Pakistan bans translation of Islam’s "sacred words" into English
“Forbidden” WORDS include Allah (God), Masjid (mosque), Sala't (prayer) and Rasool (the Prophet). Christian activist slams policy for its “negative impact on Christians and religious minorities."

Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Pakistan has banned the translation of Islamic words and Arabic names into English. Local media report that on June 4 last, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved a document that prohibits the translation of words such as Allah (God), Masjid (mosque), Sala't (prayer) and Rasool (the Prophet) . Many Muslim leaders have welcomed the move, but it  has drawn criticism from several activists.

According to Nasir Saeed, director of the Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS-UK), it is difficult to predict what kind of impact this decision will have on Pakistani society. "Taking into account the current situation – he says - where extremism, fundamentalism and hatred against Christians and other religious minorities is on the rise, there is a chance that this policy can have a negative effect, especially on the lives of non-Muslims."

"It is curious - he added - that this was done one day before the anniversary of the coup of General Zia in 1977, who deposed the elected Prime Minister and began a Islamization of the country and its laws, pushing Pakistan into darkness ".

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