The Great Debate UK
More than 43,000 Malaysians have protested online over a court ruling allowing a Malay-language Catholic paper to use the word "Allah" for "God," signaling growing Islamic anger in this mostly Muslim Southeast Asian country.
A group page on social networking site Facebook was drawing 1,500 new supporters an hour on Monday as last week's court ruling split political parties and even families. Among those who signed up for the protest were Deputy Trade Minister Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of Malaysia's longest serving prime minister, Mahathir Mohamed, while Mahathir's daughter Marina called critics of the court decision "idiots" in her blog.
The government said on Monday it had filed an appeal against the court ruling amid concerns the issue could cause religious and racial conflict in this country of 28 million which has large Christian, Buddhist and Hindu minorities.