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SE Asia
 

Malaysian King backs court ban on non-Muslims using 'Allah'

Published on Jan 19, 2014 6:38 PM
 
Malaysia's King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam (centre) walks with Prime Minister Najib Razak (left) at Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur on June 25, 2013. Malaysia's King gave his backing on Sunday to a court ruling barring non-Muslims from using the word "Allah" to refer to God, weighing in for the first time on an issue that has fanned religious tensions in the multi-cultural country -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysia's King gave his backing on Sunday to a court ruling barring non-Muslims from using the word "Allah" to refer to God, weighing in for the first time on an issue that has fanned religious tensions in the multi-cultural country.

Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam, whose role as head of state is largely ceremonial, alluded to the issue that has raised questions over miniority rights during his birthday speech to the South-east Asian nation.

A court in October ruled that the word was exclusive to majority Malay Muslims, overturning an earlier decision allowing a Catholic newspaper to use "Allah" in its Malay-language edition.

The court ruling has since prompted Muslim leaders to call for demonstrations against Christians who do not comply.

 
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