12 November, 2009

In 1Malaysia, the word "Allah" should be used only by Muslims

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said his country wishes to join Malaysia in proving to the world that Islam is in tandem with modern democracy.

He said the republic also wanted to be together with other Muslim countries in developing a model and proving that Islam too shared the same values as the other civilisations.

"Tun Musa Hitam (a former deputy prime minister of Malaysia) is right, Indonesia like Malaysia wishes to prove that there is no conflict between democracy and Islam. I had just spoken at Harvard University (in the United States) that it is not true that Islam and democracy are incompatible.

"Let us prove that Islamic values also contain values possessed by other civilisations," he said when delivering a speech at a luncheon in conjunction with his official visit to this country.

Is Islam in tandem with modern democracy in 1Malaysia ?

According to a Malaysiakini report, Weekly Catholic newspaper The Herald has lost its publishing permit for next year amid a long-running dispute over its use of the word "Allah".

The government has argued that the word "Allah" should be used only by Muslims, who dominate the population of Malaysia.

The Herald's editor, Father Lawrence Andrew said the Home Ministry cancelled the new permit without any reason.

The Roman Catholic Church has waged a two-year legal battle with Malaysian authorities over the use of the word "Allah".

The row is among a string of religious disputes that have erupted in recent years, straining relations between Muslim Malays and minority ethnic Chinese and Indians who fear the country is being "Islamised".

Earlier this month, Christian groups said that the government seized 15,000 Bibles, most of which were to be sent to the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak, where the Malay language is most commonly used among people of all religions.

The reason given by the authorities, which was that the Bibles were 'prejudicial to public order'.

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