'Allah Ban': Newspaper Wins First Round

May 5, 2008

Author: Eileen Ng

Source: Independent Online

Wire Service: AP


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - A Roman Catholic newspaper cleared its first legal hurdle on Monday in its fight against a Malaysian government ban on Christians using the word "Allah" as a synonym for "God."

High Court Judge Lau Bee Lan ruled that prosecutors' objection to a lawsuit by The Herald weekly was "without merit."

The judge said she will allow the paper - the main media organ of the Catholic church in Muslim-majority Malaysia - to contest the government ban in court.

The Herald is seeking to reverse a government order that prohibits the paper from using the word "Allah" as a synonym for God in its Malay-language section.