PUTRAJAYA: Hundreds of supporters of Perkasa and other Muslim groups rejoiced over the Federal Court's judgment that did not allow the appeal filed by the Catholic Weekly, The Herald on the use of the word 'Allah'.
Donning black and red t-shirts with the words 'Allah just for Muslim', the 300-odd supporters shouted 'Allahuakbar' (God is great) upon learning that the seven-man bench held the judgment in a majority decision.
Perkasa chief Datuk Ibrahim Ali said he considered the dispute on the word 'Allah' to be "resolved" and that it is time for the Muslims to move forward.
"We thank Allah because the court's decision has favoured us this time. We hope that this is no longer an issue in the peninsular, which does not allow others from using the term," he told reporters here on Monday.
Former Perkasa deputy president Datuk Zulkifli Noordin however said despite the favourable judgment, Muslims should not stay quiet against any attempts of proselytisation .
"If they can't influence us with bigger things, they will influence us with small things. We shouldn't keep quiet," he said.
The police had cordoned earlier off the compound of the Palace of Justice before 7am in anticipation of the gathering by the Muslim groups.
The Muslim groups, mainly from Malay-right wing Perkasa started gathering at 8am and vowed to defend the exclusivity of the term from being used by the non-Muslims.
"We will fight for this right until the last drop of blood," said Irwan Fahmi, the Perkasa Wira chief.
Perkasa vice president Syed Othman Syed Mansur said there has been a misconception that Perkasa is a racist organisation.
"Today we would like to show the world that we are full of discipline. We are not against any religion but we are merely defending the use of 'Allah' word from being abused," he said.
Last March, the judges heard arguments from opposing parties on the use of the word Allah in the weekly magazine but the judgement was reserved.Now that the church is refused leave, the decision by the Court of Appeal last March to rule that the Home Minister was right in prohibiting the use of the word Allah in the Herald, is now upheld as correct in fact and law.