Malaysian Govt. urges Muslims to remain calm over High Court's 'Allah' verdict

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Kuala Lumpur, Jan. 3 (ANI): The Malaysian Government has urged Muslims across the country to remain calm, and respect the High Court's verdict to allow Catholic weekly 'Herald' to use the word "Allah".

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Jamil Khir Baharom, said that the groups should be patient and allow the matter to be resolved through the legal process.

"I will meet the NGOs soon to hear their views and to discuss the matter further with them," The Star Online quoted Baharom, as saying.

On Thursday, Judge Lau Bee Lian had ruled that use of "Allah" was constitutional as long as the periodical was confined to educate the followers of the Christian faith.

However, former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad didn't agree with the High Court's decision.

"This is because 'God' in other religions is translated as "Tuhan" in Bahasa Melayu or Arabic, not 'Allah'. Allah specifically refers to God in Islam. If they understand that, they would use the word 'Tuhan', not 'Allah'," he told reporters after presenting a keynote address at the Malay Undergraduates Convention at Universiti Malaysia Terengganu.

Dr Mahathir added that he term "Allah" might be used in such a way that could inflame the anger of Muslims.

"They may use it on banners or write something that might not reflect Islam," he said.

Meanwhile, in George Town, the police said it would station personnel outside the High Court building, following a planned demonstration by a Muslim non-governmental organisation. (ANI)

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