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EXTREMIST MALAYSIAN ADVOCATING ‘BIBLE BURNING FESTIVAL OVER THE USE OF ALLAH’ BY CHRISTIANS?

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Tensions between Muslims and Christians in Malaysia have quickly escalated in the recent days following the founding editor of Catholic weekly Herald, Father Lawrence Andrew, reportedly said that Christians in the state of Selangor would continue using the word "Allah" for their Bahasa Malaysia services in churches across Selangor, despite the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988, prohibits non-Muslims in Selangor from using 35 Arabic words and phrases in their faith, including “Allah”, “Nabi” (prophet), “Injil” (gospel) and “Insya’Allah” (God willing). 
In October last year, the Court of Appeal declared the term "Allah" exclusive to Muslims, thus overturning a 2009 decision of the High Court in a case brought about by Christian weekly publication the Herald against the government after the paper was disallowed from using the term "Allah" to refer to the Christian God in its Bahasa Malaysia language section.
His Majesty Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, the ruler and the head of religion in the state, had also after that reiterated a decree that the word "Allah" was exclusive to Muslims. 
  • Unfortunately, despite the court's ruling and the sultan's decree, Catholic priest Father Lawrence Andrew, the editor of the Herald, had insisted that churches in Selangor used the word "Allah" in reference to God in their weekend services. 
The controversy stems from recent proclamation; a small, unknown group has created flyers advocating a "Bible-burning festival" in the Penang state of the country for Sunday, Jan. 27. 
"To Muslims who have copies of al-Kitab, bring them over to make our Bible-burning session merrier," reads the text on the flyer, which was also reportedly published on the Malaysiakini web portal.
Malaysia's National Evangelical Christian Fellowship's chairman the Rev. Dr. Eu Hong Seng(photo) however recently, told Christians in the Asian country to maintain moderation in response to parliament member Ali's recent comments. 
"This unfortunate proposal to burn Malay Bibles containing the word 'Allah' serves as a serious reminder to all Malaysians to be more measured in our responses the next time we hear of some unreasonable people in the West wanting to burn other people's Scriptures because we too have our fair share of unreasonable people," Eu said.
 "We are a peace-loving people who will continue to pray for the well being of our great country," the Rev. Eu added. 
Christians comprise 9.2 per cent out of Malaysia’s 28.3 million-strong population, according to the latest census.
According to Vatican statistics, Catholics comprise 3 per cent. Protestants, who include Anglicans, Lutherans and Presbyterians, among others, make up the majority at 6 per cent, while the minority are independent evangelical groups.

Source: The Malaysian Insider, Agencies
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