Non-Muslims can use the word ‘Allah’’, High Court rules

Court - DayakDaily.com file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 10: The High Court here ruled today that the non-Muslim community can use the word ‘Allah’ in their preaching and publications.

According to New Straits Times, the High Court said the community can also use the words ‘Baitullah’, ‘Kaabah’ and ‘solat’ for teaching purposes, which the government has banned for 35 years.

The landmark decision was made by Court of Appeal judge Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin, who sat as a High Court judge. She allowed the judicial review by a Christian woman from Sarawak, Jill Ireland, to practise her constitutional right and religion freely in this country.

Meanwhile, counsel Annou Xavier who represented Jill said the government directive dated Dec 5, 1996 which prevented non-Muslims from using the word ‘Allah’ is now unlawful and unconstitutional.

“From the interpretation of today’s judgement, I am saying that non-Muslims can use the words, ‘Allah’, ‘Kaabah’, ‘solat’, and ‘Baitullah’ in all publications,” he said.

In August 2008, Jill, a Melanau clerk, filed the judicial review against the Home Minister and the government after the Home Ministry seized eight compact discs (CDs) belonging to her containing the word ‘Allah’ near Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).

The titles of the CDs were “Cara Hidup Dalam Kerajaan Allah”, “Hidup Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah”, and “Ibadah Yang Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah”.

On June 23, 2015, the Court of Appeal agreed with the High Court’s decision which ordered the Home Ministry to return the seized CDs to Jill after dismissing the appeal by the ministry and the government against the High Court’s decision. — DayakDaily