...of Christians and names...

Category: By imakubex

i was thinking about the "Christian using the name ALLAH", issue and i spoke to my roommate about this matter-he is inclining towards Christianity (without the bounds of the topic)...

anyways, for anyone without any background information, i shall put forth as much information as i can in here. the issue is as such (as far as i know it is, as of now):

Muslims in Malaysia want to ban the usage of the word "ALLAH" by Christians in all their writings because it will cause confusion in the Muslim community and also, some argue, it taints the name of ALLAH, being used for the God in Christendom with the meaning of the trinity concept that they believe...

the Christians defended their actions by stating that the word "ALLAH" has been in use even before the coming of Islam, and hence is perfectly valid for their use. and i heard some funny comments that if the word is banned for usage by non-Muslims, then they can't sing the state song because there is the name of ALLAH in the song.

anyways, that's the main argument. there are some other arguments by the Muslims, and i will try to list them, as best to my knowledge as possible.

1. (as stated before) the usage of the word ALLAH will create confusion, and we need to shield the Muslim population, whilst educating the society about the concepts of God in both Christianity and Islam, so that when the ban is lifted, it people will understand and not be confused.

2. Christians are purposely doing this to confuse the Muslims so that more Muslims will convert into Christianity. this is regarding the name of the name ALLAH by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Church. because according to an article in Utusan (i'll put the link below, from the source that i got it from), the concept of God by the Eastern Church is parallel to that of Islam, whilst in Roman Catholicism, it is not so.

3. the 'aqidah of Muslims in Malaysia is very shaky, hence we need to do this to protect the Muslims in Malaysia, so that no one will be an apostate because of this.

4. why are they so adamant in using this word? its just ONE word!!!

5. Islam is in power, as far as Malaysia is concerned. therefore, it is the government's task to protect the sanctity of Islam..

well, as my roommate conveniently summarized for me, i can appreciate and understand why they are doing that, but it doesn't seem fair. well, a few arguments when i was discussing this with a few friends...

1. confusion is best combated with knowledge and understanding. this policy will not only serve to destroy any potential problem, it may also increase understanding between religions. and since Malaysia is so very defined by races and religion, it may serve to help to bridge the huge gaps between the races in Malaysia. it will also increase faith of Muslims, because now they actually KNOW the God that they are so devoutly worshiping (not that i'm saying that they don't, but i am a bit skeptical when people speak of being confused over 2 concepts that are absolutely different, when they sufficiently understand one concept to have it as their source of their way of life, maybe there is, but I'm skeptical, and that the concept of God in Islam is so clearly defined in the Quran).

2. information nowadays are so very accessible to everyone. so, if done, as my good friend aimran put it, in a vacuum, people will not really get the whole picture, because it is not presented in the whole to them. and with the non-thinking mindset of Malaysians beyond their own interests, it may even breed even more confusion. and let us be realistic here, banning a word will not cause them to stop using it. maybe they'll stop it in their publication, but they may still whisper in the shadows about how unfairly they have been treated, which will enhance the suspicions between the different religious groups.

3. such a bill is highly unrealistic, because it will mean that the authorities will have to check every single church every single second of every single day every year forever to check that Christians are obeying the law. and even if they manage to do that, the word will still be used, because talk about religion is not confined in the recesses of the church, hence the monitoring of such things is highly unrealistic.

4. a Christian can retort, why can't we not use this word? is it exclusive to Muslims?

5. it is kinda funny, because is the government really Islamic? what is the real purpose of raising this issue in the first place? anyway, that is the realm of politics, so i will try not to comment on it too much here. if the government really wants to do that, then they would have to have the whole population understand the argument on both side, or it will be unjust. again, the issue here is not about banning the word, rather, it is more about is it serving justice to people to do that? are we not telling the non-Muslims what to do and not do in matters of their own religion?

6. i think that this is a bit lacking in the thinking of Muslims, at least in Malaysia. we never thought about our actions other than what we believe, want and think. i mean, picture urself in the premise of a Christian. what will u think about this? if it were me, i'll have these questions:

1. why can't we use it?
2. even if they believe it that their God is ALLAH and he is One, they can't impose it on us...so what if they believe that? we don't!
3. how is this religious freedom?
4. do the muslims hate us?
5. is this how Islam treats people?
6. who can i turn to to resolve this problem?

therefore, it will bring about more misfortune than benefit. for example, as my friend anuar brilliantly argued, how will the Christians believe that an Islamic country will provide religious freedom, and hence, how are we supposed to convince them to join us in our cause? and what's more, what sort of impression will it give to the non-Muslims about Islam? will they not think that Islam is unfair? we always think what only WE want, and what WE think should be done. WE are so unemphatic! and having spoken to my roommate, and from other information that i got, it was clear that they can understand why we want it to be like that, but they just don't find it rational or fair for us to impose our belief system on them (in some sense it does). it is tantamount to a Christian nation, like the UK, saying to Muslims, 'don't use the word "Jesus", because in your religion, he is a prophet, and to us he is a god'. but if we listen to such an argument, we would say, 'no, no. that's different. u see..etc.'. how preposterous! can double standards be more evident than this?! if you want to explain what you believe to a Christian so that they understand, then you must take the same stand with Muslims. because doing otherwise will give the wrong impression about Islam. rather than doing that, why don't we just explain to the masses the true concept in both religion?

in the end, its all a matter of language...and language, to me, is a heritage, and is not exclusive to Muslims, nor Christians, nor anybody. and i do sincerely believe that explanation is much better done in an open environment, as aimran ponted out, because the people will actually think, and try to understand.

and if we are to argue about the weak state of the ummah, then we should blame ourselves for that. they (the Christians) are just doing their job; what they think is the right thing to do. can you blame an atheist for researching theories of how life came into being? you can't, because he believes that what he is doing is true. doing stuff like banning a word reflects how really weak the ummah is, and it is, to me, simply like punishing the Christians for sins that Muslims did...

i beg forgiveness from ALLAH for anything wrong that i said here...


p/s :link [ http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2007&dt=

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