Klang Muslim Solidarity Secretariat staged a peaceful protest at Sultan Suleiman Stadium in Klang.- By RAJA FAISAL HISHAN/The Star
KLANG: A coalition of Muslim non-governmental organisations, Klang Muslim Solidarity Secretariat, gathered at the Sultan Sulaiman Stadium on Sunday to protest the use of the word "Allah" by Christians.
The coalition was protesting a statement allegedly made by Catholic priest and editor of The Herald weekly Father Lawrence Andrew, who had reportedly said that churches in Selangor would continue to use the word 'Allah' in reference to God in their weekend services.
His remark sparked protests from several Muslim non-governmental bodies, including Selangor Umno members.
Kapar Umno division deputy chief Datuk Saroni Judi said Sunday that Father Lawrence must apologise or face a “mega-demonstration” displaying their dissatisfaction.
The issue came to the fore after the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) officers raided and seized 351 copies of Bahasa Malaysia and Iban language versions of the Bible which contained the word 'Allah' from the Bible Society of Malaysia on Thursday.
Jais had earlier reminded all churches in Selangor to comply with the prohibition on the use of the word 'Allah' as provided for under the Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988.
"This is us Muslims giving our support to Jais to conduct raids and uphold the law against churches so that the latter complies with state laws," Saroni said.
Meanwhile, Muslim NGO Jati secretary general Norman Toha said that the group was there in peace.
"This is not war against Christians, it is only against Lawrence.
"He should apologise for his statement and when he does, I will meet him personally and shake his hand and peace," he said.
The group will send a fax to Father Lawrence to make clear their views and demands.
A member of the public, Hushim Salleh, who was at the protest to show his support for solidarity group's cause said that the use of the word "Allah" by the Christians was a subtle way to convert Muslims to Christianity.
"I'm a counsellor, trust me, this is a subtle way of confusing the Muslims," he said.
About 100 people joined the peaceful protest.