Thursday, March 04, 2010

New judge to hear Sidang Injil Borneo's 'Allah' case

The judicial review application by Sidang Injil Borneo (SIB) for the use of the word 'Allah' in its Bahasa Malaysia publication, brought specifically from Indonesia for its congregants, will now be heard before a new judge tomorrow. Justice Aziah Ali, from the Special Powers and Appellate division of the Kuala Lumpur High Court, will now preside over the case, replacing former judge Abdul Kadir Musa. Abdul Kadir, who presided the case earlier had wanted the matter to be settled out of court. Aziah, is expected to preside over the case management of the 2007 case, and possibly fix a hearing date. This case although filed in 2007, will rekindle sensitive religious issues. This follows an earlier controversial High Court verdict on Dec 31, where it declared the ban on the usage of 'Allah' in the Herald magazine owned by the Catholic Church was illegal. taiping arson attack all saint church frontThe lifting of the ban which is still pending appeal, had triggered a spate of arson attacks on churches and other places including mosques, suraus, a convent school and Gurdwaras. SIB, an evangelical group formed in 1928 is one of the biggest churches in East Malaysia, and has made its presence felt in the Peninsular due to the migration of Sabahan and Sarawakian Christians. The SIB filed a suit against then Home Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and the government, for not allowing the import of Christian literature from Indonesia, containing the word 'Allah'. Another CD seizure case pending

Sabah SIB president pastor Jerry Dusing filed the suit on Dec 10, 2007, when the import of six school education book titles were banned after the Customs Department seized the consignment of materials on the grounds that the publications contained words exclusive to Islam. The words in contention are 'Allah' (God), 'Baitullah' (House of God), 'Solat' (prayer) and 'Kaabah' (The Sacred House). Apart from the SIB case, there is also another pending case before the Kuala Lumpur High Court, involving the seizure of religious compact discs (CDs) which also use the word 'Allah', from Jakarta in 2008 by Sarawakian Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill. Jill, who is from the indigenous Melanau tribe, is challenging that seizure, and is seeking a court order for the return of the confiscated CDs. The case is set for mention on March 15.

news courtesy of Malaysiakini

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