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Amnesty slams 'Allah' ban for Malaysia Christians

Published on Jun 24, 2014 3:29 PM
 
Malaysian Muslim activists wait for the verdict outside Malaysia's highest court in Putrajaya on June 23, 2014. Human rights group Amnesty International on Tuesday, June 24, 2014, condemned a Malaysian government ban on Christians using "Allah" to refer to God as "an abuse against free speech". -- PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Human rights group Amnesty International on Tuesday condemned a Malaysian government ban on Christians using "Allah" to refer to God as "an abuse against free speech".

The Catholic Church in the Muslim-majority country on Monday lost a long-running court battle for the right to use the Arabic word in the local Malay-language edition of its Herald newspaper.

The government has said the top court's verdict pertains only to the paper and Malay-speaking Christians can continue to use "Allah" in their worship. But lawyers have expressed fears that the ruling will set a precedent to curtail religious minorities' freedom amid what many see as a rise in Islamisation.

London-based Amnesty International said in a statement that the "Allah" ban should be scrapped.

 
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