Hornbill Unleashed

September 3, 2014

Indonesian minister says ‘Allah’ ban going too far

Darshini Kandasamy

Prohibiting use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims is taking things a bit “too far”, says Indonesia’s newly-minted minister of religious affairs.

Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said the word ‘Allah’ should not be exclusive to any one religion.

“The ministry feels this (having such a prohibition) is going a bit too far. To me, anyone can use the word (‘Allah’).

“Muslims themselves (in Indonesia) are different, in their accents, in how they greet one another and how they mention God,” Lukman (left) said.

He said this when asked for his view on the ruling by Malaysia’s Federal Court, which upheld the Home Ministry’s ban on use of the word Allah by Catholic weekly Herald.

However, Lukman did not refer specifically to Malaysia in his response.

The minister, who took office in June, was speaking to senior journalists at a roundtable in  the ministry’s office in Jakarta, organised by US-based East-West Center this morning.

He said he was confident such a claim for exclusivity to Islam in the use of the word would not spread in the republic.

In a majority decision last June, Malaysia’s highest court refused to grant leave to hear the appeal by the Catholic Church in the ‘Allah’ case.

It thereby upheld the Court of Appeal decision overturning the High Court’s 2009  ruling that the ban on the use of ‘Allah’ by the Herald was invalid.

1 Comment »

  1. Why can’t our Malaysian Ministers be as rational and understanding like their counterparts in Indonesia? And this is the Minister of Religious Affairs too.

    Comment by Adam — September 4, 2014 @ 8:38 AM | Reply

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