"... And argue not with the People of the Scripture unless it be in (a way) that is better, save with such of them as do wrong; and say: We believe in that which hath been revealed unto us and revealed unto you; our Allah and your Allah is One, and unto Him we surrender."
Surah 29 Ayat 46, Al-Qur'an
|Nicked this off Quran.com.|
First off, I would like to say that I'm an atheist. I am therefore completely outside the influence of any kind of bias in this matter.
Christianity was established in the mid-1st century AD in the eastern Mediterranean and early Christians have existed in Arab-speaking lands since the 3rd century (there is still a community, though small, existing there today - talked about as recently as last year's June copy of NatGeo magazine). The Arabic language dates back to the 4th century, existing hundreds of years before Islam was founded by the prophet Muhammad in the 7th century.
You know what this means? Do I have to spell it out for youse folks? This means that Christians have been using the word "Allah" for their God hundreds of years before the prophet Muhammad was even born, before even a single Muslim existed in this world. The Christians in the Middle East today still uses it, and the Middle Eastern Muslims saw no problem with that at all. And now, you - a bunch of Malay-speaking bigots - are raising this unholy hoo-ha about how other people use a word in someone else's native tongue.
Also, read your own scriptures, Muslims. Verse 46 of the 29th surah, the Surat al-‘Ankabūt of the Qur'an (quoted right at the top of this post). Your own holy book said that the Christian God is Allah too, and even pointed out that you guys worship the same deity, the God of Abraham/Ibrahim. So what now? Muslims can call the Roman Catholic Christian God Allah, but the Christians themselves can't?
Look, you don't have to take my words for it. You have your own Qur'ans. Go thumb the pages.
Imagine now for a moment that you guys succeed in overturning the high court's decision and successfully institute a nationwide ban on the use of the word "Allah" in reference to the Christians' God - what would you have done? You'll have to ban the Qur'an now, won't you?
And one more thing, "Allah" is the generic Arabic word for God. It is not God's name. It is God's job. You cannot sue for exclusive use of a generic word - it is simply not legal to do so. How if tomorrow, I sue for the exclusive use of the word "banana", or "aeroplane" and make it illegal for anyone else to use these words in print? Good thing is, I can't lawfully do this. And neither can you.
So, my Muslim friends, you argue that you are afraid that people might confuse the two religions? You are afraid that Muslims might be bamboozled and led astray by the Catholics' use of the word?
Seriously, do you really think that your brethren are that spectacularly stupid? C'mon now, quit insulting the intelligence of your own brothers and sisters of the faith.
I am speaking up because I believe in the truth, in the freedom of speech of all humanity. If you truly love knowledge, and love the truth as your own God have ordained, you would not oppose the Catholics' use of the word Allah. Your opposition is both ignorant and unlawful, and is demonstrably against your own religion - to say nothing of torching Christian churches and Sikh temples.
There, I wrote it all in the simplest English I can.
Addendum 15/01/2010: Here is a couple of useful links given by an esteemed Muslim colleague of mine in the comments section for those who want an eloquent Muslim perspective on this matter. Certainly worth a read, in my opinion;
Isu Nama Allah: Garis Panduan Penggunaan Nama Allah
Beza Antara Merebut Nama Allah Dan Mempertahankan Akidah
And here's an easy to understand article on the reason behind the usage of the word "Allah" in the Malay Bible by one Dr Ng Kam Weng;
Allah can't be substituted by Tuhan in Bible translation
P.S. Link this post in your blog so this can reach as many people as possible. Or if you don't like to give me traffic, just copy and paste this. Or rewrite it in your own words. Seriously, I don't give a fuck.
P.P.S. Isn't it ironic that when the Religion of Love clashes with the Religion of Peace, intimidation and violence happens?
P.P.P.S. Here's a shout out to a Malay Muslim friend of mine who helped me hunt down and affirm the translation of the relevant Qur'an verse. He wishes to remain anonymous, naturally.
k0k s3n w4i