PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat maintains its stand that non-Muslims can use Allah despite the Court of Appeal’s decision barring them from using the word.
In a press conference at PKR headquarters here, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Pakatan has always been consistent with its stand, which allows devotees from other faiths to use the term, provided it is not misused and misinterpreted.
“Our stand has always been consistent with our statement made previously. Therefore, we appeal to the public to remain calm while we wait for the judiciary process to end.
“We hope that no one exploits and plays up with this sentiment to fan racial and religious flame,” he said.
On Monday, the three-man panel in the Court of Appeal reversed the High Court ruling allowing Catholic weekly, Herald, to use the word Allah.
It reasoned that the word was not an integral part of the Christian’s faith and practice.
Anwar said there was no need for some quarters who support the appellate court decision to condemn those with differing views.
“The general consensus is to call for calm and reason discourse on the subject and not to condemn those who differ with the court decision or the views made of the former Mufti of Johor,” he said.
Anwar was referring to former Johor Mufti Datuk Noh Gadut who recently said that those questioned the Court of Appeal decision can be considered a murtad (infidel or apostate).
He further said that even the Chairman of the Ulama Council Yusof al-Qardhawi had also opposed to the notion that the term Allah was exclusively for Muslims.
“He said Allah is a God for Muslims, Christians, Arab and Persians and the verse of the Quran states, ‘Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Universe, Lord of the mankind and Lord of the World.
“So in respect of his view, even those who differ, do not condemn,” he said.
Also present in the press conference were PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali and DAP national adviser Lim Kit Siang.
To a question, Mustafa said he was not sure if Umno would play up the Allah issue and turn it into their campaign material in the upcoming Sg Limau by-election.
“I am not sure whether Umno would resort to that but like we said, we shouldn’t use this sensitive issue as it can cause confusion and misunderstanding,” he said.
Earlier, Pakatan leadership has also decided on the list of possible candidates that will be fielded in the Sg Limau by-election, scheduled on Nov 4.
“The name of the candidate will be announced by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang in Sg Limau on Oct 21,” said Anwar, adding that they are confident in retaining the seat.
Sg Limau state assembly fell vacant following the death of its PAS assemblyman Tan Sri Azizan Abdul Razak, who was a former Kedah Mentri Besar, on Sept 26.