The handing back of the 351 copies of the Bible seized for containing the word 'Allah' to the Christian community today includes conditions that must be abided by, said the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais).
"The return of these holy books containing the word 'Allah' is made with the strict condition that the Bible containing the word 'Allah' is not to be distributed in Selangor.
"This is especially so to the people of the Muslim faith as the Bible containing the word 'Allah' is only for the usage of Christians in Sarawak," Mais chairperson Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa said in a statement.
The holy books were handed over to the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS) during a courtesy call on the sultan of Selangor at Istana Alam Shah in Klang this morning.
The ACS accepted the copies of the Bible on behalf of the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM), the premises of which was raided in January and copies of the Bible in the Malay and Iban languages seized by the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais).
Sensitivities of Muslims must be respected
Mohamad Adzib said the settlement was to respect the religious beliefs and their respective sensitivities.
He said the Selangor sultan, who instructed Mais to release the holy books, also expects the sensitivities of Muslims to be respected.
"His Royal Highness the Sultan of Selangor expects other faiths to also respect and protect religious sensitivities of Muslims in this country, especially in the state of Selangor.
"We hope that the distribution as well as the printing of the Bible containing the word 'Allah' is no longer done in the state of Selangor," Mohamad Adzib said.
The Selangor Non-Islamic Religions (Control of Propagation Among Muslims) Enactment 1988 bars non-Muslims from using the word 'Allah'.
Article 11(4) of the Federal Constitution also bars the propagation of other religions to Muslims.
The confiscation of the Bible with the world 'Allah' were among several main issues that plagued former Selangor menteri besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim that led to his ouster.
His successor, Azmin Ali, who took over in September, had said the release of the holy books would be among his priorities as menteri besar.