Thursday, June 27

High Court’s decision may confuse Muslims: Zahid

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BAGAN DATOH: The use of the word ‘Allah’ may be used by other religions for their own agenda and confuse the Muslims, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Zahid, who is also Umno vice president, said the decision by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur to allow Herald-The Catholic weekly, to use the word ‘Allah’ in their publication, had offended Muslims.

“The issue should not be turned into polemic because Malaysia is a country that comprise a multi-racial population with freedom of religion.

“We must avoid any sensitivity raised through a platform of law,” he told reporters after giving out aid to school children in Bagan Datoh here yesterday.

He added that Muslims in the country observe a very high respect for other religions and do not want others to interfere in matters pertaining to Islam.

Zahid said National Fatwa Council had clearly stated that ‘Allah’ was exclusively for Islam because ‘Tuhan’ (GOD) was a general reference.

“All this while there has been no known writing in other religions that use the word ‘Allah’. Why is it that only now ‘Herald-The Catholic Weekly’ are so interested in using the word ‘Allah’.

“Even in the Federal Constitution it is stated that Islam is the official religion. Other religions can be observed but they cannot preach their religion to those who are Muslims,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom said all the relevant bodies, especially Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) should exercise caution and wisdom is handling the issue.

“We know there are some waiting for a positive situation to turn negative so that there will be confusion. So, if the issue is not tackled with care, the situation may get out of hand,” he said.

The Penang Umno also appealed to the Rulers Council to interfere in the high court ruling, as a way of settling the issue.

State Umno Liaison Information chief Senator Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir said the state Umno hoped the Rulers Council can hold a special meeting to discuss the matter and find a solution to settle the issue. — Bernama