Thursday, December 27, 2007

Catholic Bulletin - Partly Banned

I blogged about the issue of a Catholic Church community bulletin, Herald, that was not granted publishing permit by the government due to usage of the word 'Allah' (in Malay language) which was representing God in Herald's Malay language section.

In reading Malaysia Today, there is this person, bexe, who has gave the following comment (verbatim):-

I fully agree with NRR. How come we are allowing one uneducated, sinner of a man called Johari to decide unilaterally on such a sensitive issue. The issue calls for much discussion by cleverer scholars than this idiot. Here are some arguments for and against to the question, "Is Allah God?":

"Scriptural: The Koran itself in several places insists that its God is the same as the God of Judaism and Christianity. The most direct statement is one in which Muslims are admonished to tell Jews and Christians "We believe in that which has been revealed to us and revealed to you; our God and your God is One, and to Him we do submit" (E.H. Palmer translation of Sura 29:46) Of course, the verse can also be rendered "our Allah and your Allah is One" (as it is in the notorious Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation)

Historical: Chronologically, Islam followed after Judaism and Christianity, but the Koran claims Islam actually preceded the other monotheisms. In Islamic doctrine (Sura 3:67), Abraham was the first Muslim. Moses and Jesus introduced mistakes into the Word of God; Muhammad brought it down perfectly. Islam views Judaism and Christianity as flawed versions of itself, correct on essentials but wrong in important details. This outlook implies that all three faiths share the God of Abraham.

Linguistic: Just as Dieu and Gott are the French and German words for God, so is Allah the Arabic equivalent. In part, this identity of meaning can be seen from cognates: In Hebrew, the word for God is Elohim, a cognate of Allah. In Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, God is Allaha. In the Maltese language, which is unique because it is Arabic-based but spoken by a predominantly Catholic people, God is Alla.

Further, most Jews and Christians who speak Arabic routinely use the word Allah to refer to God. (Copts, the Christians of Egypt, do not.) The Old and New Testaments in Arabic use this word. In the Arabic-language Bible, for instance, Jesus is referred to as the son of Allah. Even translations carried out by Christian missionaries, such as the famous one done in 1865 by Cornelius Van Dyke, refer to Allah, as do missionary discussions.

The God=Allah equation means that, however hostile political relations may be, a common "children of Abraham" bond does exist and its exploration can one day provide a basis for interfaith comity. Jewish-Christian dialogue has made great strides and Jewish-Christian-Muslim trialogue could as well.

Before that can happen, however, Muslims must first recognize the validity of alternate approaches to the one God. That means leaving behind the supremacism, extremism, and violence of the current Islamist phase."

If you believe in a supreme being - isn't that what it is? What's in a name? As I had posted earlier, why are we acting like kids...'my god is better than your god!" Grow up!

This bexe, is he/she correct on the Scriptural, Historical and Linguistic part?
The latest on the Herald is that the Malay language section has been banned by the government. This blog posting is not meant to be racial but highlighting what the politician is stirring up at the moment. The government on one hand is telling the people to be wary of extremists but they can't settle it in their own backyard......... tsk tsk tsk!
Tags: Catholic Church, Bulletin, Herald, God, Allah

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