Just like the proposed increased in toll rates, the issue of dragging ALLAH to court was just a mere gimmick. The Feb 16 government gazette which lifted a ban on Christian publications to use the word ALLAH will be rescinded.
Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said a new gazette would be issued today to cancel the earlier gazette.
To make it looks like a cheap thrill is the fact that Minister at PM Dept who is in-charge of Islamic affairs Zahid Hamid was not consulted at all before the decision was made. Funny, heh? What was Syed Hamid trying to do here?
"No... he was not consulted. Nobody even inform him," said Zahid's close aide.
Syed Hamid told reporters in Kota Kinabalu on Saturday that there were mistakes made in the drafting of the Feb 16 gazette which stated that Christian publications could use the word "Allah" provided the words "For Christians" were clearly printed on the front cover.
The government's stand on the ban has not changed. There is also a judicial review challenging the ban, he said, adding that the government had no intention of pre-empting any decision of the courts on the judicial review brought by the Malaysian Catholic church publication, the Catholic Herald.
Apart from the word "Allah", the ban for the Christian publications also covered the words "Kaabah," "Solat" and "Baitullah".
The gazette met with strong criticism from various Islamic groups, including opposition parti PAS, the Syarie Bar and several NGOs.
PAS deputy spiritual leader Datuk Haron Din questioned whether the ministry could ensure that the publications would not be distributed to Muslims. "If the word is purportedly used to hoodwink the people by inferring that the word 'Allah' (in Islam and Christian) is the same, then it could create more confusion," he said.
Malaysian Youth Council (MYC) secretary-general Tajuddin Ahmad said the association opposed the decision as it allowed non-Muslims to refer to Allah as their God, that it was tantamount to meddling into the affairs of the national and state fatwa councils which were entrusted to safeguard Islam.
Syarie Bar president Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar said even the Sikh association has also asked for permission to use the word 'Allah'.
"As a Muslim country, we should uphold Allah's great name above all. How could we drag Allah to court? While the Chinese Muslim Association is already protesting the gazette, other Muslim NGOs should follow suit," he said.