Any material that misleads Muslims not allowed in Johor

JOHOR BARU: The publication, printing, broadcast and distribution of any material that misleads the people, especially Muslims, will not be allowed in Johor, says Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar.

“This is in line with the position of Islam in the state constitution.

“In Johor, the fatwa published on June 4, 2009 clearly states that the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims is not permitted, not allowed and its use is prohibited.

“The state also has the Control and Restriction of the Propagation of Non-Islamic Religions Enactment 1991, which prohibits the use of words that are exclusive to Muslims and cannot be used by non-Muslims, except in circumstances or practices permitted by law, such as the lyrics of the Johor state anthem,” His Majesty said in a statement here yesterday.

His Majesty said following the decision to withdraw the appeal filed in the Putrajaya Court of Appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court, the Federal Government should carefully refine the impact of the decision because it is closely related to issues that are within the boundaries of Islam and the sentiments of the country’s Muslims.

“Regulations, control, enforcement and coordination regarding the word ‘Allah’ must be carried in detail without affecting the state’s fatwa and enactments, so that the harmony and unity of our multiracial society will continue to be preserved.

“I remain of the opinion that the publication, printing, broadcast and distribution of any material that misleads the people, especially Muslims, will not be allowed in the state in line with the position of Islam in Undang Undang Tubuh Negeri Johor 1895,” Sultan Ibrahim said, referring to the state constitution.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the proposal to improve the policies and regulations relating to the use of the word ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims will be tabled at the meeting of the Conference of Rulers in July.

He said he had referred the matter to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and the King advised him that all decisions must be in line with the decision made by the Conference of Rulers.

He said the government would also refer to the National Council for Islamic Religious Affairs (MKI) chaired by Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah.

“We will refer first to the MKI chaired by the Selangor Sultan to seek their advice to improve the policies so that a final decision can be made, which is to prohibit the use in the Peninsula but be allowed with certain conditions in Sabah and Sarawak.

“God willing, the proposal will be tabled at the Conference of Rulers’ meeting in July,” Anwar said during Prime Minister’s Question Time in Parliament.

On May 15, the Home Ministry and the Federal Government were reported to have withdrawn their appeal against the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court which ruled that non-Muslims can use the word ‘Allah’ and three other Arabic words in the publication of their religious materials for learning purposes.

Anwar said the decision to withdraw the appeal was part of the efforts to improve all the related policies and regulations.

“It was done after taking into account the Attorney General’s views. If not, there will be appeal after appeal due to loopholes,” he said.

“That’s why we want to put an end to it by amending all policies to make it clearer so that no such cases can be taken to court. For me, it is better this way,” he added.

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