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20-Sep-2014 22:59

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there is a danger to public order here,' said Shad Saleem Faruqi, a constitutional law lecturer with Universiti Tekonologi Malaysia.

The Facebook page, named in Malay as 'Protesting the use of the name Allah by non-Muslims', said that the group was for Muslims 'who realise that this is propaganda to confuse Muslims now and in future'.

Malaysia's ethnic Chinese and Indian communities abandoned the ruling coalition in the 2008 general elections in part due to unease over an increasing Islamisation in the country.

In 2008, the government that has ruled Malaysia for 52 years suffered its worst ever results in national and state elections and Prime Minister Najib Razak has sought to address the fears of minority groups by adopting an inclusive racial programme called '1Malaysia'.

Najib has appealed for calm pending the appeal but the government, like the country's three-party opposition grouping, is wary of upsetting the Malays, who form a critical vote bank.

Mahfuz Omar, the vice-president of the opposition Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), said the main government party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), was politicising the issue.'This shows that UMNO is taking opportunity on this issue to whip up Muslim sentiment so that they unite and see UMNO as the champion of Islam,' said Mahfuz in a statement on Monday.

Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32, was sentenced to six lashes by an Islamic court after she was caught with alcohol in a raid on a hotel nightclub in eastern Pahang state.

The ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court followed a ban imposed by the government on the weekly Herald in January last year over the use of the word 'Allah' by Christians.The concept is similar to regular speed dating events where participants are given limited time to get to know one another.