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Malaysia's top court dismisses Catholic Church's bid to use the word 'Allah'

Published on Jun 23, 2014 10:12 AM
In this file picture from September 2013, a crowd gathers to hear the case to use word "Allah" outside the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya.  On Monday, the years-long legal wrangle came to an end when the Federal Court dismissed a  bid by Catholic weekly, The Herald, to reverse the ban. -- PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - Malaysia’s highest court on Monday dismissed a bid by Christians for the right to use the word “Allah", ending a years-long legal battle that has caused religious tensions in the Muslim-majority country.  

The Catholic Church had been seeking to reverse a government ban on it referring to God by the Arabic word “Allah” in the local Malay-language edition of its Herald newspaper.  

But a seven-judge panel in the administrative capital Putrajaya ruled a lower court decision siding with the government stood.  

“It (the Court of Appeal) applied the correct test, and it is not open for us to interfere,” chief justice Arifin Zakaria said.  

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