Comic book Ultraman has been banned in Malaysia, following the use of the word ‘Allah’ to describe the Japanese action hero. The Home Ministry of Malaysia released a statement which said that the Malay edition of the popular comic book, titled ‘Ultraman: The Ultra Power’ featured elements which can undermine societal morals, as well as public security.
The ministry also stated that children in Malaysia idolize Ultraman and comparing the lead character to Allah will confuse young Muslim children and will also affect their faith. The word ‘Allah’ is of Arabic origin and is commonly used in Malay language to refer to God. One line – which has now become controversial – and the image of it can be found on social media which describes Ultraman.
It says, “He is considered, and respected, as Allah or the Elder to all Ultra heroes.” The government has argued that the word ‘Allah’ has to be reserved for Muslims due to concerns that it would also be used by others and that it would result in confusing Muslims and tempting them to convert. There are about 60% Muslims in Malaysia, which has a population of 30 million. Christians make up about 9% of the total population.
The ministry said that ‘Allah’ is considered as Holy for Muslims and has warned that such an irresponsible use of the word can provoke the community and threaten public safety.
Photo Credits: StraitsTimes