In Malaysia, a Muslim woman is being investigated for posting a 12-minute hateful speech against Malaysia’s Christian population on social media. The video, which was posted to the Facebook page “Puteri Mujahidah Wan Asshima Kamaruddin,” shows a woman pledging to “destroy Christians” if they use the term “Allah” to refer to God.
This hate-fuelled speech comes in light of the Malaysian High Court’s decision to repeal a 35-year old government ban on the usage of the term “Allah” and three other Arabic terms by Christian publications.
Before it was removed, the bigoted video received hundreds of thousands of views and thousands of shares on Facebook. The woman expresses her thoughts clearly in the video. “We don’t want to share the word ‘Allah’ with people of other religions,” the woman says, before referring to all non-Muslims as “heathens.”
“Please don’t make me come and destroy the Christian community,” the woman says in her video rant, which many people interpret as a call to violence against Malaysian Christians, who make up just over 10% of the country’s 32 million people. The video elicited polarizing and mixed responses, ranging from support to outright condemnation. Moreover, several elements in the Muslim woman’s video, according to an official with Malaysia’s Federal Crime Investigation Department, violate Malaysian law, including the incitement of racial or religious hate.
In its ruling, the Malaysian High Court deemed the government ban on the usage of “Allah” by non-Muslims as unconstitutional. The court has now said the word Allah can be used by all Malaysians. Today’s decision entrenches the fundamental freedom of religious rights for non-Muslims in Malaysia” said Annou Xavier, the lawyer for the Plaintiff. However, this decision is expected to be challenged by the Government in a higher court.
In 2014, the Federal Court of Malaysia upheld the government ban following a legal challenge by the Roman Catholic Church, which had used the word Allah in its Malay-language newsletter. Therefore it remains to be seen whether the decision by the High Court, which is being considered as a landmark judgement for religious freedom in Malaysia, will be be upheld in a higher court or reversed.