Blogs, websites told to stop fanning flames

(Bernama) – Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Maj Gen (Rtd) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom today urged Internet websites and blogs to refrain from carrying anything negative on the issue of the use of the word “Allah” by the Catholic weekly magazine, Herald.

He said websites and blogs should adhere to their limitations and not allow any negativity which could be misused as a medium by others to undermine the peace and order in the country.

Any misuse of negativity could spark tension among the people because debating matters associated with religion was something sensitive, he told a news conference at his office, here.

Jamil Khir was commenting on his meeting with representatives of 22 Islamic non-governmental organisations (NGOs) yesterday to discuss their views on the government’s filing of an appeal against the High Court ruling on Dec 31 last year allowing the use of the word “Allah” by the weekly.

The Home Ministry yesterday filed an appeal with the Court of Appeal against the ruling. Today it filed an application to stay the execution of the ruling.

Jamil Khir said the NGOs suggested that the matter be discussed through existing legal channels and that it be raised with the Conference of Rulers. He said the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) would carry on with its intellectual dialogue with non-Muslim groups to explain the use of the word “Allah”.

“For the Muslims, a more in-depth explanation will be given through the existing channels, such as Friday sermons and Islamic forums, to maintain harmony,” he added.