Christians in Malaysia, a Muslim-majority country, are now legally allowed to say the word, “Allah” when referring to God after a landmark court ruling put an end to the 35-year ban.
The decision from Malaysia’s High Court brought an end to a ban which prohibited Christians from referencing Allah and other Arabic words, The Independent reported.
Christians in Muslim-majority Malaysia can use the word “Allah” in publications, a court ruled Wednesday, overturning a decades-old ban after a lengthy legal battle that fuelled religious tensions. #BangkokPost #World https://t.co/CnmNYoN2Re
— Bangkok Post (@BangkokPostNews) March 10, 2021
While the Malaysian government had previously stated that the word Allah should be specifically used for Muslims, so as not to draw confusion, Christian leaders in the country made the argument that since Christians in the country know how to speak Arabic, and have been using Allah in their prayers and Bibles, they should be allowed to use the word, according to the Independent. (RELATED: ‘Muslims Have A Right To Be Angry And To Kill Millions Of French People,’ Former Malaysian Prime Minister Says)
“The court has now said the word Allah can be used by all Malaysians,” Annou Xavier, a lawyer involved in the case explained. “Today’s decision entrenches the fundamental freedom of religious rights for non-Muslims in Malaysia.”
This decision by the High Court of Malaysia marks the end of a 13-year legal battle initially started by a Christian woman, Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, who had materials seized from her at Kuala Lumpur airport because they had the words Allah written on them, according to Barron’s news.
Following this incident, Lawrence Bill proceeded to fight the 1986 ban which forbid Christians from using the word “Allah” in books, according to Barron’s news.