Hornbill Unleashed

October 29, 2013

Court action on Allah issue is not against Muslims and Islam, says Sabah church


Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB), Sabah’s second largest church, has assured Muslims that the Catholic church’s appeal against the Allah ruling is not against them or Islam, but against the wrongful conduct of the Federal Government and its officials.

In a communique to its leaders and members today, SIB said the church has never undermined the position of Islam as the religion of the federation.

However, by the same token, Christians also expected their constitutional right to profess, practise and propagate their faith to be respected by the courts and the government.

“The decision of the Court of Appeal against the Herald puts new restrictions on our human and constitutional right to freedom of religion.

“Nevertheless, we urge you to continue your friendship with your Muslim brothers and sisters and to extend love to them as you have always done,” said SIB president Reverend Datuk Jerry W.A. Dusing in a statement.

The Christian body also reminded its members of the case it filed against the government in 2007 regarding the Allah issue, which is scheduled for mention this Wednesday at the High Court, and explained that its position on the matter remained the same.

SIB is suing the Home Ministry for confiscating its Malay language Christian education publications that contained the word Allah in 2007.

It stated that it was SIB’s policy to resolve any dispute amicably but in this matter, all other means had been exhausted without any resolution.

As the Allah ruling was affecting the fundamental right and freedom of the practise and expression of the Christian faith, SIB was seeking redress from the court, said Dusing.

He also suggested that the current Allah issue could be resolved if Putrajaya took steps to withdraw the December 5, 1986 circular by the Home Ministry that banned the use of the word Allah in all non-Muslim publications.

This was also brought up last week by former attorney-general Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman, who said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi could just revoke the 1986 ministerial order to end the controversy.

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