Mohd Abdul Alam writes at Al Jazeera English:
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Malaysian Christians, who account for less than 10 percent of the population, have always celebrated Christmas with great joy and enthusiasm.
Christians also enjoy Muslim-majority Malaysia’s friendly holiday-time culture with shopping malls extensively decorated with Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and reindeers – as “Jingle Bells” plays in the background.
Malaysian Muslims have happily accepted Christmas get-together invitations from their friends, and the atmosphere during this holiday season has always been a pleasant one.
This year, however, Christmas celebrations may be held with mixed feelings against the backdrop of the bitter “Allah” case that concluded in June.
That’s when an Islamic court ruled the word “Allah” could not be used in local Christian publications. Christians say “Allah” had been used for centuries in Malay-language Bibles and other literature to refer to “God” outside of Islam.
The case caught the attention of the public with large crowds of Malay Muslims gathering at the court entrance demanding the court ban local Christian publications from using “Allah”.