Rally over ‘Allah’ ruling

(The Straits Times) – MALAYSIAN Muslims are planning a nationwide rally on Friday over the ‘Allah’ issue, despite appeals for calm from top government leaders.

The High Court ruled last week that Catholics can refer to God as ‘Allah’ in their publications, sparking anger among many Muslims.

Mr Syed Hassan Syed Ali, secretary-general of Malay rights group Pribumi Perkasa, told Agence France-Presse yesterday the group would launch a protest on Friday outside major mosques.

‘We want the government to revoke the court decision. Sure, the word Allah is only to be used by Muslims. There is no doubt about it,’ he said.

The Malaysian government filed an appeal on Monday against the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision. On Tusesday, it is expected to ask for a stay of execution to prevent the word from appearing in non-Muslim publications until the appeal is heard.

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday urged the public not to make hasty decisions on the matter, a day after Prime Minister Najib Razak appealed for calm.