Catching Our Eye
No decision on Malay Christian's right to 'Allah'
Malaysia’s (highest) Court of Appeal, which today (23 April) heard an appeal by a Christian for the right to use the word ‘Allah’ for God, has not been able to agree a decision. Its three judges did not give a reason for their delayed judgment.
Jill Ireland’s lawyer argued that she has a right under the Constitution to practise her freedom of religion. She is from Sarawak, East Malaysia which is 42 per cent Christian: in her Malay language, ‘Allah’ has been used by Christians for over 100 years.
Ireland has been fighting the Malay government after it confiscated from her eight CDs in 2008. Last month she won her case against the capital Kuala Lumpur's Islamic Council being allowed to have its say in her case.
It has been going through the courts at the same time as a much more high-profile case over the right of the ‘Herald’ Catholic weekly paper to use the word ‘Allah’ for ‘God’.
However, its editor, Rev. Lawrence Andrew lost a seven-year legal battle on Jan. 21, when the Federal Court finally ruled he can no longer call God ‘Allah’ in his publication. In that ruling, the Federal Court agreed with the government that the use of ‘Allah’ in the Herald would confuse Muslim Malays and therefore adversely promote the Christian faith among them.
Algerian in France 'planned to attack church(es)'
A 24-year-old Algerian, arrested in south-east Paris for possessing handguns, other weapons and bulletproof vests, told police he was planning to attack "one or more churches".
The French Interior Minister said the information technology student had previously come to the attention of the French authorities as possibly wanting to go to Syria.
Police had made checks on him in 2014 and 2015 without finding anything that would warrant further investigation.
In Algeria, the small but growing Christian population have felt threatened by Islamist militants after a French tourist was killed there in October 2014.
Ethiopians executed in Libya identified
At least two of the 30 or so Ethiopians killed by Islamic State in Libya on Sunday 19 April have been identified by their families in Adis Ababa. The families confirmed to AP that the two, Eyasu Yikunoamlak and Balcha Belete, left Ethiopia two months ago, and had been intending to try to migrate to Europe.
An analyst who works with persecuted Christians worldwide says it may not be too much speculation to suggest that, considering the current situation in Libya and the prevalence of illegal trafficking via the Mediterranean, most of the migrants who’ve gone to work in Libya are in transit.