Zahid backs PAS on ‘Allah’, tells Karpal to back off

Karpal Singh should not interfere with PAS’s decision on the “Allah” controversy as he has no authority to speak on Islam, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi said today, in a move seemingly aimed at driving a deeper wedge between the Islamist party and its DAP allies.

The DAP national chairman had disapproved of PAS’s statement that non-Muslims had received well the decision against allowing the use of the word “Allah” in translations of their religious texts, a decision he said was reached without prior discussions with other Pakatan Rakyat parties.

“I do not make statements along political lines but what was said by the syura council was right,” Zahid (picture) said, in reference to PAS’s highest decision-making body.

“And Karpal Singh should not comment on the syura council’s decision. It is not within his expertise,” added the defence minister.

Following weeks of controversy over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims, the party’s religious council said that the Arabic word cannot be translated into or translated from other languages.

The council explained that the word “Allah” is a specific and holy word used to refer to the Muslims’ God.

“Therefore, translating the word God or Lord from any non-Muslim kitab agama (religious texts) to the word Allah tidak dibolehkan (cannot be allowed) because it is wrong from the aspect of meaning and wrong usage, does not fulfil the actual purpose and can bring about an obvious confusion.

“Therefore, it has to be prevented,” said PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and his deputy Datuk Dr Haron Din.