THE Malaysian High Court in Kuala Lumpur fixed March 15 for the mention of an application by a Christian woman to challenge the Home Ministry’s decision in confiscating eight compact discs of Christian religious teachings containing the word ‘Allah’.
 
Deputy Registrar Nik Mohd Fadli Nik Azlan fixed the date of hearing thus setting the stage for another court battle over the word ‘Allah.’
 
The Muslim-majority country has been in the throes of a raging debate over the word since the High Court ruled on December 31 that the Catholic weekly The Herald’s Bahasa Malaysia edition had a constitutional right to use the word ‘Allah’ in its Christian sense.

The court ruling sparked protests from Muslim groups and has been linked to a series of firebombing and arson attacks against at least eight churches.
 
The applicant has claimed that the compact discs which were confiscated was for her own personal use.
 
The confiscated publications were in audio visual form and had the words ‘Allah’ printed on them. The applicant, identified as Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill, 27, is a Sarawakian native of the Christian faith.
 
Ireland was granted leave on May 4 last year to initiate the judicial review proceedings against the ministry and the government, as respondents. She wants a court order to quash the ministry’s decision to confiscate the CDs, and an order to direct the ministry to return the CDs to her and a declaration that she has the legitimate expectation to exercise her right to possess, use and import publications containing the word ‘Allah.’
 
The ministry had seized the CDs in May last year when Ireland, a clerk, disembarked at the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang. The CDs were brought in from Indonesia.

Ireland claimed that she used the word ‘Allah’ in her prayers, worship and religious education.

The Christian Messenger