Thursday, January 8, 2009

Malaysia: Christians still not allowed to use the word Allah

Malaysia will allow the Malay edition of a Catholic newspaper to resume publication, lifting a ban imposed for its use of the word Allah, a move likely aimed at assuaging the anger of minorities in this Muslim-majority country. But The Herald, the country's main Roman Catholic newspaper, will still not be allowed to use Allah as a translation for God. Thus spoke Che Din Yusoh, a senior official with the countries publications control unit. Read: censorship office.

But Mr Yusoh, may I explain, once again, the word Allah is not a translation for God. Both words are a translation for Elohim (Old Testament) or Theos (New Testament). Malaysia's Islamic authorities are subjecting Christians in that land to their subjective (and in my view defective) view of religion and history.

How do these Muslims in Malaysia think they got the word Allah? They got it from Christians and Jews in the Middle East, who used the Hebrew Elohim, the Aramaic Alaha. And what did Arab Christians use, long before Islam was created by M.? Those Arabic Christians used Allah as the designator for the Supreme Being. That is where Muslims got Allah from.

But truth is not what counts in Malaysia. It is power. And fear. Fear that Muslims may be confused and become Christians. But al-hamdu lillah, Muslims can always count on their rulers to uphold the one and only true faith, by the sword. But just imagine that the sword is no longer present... what might happen to those poor Muslims who can be so easily confused.

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