Accept the court’s decision on ‘Allah’, says Utusan


(Malay Mail Online) – All Malaysians must accept the Federal Court’s ruling on the divisive ‘Allah’ issue and start building bridges to foster unity, according to an editorial in the Malay-language daily Utusan Malaysia.

On Monday, a seven-member bench at the country’s apex court decided by a 4-to-3 majority to reject the Catholic Church’s bid to appeal a ban on using the word  ‘Allah’ in its newsletter, The Herald.

Last year, the Court of Appeal ruled that “Allah” was not integral to the Christian faith and that the home minister was justified in banning the Herald from using the Arabic word on grounds of national security and public order.

The church had taken a legal approach to resolve the dispute, said Awang Selamat, and the judiciary has “justly” ruled on the concern.

Awang, a pseudonym used to represent the collective voice of the paper’s editors, said Federal Court had given the application “due consideration” and the “fact must be accepted”

“What must be done now is to find a way to strengthen the race and religious differences in the country. Our differences have never been a hindrance in achieving unity,” it said.

“It is not wise to allow the strength we have long built to weaken… let’s move ahead and consider how we can achieve our vision,” it added.