UPDATE: Three churches have been torched in Malaysia as religion tensions rise. Churches are bracing themselves for further attacks.
God’s just been to court. Well in Malaysia anyway.
The Malaysian government has filed an appeal against a court ruling that allows non-Muslims to use the word Allah to refer to God.
Protests by Muslim groups are breaking out across the country and online. The blogs are going mad over this asking whose God is Allah anyway?
Malaysia’s Catholic Church says that it uses the word Allah to meet the linguistic needs of some Malay worshippers. The government believes that Allah is solely an Islamic word whilst the court upholds that the term predates Islam.
The debate got me thinking about how I would feel if another religion used a Hindu term to refer to their God, may it be “Ishwar” or “Krishna”. Whilst I don’t think I’d be angry, I think I might feel a bit uncomfortable.
Joel Trumpet isn’t impressed at the ruling and he’s a Christian. He feels that by using the word “Allah” Christians are sending out mixed messages.
For Blogger Lucia Lai however, it’s great news.
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is asking Muslims not to blow this out of proportion, but do they have a right to be angry?
“The idea of bringing Allah before the courts is abominable as it is abhorrent,” says Sakmongkol. ” In the Malaysian context, Allah has always been the god of Islam. Whose religion is this? It is the religion of the Malays. It is the religion of 15-16 million Malaysians as opposed to the religion of between 850,000 to 1 million Catholics. ”
I’ve been taking a look at various online dictionaries and what they have to say about Allah. I couldn’t find a consensus.
So is it all about context?
This blogger feels that both parties are blowing this out of proportion.
‘If I were a Muslim, I would probably say, “Oh never mind, let the Catholics go ahead and use the word Allah.
If I were a Catholic, I would probably say, “Oh never mind, let’s just drop the word Allah and use the word Tuhan instead.'”
Space between the ears in California disagrees. “How one religion could have a monopoly on a generic term or name is beyond me,” he adds.
So should you have the right to call your God by any name you please?