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Malaysia court stays enforcement of 'Allah' ruling pending appeal

[JURIST] The Malaysian High Court on Wednesday temporarily suspended enforcement of last week's ruling [JURIST report] that non-Muslims can use the word "Allah" as a translation for the word "God." The decision came after the Malaysian Home Ministry [official website, in Malay] sought a stay Tuesday. The case [JURIST report] was brought by the Herald, a weekly Catholic publication, challenging the Malaysian government's three-year ban on the practice. The lawyer for the Herald said his clients has consented to the stay [Sun Daily report]. The government also filed a notice of appeal [JURIST report] on Monday. The appeals court has not set a date for the hearing.

Malaysia [JURIST news archive], a Muslim-majority country, has struggled in recent years to find a balance between modernization and the policies of a more traditional Islamic government that has encouraged the spread of Sharia courts. Approximately 60 percent of Malaysians are Muslim, while Buddhists, Christians, and Hindus comprise about 35 percent of the population, falling under the jurisdiction of civil courts. Both civil and Sharia courts have the authority to address cases involving religious issues.

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