November 9, 2009
Malaysia bans Allah Bibles
by Sara Levy
The Malaysian government has confiscated 10,000 Bibles from a missionary group because the word ‘God’ in the Bibles is translated ‘Allah’.
The Muslim-dominated government said Allah is an Islamic word and its use in the Bible could offend Muslims.
Church officials pointed out that although the word Allah is originally Arabic, Malays have used the word for centuries to refer to God, and Malay Christians used the term before Islam was founded.
Home Ministry’s publications, the Bible’s publisher, said the government, by refusing to release by Bibles, is violating the constitutional right of Malaysians to freedom of religion.
The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) supported the stance of Home Ministry’s.
Bishop Ng Moon Hing, CFM chairman, said: “This constitutional right is rendered illusory if Christians in Malaysia are denied access to Bibles in a language with which they are familiar.
“Bibles in [the Malay language] have been used since before the independence of our country and have never been the cause of any public disorder,” he added.
The bishop called on the government to explain the confiscation to church officials and the public.
Around two thirds of Malaysia’s population is Muslim.
Discuss this in the Interfaith forums
Story link: Malaysia bans Allah Bibles
Previous: « Selfish Europe is “dying” claims Chief Rabbi
Next: Mosques seek dialogue ahead of minaret vote »
Visited 2346 times, 2 so far today