Bishop Martinus "Tiny" Muskens told Dutch television reporters this week that God did not care what he was called and suggested that people of all faiths refer to God as Allah to generate greater understanding and acceptance of Muslims.
He said Christians use the Arabic word for God in Muslim countries just as Spanish speakers call God "Dios" and German speakers pray to "Gott." While serving as a priest in Indonesia, where the primary language is Arabic, Muskens said he used the word "Allah" when celebrating mass.
"Allah is a very beautiful word for God," he said. "Shouldn't we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? ...What does God care what we call him? It is our problem."
Read on at ChicagoTribune.com
Upon arriving to the US, I was amazed at the number of people who did not know what the word "Allah" meant. Even worse, so many people had a completely wrong understanding of the term.
Although I do prefer the word "Allah" to "God", partly because the the first unlike the latter cannot be made plural nor can it be given a gender, and is thus more befitting of His Majesty, I still usually use the word "God" when communicating with non-Muslims in English because I think it really helps break down walls and stereotypes.
Thank you Bishop Muskens for taking the initiative to clarify. I hope your message is heard.