KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia–After fighting skyscraper-sized aliens and monsters for nearly five decades, Ultraman’s heroic service isn’t wanted anymore – at least in Malaysia.Gee, doesn't the modern prohibition of any illustration of Muhammed under Islam also damage their "faith" by equating the "prophet" with Allah? (It was only by the 16 or 17th century that the prohibition actually began, yet there's no verses in the Koran actually forbidding it.) I don't see their logic here.
The Malay-language edition of the comic book “Ultraman the Ultra Power” has been banned because it contains “elements that may threaten public order,” Malaysia’s Home Ministry said in a March 5 statement. Another statement on Friday clarified that the ban was due to use of the term “Allah” to describe the Japanese superhero.
The move, which has drawn public ridicule on the Internet, comes amid rising tensions between majority Muslims and minority Christians over the use of the word, which means God. Malaysia’s highest court is currently weighing whether to grant the Catholic Church permission to appeal a lower court ruling that bans it from referring to the Christian God as “Allah.”
The Home Ministry imposed the ban because the character Ultraman is “an idol for children” and the use of the term Allah could “confuse” their thinking.
“If the matter isn’t curbed, it could damage Muslim’s children faith by equating Allah with Ultraman,” the Home Ministry said, in Friday’s statement.
The Home Ministry has defended its decision to ban the comic, saying the term “Allah” is sacred in Malaysia and its misuse could threaten public order.Such cowardice, and according to this info, they're missing something:
Anyone found guilty of producing or distributing the comic book could face jail time of up to three years or a fine not exceeding 20,000 ringgit ($6,146) or both.
Objections to the comic seem to stem from a translated line introducing Ultraman, which reads in Malay "he is considered, and respected, as Allah or the Elder to all Ultra heroes."Alas, the Islamists in Malaysia do not care. For them, only a monopoly on words is acceptable.
However, the controversy may be a case of 'lost in translation,' as the term kami in Japanese refers not only to the monotheistic deity but also to Shinto gods, as well as spirits and powerful forces.