The debate over Malaysian Christians using the word “Allah” for God is in the court and on the streets of Malaysia. In the starting of this year, Malaysian court over ruled the 2007 ban on Malaysian Christians from using the word “Allah” when translating their Christian English Newspaper (or magazine) Herald to Malaysian languages and using “Allah” for God in the Bible Translations. After 3-4 days of overrule by the court, the Home Ministry of Malaysia appealed the court’s decision. The public uproar and worst, the sad result of 9 Churches either being burned, or cocktail bombed is just pathetic.
So what is this issue of “Allah,” why some Malaysian Muslims are claiming that Allah is a “Muslim God”, and why Malaysian Christians want to use the word “Allah” for God??? It is necessary to understand the importance of the word “Allah,” its understanding in Islam; and the Malaysian history regarding Christians and Muslims and the way this debate has become a point of tension.