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Malaysia to appeal ruling on use of Allah

Jan. 3, 2010 at 10:10 AM   |   Comments

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- The Malaysian government Sunday said it would appeal a court ruling that allows a Roman Catholic newspaper to use "Allah," the Muslim word for God.

"The issue is very sensitive and touches on the feelings of Muslims, we need to be calm now and let the matter be resolved through the courts," Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told reporters.

Najib urged Muslims to refrain from holding demonstrations while the government appealed last week's high court decision to allow The Herald, a Roman Catholic weekly, to use the word Allah, The Malaysian Star reported Sunday.

"I know the feelings among the Muslims, they feel discontented," Najib said.

In the ruling, Judge Lau Bee Lan said use of the word Allah was constitutional as long as The Herald used the word to educate members of the Christian faith, Bernama reported Sunday.

Muslim groups in Malaysia have said the word Allah should be used exclusively by Muslims and represented a sacrilege of the Muslim faith when used by non-Muslim publications.

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