“…Malaysia’s appeal court ruled Monday [10/14/13 – JD] that a Roman Catholic publication can’t use the term ‘Allah’ to refer to the Christian God, despite its widespread use among Malay-speaking Christians.
The dispute date back to 2007. After Syed Hamid Albar, then the home minister, prohibited the church’s Herald newspaper from using the word “Allah”- arguing it should be solely for Muslims….”
From Gangopadhyay and Fernandez in WSJ 10/15/13, p. A13.
Technical note: “Allah” is a foreign word to all Malaysians. It’s an Arabic word. All Malaysians’ native tongues are unrelated to Arabic.
Yes, there may be more there than meets the eye. So? Try imagining a US court – state or federal- or a French court ruling that Calvinists may not legally use a given foreign word, that the particular word is reserved for the use of Roman Catholics!
Not that the court ruling in Malaysia is that unfamiliar. They used to do stuff like that in Europe. It was some time ago, a long, long time ago, actually.