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."
Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A new study explores how certain personality traits affect individuals' attitudes on obesity in others.
- The study compared personality traits and obesity views among more than 3,000 mothers.
- The results showed that the personality traits neuroticism and extraversion are linked to more negative views and behaviors related to obesity.
- People who scored high in conscientiousness are more likely to experience "fat phobia.
Meanwhile, Spaniards are the least likely to say their culture is superior to others.
- Survey by Pew Research Center shows great variation in chauvinism across Europe.
- Eight most chauvinist countries are in the east, and include Russia.
- British much more likely than French (and slightly more likely than Germans) to say their culture is "superior" to others.
The history of the Geneva Conventions tells us how the international community draws the line on brutality.
- Henry Dunant's work led to the Red Cross and conventions on treating prisoners humanely.
- Four Geneva Conventions defined the rules for prisoners of war, torture, naval and medical personnel and more.
- Amendments to the agreements reflect the modern world but have not been ratified by all countries.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.