Malaysia

Muslim groups see red over Christian event with ‘Allah’ on backdrop

BY EILEEN NG
December 23, 2013

The report on the Utusan Malaysia website today, showing a photograph of the function.The report on the Utusan Malaysia website today, showing a photograph of the function.Two Muslim groups have called for action against a Christian group for allegedly using the word “Allah” during their function yesterday.

Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia today reported that some 200 people attended the gathering, organised by International Full Gospel Fellowship, at a hotel in Klang, Selangor.

The paper also carried a photograph of the event, with the words “International Full Gospel Fellowship: Keluarga Allah Satelit Nilai dan Satelit Puchong, 'Dari dalam gelap akan terbit terang’”, seen on a backdrop.

The report claimed that attendees at the event purportedly sang songs containing the word Allah.

In their reaction, Pertubuhan Ikatan Kebajikan dan Dakwah Selangor (Ikddas) and Perkasa's Selangor chapter urged the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) to investigate.

“From a legal perspective, it is clear the usage of the word Allah is prohibited to non-Muslims.

“If the organiser uses the sacred word in a non-Islamic function, then Jais should not hesitate to take action against them” Ikddas president Rosdi Long told Utusan, citing Section 9 of the Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Amongst Muslims) Enactment 1988, which he said bars non-Muslims from using the word Allah.

Selangor Perkasa chief Abu Bakar Yahya meanwhile said it was inappropriate for non-Muslims to use the word, saying the Selangor Sultan has issued a decree on on the matter.

Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has recently called on non-Muslims in the state not to refer God as "Allah", and ordered that the word not be used in the Bible and in the Bahasa Malaysia section of Catholic weekly, Herald.

This, he said, was to avoid causing confusion among Muslims in Selangor.

On October 14, the Court of Appeal made a ruling upholding the Home Ministry's ban on Herald's use of the word Allah. - December 23, 2013.