(Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak addresses the World Islamic Economic Forum in London October 29, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor )

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak defended a court ruling banning a Christian newspaper from using the word “Allah” to refer to God, saying on Thursday it would help ensure stability.

The court decision this month fanned religious tensions and raised questions over minority rights in the mainly Muslim country.

Christians there have used the word for centuries, but the three Muslim judges ruled The Herald’s usage of it in its Malay edition would “cause confusion in the community”.

“People must understand that there are sensitivities in Malaysia, but what is important is public security and national harmony,” Najib told Reuters Insider in an interview.