12 November 2013, TheMalaysiakini The Catholic Church has filed an application for leave to appeal to the Federal Court against the decision of the Court of Appeal which had allowed the government’s appeal to ban its weekly publication THE HERALD from using the word ‘Allah’ to refer to God. Mr. Benjamin Dawson told Bernama that the Church had filed the application for leave yesterday, raising 26 questions of law in the leave application. Mr. Dawson, when contacted, said the legal questions involved three areas namely the constitutional questions, administrative law questions and whether the court can decide on comparative religious issues. He further elaborated that the salient questions included on whether Islam, being the religion of the federation, would impinge the fundamental liberties in Part II of the Federal Constitution in particular the right to profess and practice the religion of those in the religious minority group.
“The important constitutional question was whether the state could interfere with the rights of a religious group to manage its own affairs,” said Mr. Dawson. Another question framed was whether the alleged confusion by a certain religious group was a ground to restrict the right to freedom of another religious group. The administrative law question centered on the home minister’s power in that whether the decision of the home minister on grounds of threat to national security and public order could be reviewed by the court. The other question, said Mr. Dawson, was whether the Court of Appeal could embark on internet research and come to certain conclusion on comparative religious issues.
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