Malaysian Court Reversal Restricts The Use Of "Allah" To Muslims
The decision rescinds a 2009 court order that originally allowed a Malay-language Catholic newspaper to use the word to refer to God and instigated a wave of church attacks across the country.
What's the Latest Development?
A 2009 court ruling that permitted the use of "Allah" as a generic term for God regardless of religion has been overturned by a Malaysian appeals court. The original decision took place after a Malay-language Catholic newspaper, The Herald, sued the government for the right to use the term. In the wake of that ruling, dozens of churches were burned. With the reversal, chief judge Mohamed Apandi Ali declared the word "is not an integral part of the faith in Christianity. The usage of the word will cause confusion in the community."
What's the Big Idea?
"Allah" has been part of the Malay language -- and Malay-language Bibles and other Christian publications -- since before Malaysia became a state, say supporters of the newspaper. Although nearly two-thirds of the country's population is Muslim, Christians and Hindus make up significant portions of the remaining one-third. Editor Rev. Lawrence Andrew says the decision represents "a retrograde step in the development of law in relation to the fundamental liberty of religious minorities." Representing the government, lawyer Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar says, "Allah is not a Malay word. If they want to use a Malay word, they should use Tuhan instead of Allah."
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We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.
- The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
- The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
- It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Melting ice is turning up bodies on Mt. Everest. This isn't as shocking as you'd think.
- Mt. Everest is the final resting place of about 200 climbers who never made it down.
- Recent glacial melting, caused by global warming, has made many of the bodies previously hidden by ice and snow visible again.
- While many bodies are quite visible and well known, others are renowned for being lost for decades.
The bodies that remain in view are often used as waypoints for the living. Some of them are well-known markers that have earned nicknames.
For instance, the image above is of "Green Boots," the unidentified corpse named for its neon footwear. Widely believed to be the body of Tsewang Paljor, the remains are well known as a guide point for passing mountaineers. Perhaps it is too well known, as the climber David Sharp died next to Green Boots while dozens of people walked past him- many presuming he was the famous corpse.
A large area below the summit has earned the discordant nickname "rainbow valley" for being filled with the bright and colorfully dressed corpses of maintainers who never made it back down. The sight of a frozen hand or foot sticking out of the snow is so common that Tshering Pandey Bhote, vice president of Nepal National Mountain Guides Association claimed: "most climbers are mentally prepared to come across such a sight."
Other bodies are famous for not having been found yet. Sandy Irvine, the partner of George Mallory, may have been one of the first two people to reach the summit of Everest a full thirty years before Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay did it. Since they never made it back down, nobody knows just how close to the top they made it.
Mallory's frozen body was found by chance in the nineties without the Kodak cameras he brought up to record the climb with. It has been speculated that Irvine might have them and Kodak says they could still develop the film if the cameras turn up. Circumstantial evidence suggests that they died on the way back down from the summit, Mallory had his goggles off and a photo of his wife he said he'd put at the peak wasn't in his coat. If Irving is found with that camera, history books might need rewriting.
As Everest's glaciers melt its morbid history comes into clearer view. Will the melting cause old bodies to become new landmarks? Will Sandy Irvine be found? Only time will tell.
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