A Muslim woman recites a prayer during a demonstration outside Malaysia’s Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Oct. 14.

CNS PHOTO | SAMSUL SAID, REUTERS

A Muslim woman recites a prayer during a demonstration outside Malaysia’s Court of Appeal in Putrajaya, Malaysia, Oct. 14.

October 21, 2013

A Malaysian court said a Catholic newspaper may not use the word “Allah” to refer to God in its Malay-language edition.

A judge in the three-member appeals court said use of “the word Allah is not an integral part of the faith in Christianity. . . . The usage of the word will cause confusion in the community.”

Kuala Lumpur Archbishop Murphy Pakiam, publisher of the Herald, said the Church would appeal the ruling.

In late 2009, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur ruled that the Herald could use “Allah” to refer to God and that the Home Ministry’s order banning certain uses of the word was illegal.

Some Muslims claim Christians using “Allah” could be used to convert Muslims to Christianity.

The majority of Malaysia’s 29 million people are Muslim.