Posted by: becketfund | January 2, 2009

Malaysia: Malay-language Edition of Catholic Paper Banned

KUALA LUMPUR – The Herald, a Catholic newspaper, has been ordered by the government to cease its Malay language edition until courts resolve a ban on the paper’s use of the word “Allah,” the AFP reported on January 2.  Father Lawrence Andrew, Herald newspaper editor, said the move was part of a series of restrictions put in place by the conservative Muslim government when it renewed the paper’s license on Tuesday. The Herald nearly lost its publishing license last year for using the word “Allah” as a translation for “God,” which authorities said should only be used by Muslims.  Andrew argues that “The Constitution says Malay is the national language so why can’t we use the national language in Malaysia?” The issue will be decided by the courts next month, while home ministry officials told the New Straits Times daily that they will be monitoring the paper’s actions closely.

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