PETALING JAYA: The Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, has spoken out against the High Court’s decision on the “Allah” issue and has instructed the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais) to apply to intervene in the case.
In a statement, Sultan Sharafuddin said his stand on the issue was that the word “Allah” was holy to Muslims and cannot be misused.
He added that his stand was in line with the state’s fatwa issued in 2010, ruling that “Allah” cannot be interchanged or equated with gods of other religions.
“What use is it for me to be the head of Islam in Selangor if I fail to uphold the honour of the word ‘Allah’ and the holiness of Islam?
“I have always emphasised that the people should respect each other’s religious belief and try not to touch on the sensitivities of other religions, which can destroy the unity of the races in Selangor.
“If Muslims can respect followers of other religions by not interfering with their religious matters, then I also urge the followers of other religions to respect Muslims, especially over the use of the word ‘Allah’,” he said.
Sultan Sharafuddin said he supported Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar’s decision to call on the government to proceed with the appeal against the High Court ruling, and urged religious councils of other states to also intervene in the case.
The government has already filed its appeal against the High Court ruling that a Dec 5, 1986, home ministry directive to prohibit the use of the words “Allah”, “Baitullah”, “Solat” and “Kaabah” by non-Muslims was illegal and unconstitutional.
The ruling by Judge Nor Bee Ariffin stated that the directive was wrongly issued as it went beyond the aim of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
In the judicial review proceedings, Mais and the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) were included in the proceedings as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in 2016.
The two religious councils were represented by Zirwatul Hanan Abdul Rahman and Haniff Khatri Abdulla respectively.