Malaysia: hackers’ cyber attack Catholic newpaper

Watch for a lot more of this in the future.

From CNA:

Malaysian protesters and hackers target Catholic newspaper after ‘Allah’ ruling

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Jan 5, 2010 / 04:08 am (CNA).- Following the Malaysian High Court’s approval of a Catholic newspaper’s use of the word “Allah” for God, hundreds of Muslim youth have protested and the newspaper’s website has been hacked several times.  [I suspect this would not be the time to rerun the Holy Father’s Regensburg Address.]

The Herald, the country’s only Catholic publication, has been threatened with the loss of its printing license for using “Allah” to name the Christian God in its Malay-language section.

The newspaper argued that its usage follows centuries of tradition, while the Malaysian government argued the usage by Christians would confuse Muslims.  [Because no doubt many Muslims are reading the Catholic newspaper?  I hope so, but I wonder.]

On Dec. 31 Judge Lau Bee Lan ruled in the Herald’s favor.

On Jan. 2 the Herald’s website was hacked twice and was found to be hacked once again by CNA staff on the morning of Jan. 4.

Fr. Lawrence Andrew, the editor of the Herald, told the Malaysian Insider that technicians have confirmed the cyber attacks took place and the website was operating normally.

He declined to comment in detail, saying he did not want to add to the tension on a “very sensitive” issue.

In Penang, about 250 members of the group Umno Youth conducted street protests in front of the High Court building to protest the decision.

The Malaysian Insider says that protesters shouted “seditious” obscenities in their protests.

Opponents of the ruling are also using social networking sites like Facebook to rally support and to call for the ruling’s reversal.

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said the Home Ministry will appeal the ruling.


It just doesn’t get easier.

And it won’t until the Lord returns.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. PatrickJude says:

    Being from Malaysia and now residing in Malaysia, this issue has been troubling the Christian Community here in Malaysia.

    Being a multicultural country, with ethnic races amounting to over 27 in the State of Sarawak itself, (part of the Fededation of Malaysia) we have faced a problem of evangelising of the non-muslim native inhabitants of the Country. Therefore, way before independence in 1963, Christian Missionary, especially the Mill Hill Fathers, has translated English/Latin words into the Malay Language and thus the word Allah was used to describe God Almighty in comparison to Tuhan (which also means God) to describe false idol.

    It has never been an issue at all amongst the Christian Community and the Muslim community in this part of Malaysia but it has become a major issue to the new radicalism of Islam that seems to be sprouting in West Malaysia (The Peninsular) and this is when the problems began. The insecurity of their faith has resulted in such ruling which seems to build division and create barriers in what was once a tolerant and peaceful Nation.

    Pray Father, for us here in Malaysia, pray also for my State, the State of Sarawak, which is part of the Federation of Malaysia, pray that we may continue to live in harmony and be tolerable of our neighbours, Christians or Otherwise, Pray that Muslim radicalism will not affect the hearts and minds of our Muslim brethens here in this State as it has already affected in the parts of the Federation.

    Join me, Rev. Father, and I advocate your readers also, to ask for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the protection of Saint Michael the Archangel in this time of great trials for our people here.

    I leave now with the Hail Mary in the Melanau Language and the Prayer to Saint Michael in the Malay Language for you all to join me in our prayers..

    Hail Mary

    Puji Maria peno bahada, Allah Taala jegum kaau, penerkat kaau kuman
    segala amaho, jegum benerkat Anek no Jesus.
    Elkadisa Maria, tina Allah Taala, sebieng ga melo a bedusa ajau ito
    serta lian melo ba matai.

    Prayer to Saint Michael the Archangel

    Santo Mikhael, Bantulah dan lindungilah kami dalam perang melawan kejahatan dan tipu daya setan. Kami mohon dengan rendah hati supaya Allah menghukumnya. Dan engkau panglima bala tentara surga, dengan kekuatan Ilahi, usirlah kembali ke dalam neraka, setan dan roh jahat lainnya yang berkeliaran di atas bumi yang hendak membinasakan segala jiwa. Amin.

  2. PatrickJude says:

    To the question of do members of the Muslim Faith read the Catholic Herald, well, only if they happen to visit the Church or Religious Article Bookshops (where the Catholic Herald is sold ONLY ), because according to Malaysian Laws, prostelysing to Muslims is forbidden under the Federal Consitution of Malaysia and is a punishable offence as Islam is the Official Religion of the Country. In fact, there is a clear notice at each printing of the Catholic Herald a notice boldly printed there stating “FOR NON-MUSLIM ONLY” in compliance with the Government Ruling, but somehow, the insecurity of the Radical Muslims finds this completely unacceptable.

  3. JonM says:

    @ Father Z (and whoever is knowledgeable on the matter)

    Some of our seperated brothers, especially of Baptist extraction, are very, very opposed to use of Allah as a means of naming God. At all and anywhere.

    Of course they are very opposed to use saying nice things about the best women ever in history…

    But this is a point I was wondered: Is it true that ‘Allah’ on some level describes a pre-monotheistic moon deity? I honestly don’t know (though I doubt the accusation). Still, just this claim has given me concern when it has come to using the name Allah.

    Thanks in advance.

  4. Jordanes says:

    “Allah” is the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew words EL, ELOAH, and ELOHIM, all of which mean “God” or “a god,” or “gods.” The Canaanites worshipped “El” in the form of a bull. Does that mean the God of Israel is a pagan bull god?

    It simply doesn’t matter what deity or deities the pre-Muslim Arabs applied the name “Allah” to, because the Muslim Allah is certainly not a moon god, and the Christian Allah is the Blessed Trinity. There is no other Arabic word for “God” except “Allah.”

  5. JonM says:


    “Allah” is the Arabic equivalent of the Hebrew words EL, ELOAH, and ELOHIM, all of which mean “God” or “a god,” or “gods.” The Canaanites worshipped “El” in the form of a bull. Does that mean the God of Israel is a pagan bull god?

    This has been my understanding, but I have not been quite able to articulate it as such. Thank you.

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