PAS Syura Council backs Kedah Sultan over 'Allah'

Malaysia's King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah leaves the podium to inspect an honour guard during the king's birthday parade in Kuala Lumpur June 2, 2012. — Reuters pic
Malaysia's King Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah leaves the podium to inspect an honour guard during the king's birthday parade in Kuala Lumpur June 2, 2012. — Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 21 ― The PAS Syura Council has expressed support for Kedah Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzan Shah’s stand that “Allah” was exclusive to Muslims, continuing the split positions within the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition on the matter.

PAS deputy spiritual leader Datuk Dr Haron Din was quoted by the New Straits Times today as saying that all Muslims should adhere to the decree of the National Fatwa Council in 1986, which declared “Allah” and a number Arabic words as barred to non-Muslims.

”The PAS Syura council stands by its decision, made last year, to protect the sanctity of the name (Allah) and its exclusive use for Muslims.

”I urge those who are of a different opinion, including bloggers or other parties, to respect the king’s speech and wisdom,” he had reportedly said.

Haron said that he was “glad” that Sultan Abdul Halim had intervened in this matter, and that the Kedah Sultan would have not needed to do so if “everyone, regardless of race and religion” had heeded the edict.

PAS Ulama Council chief Datuk Harun Taib was also quoted by the Umno-linked daily as expressing support for the exclusive use of the word “Allah” by Muslims.

”The word Allah belongs to us Muslims. I have long been against its use by non-Muslims. I agree whole-heartedly with the Sultan of Kedah,” he had said.

In a speech on Sunday, Sultan Abdul Halim reminded all parties that the National Fatwa Council had already ruled in 1986 that several words, including “Allah”, can only be used exclusively by Muslims while non-Muslims are banned from uttering them.

His speech was read out by Sultan of Kedah Council of Regency chairman Tan Sri Tunku Annuar Sultan Badlishah during the investiture ceremony held in conjunction with the Sultan of Kedah’s 86th birthday at Istana Anak Bukit.

Last November, the Sultan of Selangor also issued a decree calling all citizens in the state to respect and follow the decision made by the National Fatwa Council, the Selangor State Fatwa Committee, and existing laws.

His decree was in response to the Court of Appeal’s unanimous decision in October to overturn a High Court ruling in favour of allowing the Herald to continue using the word “Allah” in its Bahasa Malaysia section.

The case is now pending a March 5 hearing for leave to appeal at the Federal Court.

On January 3, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) moved to enforce the ban and raided the office of a bible distributor before carting off with over 300 Malay and Iban language bibles that contained the word “Allah”.

Temperatures have risen of late over the so-called “Allah” row that remains unresolved four years after it shocked the nation and led to the worst religious strife in the country’s history.

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