“Malaysians are flocking online to debate a contentious court ruling that allows local Roman Catholics to use the word Allah as a translation for God. The editor of Malaysia’s ‘Herald, The Catholic Weekly’, Father Lawrence Andrew, shows a Holy Bible written in Arabic to members of the media as he leaves the courtroom at the courthouse in Kuala Lumpur, December 31, 2009. The Internet is one of the few means of expression that isn’t tightly controlled by the state in Malaysia, and ethnic-Malay Muslims as well as minority ethnic-Chinese and Indian Malaysians have been logging on in droves to comment on the New Year’s Eve high court ruling. The deluge underscores the importance of the Internet to political debate in Malaysia, as well as the depth of feeling that the verdict has provoked in the Muslim-majority country. The ruling overturned a three-year-old government ban on the Catholic Church using the Arabic word Allah as a translation for God. The government Sunday said it would file an appeal.”
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