Monday, December 31, 2007

Gov' t now renews church publication permit

In the face of a firestorm of criticisms, including those coming from the direction of progressive Muslims, the Malaysian government has reportedly backed down and renewed the annual publishing permit of The Herald without imposing any restriction on the use of words like 'Allah' in the Christian press. However, the New Straits Times has also reported Deputy Internal Security Minister Johari Baharom as insisting that " even if the renewal is given, the publication would still not be allowed to use the word 'Allah' to refer to God" and other restricted words of Arabic origin include solat, kaabah and baitula. In June this year, a leading British scholar and writer on religions Karen Armstrong visited Malaysia and also delivered public lectures at the invitation of Foreign Ministry's Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) while her books A History of God and The Battle for God were -and probably still are - banned officially by the Publications and Quranic Text Control Division of the Ministry of Internal Security.

Asia' s tallest Jesus statue unveiled in Indonesia


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