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Malaysia Top Court: Non-Muslims Can't Say 'Allah'


Malaysia's top court is upholding a government ban forbidding non-Muslims from using the term "Allah" to refer to God.

The Roman Catholic Church appealed the government's ban, arguing it fails to consider the rights of minorities and confines the freedom of worship.

But in a 4-3 judgment, Malaysia's Federal Court rejected that argument. They reasoned that if other faiths use the same term, it could confuse Muslims, potentially leading them to convert to other faiths.

Human Rights Watch said the government's decision reflects how far and fast religious tolerance is falling in Malaysia.

"The Malaysian government should be working to promote freedom of religion rather politically exploiting religious wedge issues," Human Rights Watch spokesman Phil Robertson said.

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