Muslims seize Bibles using the word Allah

ISLAMIC authorities in Malaysia on Thursday seized 321 Bibles from a Christian group because they used the word Allah to refer to God, signaling a growing intolerance that may inflame ethnic and religious tension in the Southeast Asian country.

The raid comes after a Malaysian court in October ruled that the Arabic word was exclusive to Muslims, most of whom are ethnic Malays, the largest ethnic group in the country alongside sizeable Christian, Hindu and Buddhist minorities.

That ruling overturned a court decision that allowed a Roman Catholic newspaper printed in Malay, the country’s national language, to use Allah.

The change has heightened concern that religious authorities, which issue rulings for Muslims and operate alongside civil courts, now have more legal muscle.

Analysts say new rulings that affect non-Muslims could be a way of deflecting anger against Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government from poor Malay Muslims over subsidy cuts likely to force up electricity, petrol and sugar prices.

The top Islamic authority in the richest and most populous state of Selangor seized the Malay-language Bibles from the Bible Society. The society said authority officials escorted two of its officials to a police station to make statements after which they were released on bail.

“We were told that we were under investigation for breaking a Selangor state law banning non-Muslims from using the word Allah,” said Bible Society of Malaysia Chairman Lee Min Choon.

The raid is a marked escalation from the occasional seizure at border checkpoints of Bibles imported from Indonesia. It was the first time Islamic authorities have entered premises belonging to a Christian organization to carry out a raid.


18 thoughts on “Muslims seize Bibles using the word Allah

  1. What’s in a name? she cries, and rolls her eyes…..
    It demonstrates the level of idiocy of the religious brigade that they think thed god of all the universes gives a shit what ANYbody calls him.

    Fair dinkum! The rhodies out the front are looking more intelligent all the time.

    (sorry if that sounds mean!)


  2. Most Muslims I know (like my next door neighbor) insist that Muslims, Christians, & Jews all worship the same God. Apparently this is only true in non-Muslim countries!


    • …..I’m not convinced.
      Can you see jehovah (or Jesus for that matter) handing out harems-ful of virgins?“

      And as Homer said:- “Suppose we’ve chosen the wrong god. Every time we go to church we’re just making him madder and madder.”


      • Good point about Jehovah & Jesus! There is a huge difference in character & temperament between the Christian/Jewish God & the Muslim Allah!

        As to your second point, making no choice is still a choice. Taking no risk is sometimes the riskiest proposition of all!


    • Homer’s quote was in jest Ev: making the point that whatever your choice of god is or isn’t, and no matter what the ‘truth’ is, people, being people, will always manage to stuff it up.

      And I’ve long reckoned the ” huge difference in character & temperament between the Christian (AND the) Jewish God” is at least as great as that between the moslem god and any other.

      Trying to identify the christian brand-name with the jewish one is the worst thing anyone could ever have done in the name of christianity or the furtherance of its principles.


      • Dabbles,
        I’m not too sure about this, but I suspect that there is quite a considerable difference between the god of the ancient Hebrews, and the God of the modern Jews. Dont forget that with the destruction of the Temple, a huge amount of teaching about ‘god’ changed, since it appeared to be no longer valid.



      • That never occurred to me, Rian. A really new thought.
        For mine, the jewish god of any age had to be the god of Abraham and Moses ~ and (supposedly) Jesus.

        If fundamental teachings changed, how’s it then possible to claim it’s the same god? (in the same league as claiming Jesus is jehovah in drag.)
        …and wouldn’t that make the divine authority for the reclamation of modern palestine an undeniable and unjustifiable ~ falsehood?

        Or is it more a matter of cherry-picking which parts of god should be retained and which parts abandoned?


      • Dabbles,
        Christianity of course, does make allowance for this issue, with the principle of Supercessionism. This means that with the destruction of the Temple and the ‘revelation’ given by Jesus, the older requirements placed on the Jews (or more correctly placed on the ancient ‘Israelites’) no longer apply, and therefore the new image of ‘the God’ is a later improved model, as it were, and replaces them. Keeping in mind the fact that they didnt become ‘Jews’ until about the time of the Babylonian Captivity.

        Oh I think you are quite right in being suspicious of the theory. But with the inherent teaching in Christianity that the Jewish Scriptures have been brought up to date by Jesus (and for all time), it seems that the demands of the deity are somewhat different now, and Jesus fulfils in a new way, many of the commandments of the Torah. Thus certain of the ancient and original teachings are still ‘true’ (!!!!!!), BUT they are now to be read in an allegorical fashion. Rather convenient I feel, just to allegorize any unwanted or embarrassing earlier teachings. This is largely expounded in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

        As far as modern Jewry is concerned, – well dont forget that in regard to their religion, Jews (apart from the ultra-orthodox) in their incredibly effective methods of survival, are very pragmatic about their religion; and the Rabbis tend to believe that the God modifies his demands as necessary, according to the conditions in the world, and the demands of his chosen people.

        Oh, by the way, did you ever hear the old one about the school boy who got this question in his test paper. ‘What are Rabies, and what would you do for them?’

        The lad answered “Rabies are Jewish Priests. I would do nothing for them.”

        (sorry folks, I’m not intending here to be irreverend or politically incorrect. I just think it’s a rather funny joke. My Jewish friends quite enjoyed it. But then just like the Irish, they do take refuge in their own distinctive types of humour. Has helped them survive, I guess.


  3. This decision is not based on Islam it is just to placard simple folk from the village who do not understand Islam. The scholar I talk to and heard say there is no problem.


      • Wouldn’t complain; just another form of devout self-flagellation, isn’t it?
        I mean…. how would one even know they were christian if they weren’t able to lay claim to being persecuted?
        eg Matt.5:11, 10:22, 24:9; John 15:21, etc. etc.

        According to the bible the whole purpose of Jesus’ existence was to be persecuted to death; it’s the very basis for christianity.

        …..Perhaps the moslems were sent by god to do his work?
        Like Satan. (see: Satanic Verses)
        (and it’s not even Sunday!)


    • As for Islam, the revelations dictated by Mohammed seem remarkably self-serving, a point remarked upon by his child-bride Aisha at one stage.

      When he fancied his adopted son’s wife, It was not permitted for him to marry her. Immediately he came out with a new revelation from Allah making adoption retrospectively illegal so he could marry her anyway.

      Allah also conveniently announced that if the ageing prophet’s wives pleased him, they would be pleasing Allah. It would seem they hadn’t been so keen on it at the time.

      Allah helpfully altered revelations after Mohammed’s scribes pointed out errors or problems.



  4. There is so much diversity of attitudes within Christianity, indeed within most of its sects, it would be amazing if the same didn’t apply to other faiths. I reckon many Muslims in Malaysia think the decision senseless.

    Certainly the Bahais, who follow Mohammed, worship Allah, and believe in the brotherhood of all mankind, would think so, though granted they’re not classed as Muslim. I wonder if they are allowed to use the name Allah in Malaysia?


    • But that approach raises the question as to whether such differences would qualify the various sects to claim membership in the same religion.

      ie. the very idea of ‘a faith’ is founded on ONE set of fundamental ‘truths’, surely.


      • I guess ‘faith’ can be understood in different ways, as can ‘love’. My own faith is an unprovable belief. As far as recognised ‘Faiths’, I don’t belong to one.

        But taking Christianity, it is classed as a Faith in all its forms, which themselves are denominations or sometimes sects, so I’m unsure where the cut off point is for what is considered fundamental. The Australian Council of Churches has outlined the fundamentals, yet accepts membership of at least one other denomination.


  5. I guess ‘faith’ can be understood in different ways, as can ‘love’. My own faith is an unprovable belief. Then there are the recognised ‘Faiths’.

    Taking Christianity, it is classed as a Faith in all its forms, which themselves are denominations or sometimes sects, so I’m unsure where the cut off point is for what is considered fundamental. The Australian Council of Churches has outlined the fundamentals, yet accepts membership of at least one other denomination.


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