2009.



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