I know some of my Muslim friends who have no issue with our use of the term “Allah”, have issues with the Roman Catholic Church taking this it to the courts. But this article would shed some light on this.
The defender of citizen rights in a democracy is the judiciary. Indeed, the function of an independent, impartial and competent judiciary is to arbitrate between citizens and the state.
This, in part, is what separation of powers means in a democracy. If our political leaders are tempted to compromise our liberties for the sake of their own gains, the courts should be there to hold them in check.
Hence, this is my response to those who say the Herald shouldn’t have gone to court: Where, then, should they have gone to seek recourse over a Home Ministry decision to deny them their rights? The Catholic Church in Malaysia already tried the backdoor route for more than 20 years, where they depended on the indulgence of the prime minister to resolve the issue. In the end, that method did not ensure their rights were protected.
So, what are these critics really arguing for when they say the Herald should not have gone to court? It seems that these critics expect the Christian community, as the minority in Malaysia, to abandon their constitutional rights and accept the home minister’s decision. Indeed, there are some who say that Catholics should give up their right to "Allah" for the sake of harmony since there are some Muslims who oppose it vehemently.
The same extended hand for dialogue slaps you in the face again! This was a chance to demonstrate leadership, sadly another missed opportunity.
From 1Malaysia to 2Malaysias, and now to 3Malaysias.