PAS vice-president Mahfuz Omar has asked the government to apologise to the Muslim community in the country for “creating an issue” out of the usage of the word ‘Allah’ by Christians to worship God.

“They should apologise to all the Muslims in the country,” Mahfuz said at a press conference at the Parliament lobby earlier today.

He said members of the ruling coalition have made statements that increased religious tension in the country following the court verdict over the ‘Allah’ issue, while also attempting to blame PAS by claiming that the opposition party allows the use of ‘Allah’ by non-Muslims.

NONE“I urge them to retract all statements that created religious tension between Muslims and non-Muslims, and also all statements that were against PAS,” Mahfuz (right) said.

Fellow PAS lawmaker Mujahid Yusof Rawa, who was also at the press conference, said that PAS has always been consistent in its stand over the matter, and considered the whole issue as a “non-issue”.

“But the government has dragged the matter through the courts and created this tension,” he said.

“I have gone into a church and had to conduct dialogues to reduce the tension. If PAS was not around, the situation could have become worse,” Mujahid said.

The PAS lawmakers said that the government’s stand that the 10-point solution for Sabah and Sarawak, which allows for the use of ‘Allah’ in the Malay language Bible, still stands.

The court decision, specifically in reference to The Heraldpublication, was proof that the government itself does not wholly prevent non-Muslims from using the word ‘Allah’ for worship, despite some Umno members chiding PAS for allowing the word to be used.

NONEThis whole issue was played up to win Malay votes and Malay support, and I would say that the Malay community has been deceived,” Mujahid (right) said.

Earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom sidestepped the issue when asked for clarification in the Dewan Rakyat.

After initially claiming that the word is exclusive to Islam, Jamil Khir then said that the 10-point solution stands, while at the same time insisting that the Court of Appeal decision banning The Herald from using ‘Allah’ to refer to God in its Malay publication should be respected.

Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) said the government seemed to be caught in three minds in its stand on the issue.

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said the court decision was restricted to The Herald alone, while Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said that the decision only applied to Peninsular Malaysia.

Jamil Khir had then claimed that the word 'Allah' is exclusive to Islam.