Recently, we followed the crackdown on a Catholic newspaper by the Malaysian Islamic religious council and government over its use of “Allah.” Now, the council is pursuing the Malaysian Bar for using the word on its website in two online polls on whether any particular race has exclusive rights to the word.
The head of the religious council Mohamad Adzib Mohamad insists that “The issue raised in the polls can threaten the sensitivity of Muslims” and that this is a misuse of the word “Allah.” He seems to have less concern over council actions that threaten to make Muslims look like ridiculous.
Fortunately, the bar does not have a shortage of lawyers to represent it. This may be a fortunate event where the council picked the wrong group to muscle and lawyers in Malaysia can force a meaningful change in the control of such questions by religious extremists.
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