English translation of sacred Islamic names and words forbidden by Pakistani government
People have been banned by the Pakistani government from translating Islamic Arabic names and words into English.
According to reports, on June 4 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved a summary prohibiting English translation of Islamic terms like Allah, Masjid, Sala’at and Rasool, into English as God, Mosque, Prayer and Prophet.
The decision from the prime minister comes in the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. And although the decision has been welcomed by Islamic leaders, CLAAS-UK director Nasir Saeed has raised his apprehensions and said that it is difficult to predict what kind of impact it will have on Pakistani society.
He added: “Keeping in view the present situation of the country where extremism, fundamentalism and hatred against Christians and other religious minorities is on the rise, therefore there is a possibility that this policy could have a negative impact, especially on the lives of non-Muslims who are already suffering because of the government’s discriminatory policies against them.
“There is also the chance that people will misuse this provision if they consider any translation of any word offensive or insulting to any Islamic word.
“Is it a coincidence that this announcement was made just one day before the anniversary of General Zia’s 1977 coup which saw the elected prime minster thrown out, and then in an attempt to Islamise the country and its laws, push the country into further darkness.