Malaysia Renews Catholic Newspaper's Permit: Media

December 30, 2007

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: Reuters

Malaysia has renewed the publishing permit of a Catholic newspaper, reversing an earlier ban forbidding non-Muslims from using the word Allah after the move stoked fears of a rise in hardline Islam.

The government had earlier ruled that the term Allah -- long used by Christians in Malaysia to refer to God -- could no longer be used by non-Muslims.

The ban meant that the publisher of the Kuala Lumpur-based "Herald - the Catholic Weekly" could lose its publishing permit if it failed to drop the word Allah in its publication.

The row had threatened to further strain race and religious relations in Malaysia, where many non-Muslims believe their rights are being trampled by the Muslim majority.