In a landmark decision, the Malaysian government has withdrawn its appeal against a high court ruling that overturned a ban on using the word "Allah" in Christian publications. The move has been welcomed by the Christian community in Malaysia, who have long fought for the right to use the word in their religious materials.
Withdrawal of Appeal
According to Malay Mail, the withdrawal of the appeal was made through a notice of discontinuance filed on April 18. The Attorney General's Chambers, acting on behalf of the home minister and the Malaysian government, submitted the notice stating they did not intend to proceed with the appeal. It was reportedly made "without order as to costs," indicating that there would be no financial implications for either party.
Moreover, since the appeal was initially scheduled for case management on Friday, May 19, it will no longer be brought up in court as the government has dropped the entire appeal altogether. The decision signifies the conclusion of a legal saga that spanned an extensive 15-year period. The recent resolution by the Malaysian government to withdraw its appeal has been met with praise by the Christian community in Malaysia. They have long fought for the right to use the word "Allah" in their religious materials and view this development as a significant victory.
As mentioned, human rights organizations have also welcomed the government's decision, highlighting that the ban infringed upon the right to freedom of religion. The withdrawal of the appeal is seen as a positive step towards greater religious freedom and harmony in Malaysia, and the contentious issue of using the word "Allah" in Christian publications in the country has been resolved. Furthermore, the decision ends a protracted legal battle and opens the door for a more inclusive and tolerant approach to religious practices in the country.
Also Read: The Bible is Banned in Malaysia
Allowing 'Allah' in Christian Publications
Malaysia's High Court recently delivered a significant verdict, allowing Christians to use the word 'Allah' in their religious publications. The ruling overturned a previous government ban and has sparked religious freedom and harmony discussions. The decision stems from a legal battle that has been ongoing for years. BBC News reported that the Malaysian High Court's decision to use the word 'Allah' by Christians is seen as a landmark ruling. The court's judgment comes after a 15-year-long legal saga that began when the government confiscated eight educational CDs containing the word 'Allah' from a Sarawak Bumiputera in 2008. This case has since been a contention between the government and the Christian community.
On the other hand, the High Court's ruling favoring Christians using the term 'Allah' was met with enthusiasm by the Catholic Church and other Christian groups. Vatican News reported on the development, highlighting the Catholic Church's stance that 'Allah' is commonly used by Christians in many parts of the world, including Malaysia. The church argued that the ban violated their constitutional right to freedom of religion.
Accordingly, the ban on non-Muslims using the word 'Allah' was initially introduced in 1986, with the government citing concerns about potential confusion and religious sensitivities. However, the recent High Court ruling challenges this long-standing policy. They determined that the ban was unconstitutional, asserting that it infringed upon the religious rights of non-Muslims.