Monday, August 20, 2007

What's in a name?

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.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

As I became familiar with muslim scriptures, I realized that the Allah of the Koran is NOT the Lord of Hosts, the great I AM.
Don't know about other places, but the US is teeming with hispanic and far easterners, none of whom require footbaths, special rooms and time offs, etc. in the workplace.

Affad Shaikh said...

Again, do you see how these right wing nut jobs do not make sense and seem to have a hatred for all people who are not white, narrow minded and isolated in their own bubble? I mean how can you take these people seriously? They themselves can not respect the Constitution and Bill of Rights that guarantees diversity and pluralism so how do you expect them to champion Democracy an ideal based upon these ideals? In all that I read on these extremists websites, they only care to keep themselves and this country in this bubble of ignorance and racial supremacy. They are like the neo-KKK hiding behind a mask of fake patriotism. Sad but true. (Again LOL at the statement by anonymous #4 (is it #4?))

Anonymous said...

What I am saying is that if anyone looks like a potential lawsuit, or a source of grievances and requests, he or she might not be a desirable employee.

The first thing I said was that Allah does not seem to be the I AM of the Bible.

I realize these two thoughts are unrelated.

How do you know I'm not AA or hispanic?

Affad Shaikh said...

True I don't know that. However, if you were you would not use the term Hispanic, normally, those people of Latino decent do not use that term because they do not associate with it, the old timers in the community still do- but I guess that is much like the Muslim community its a term much debated because it represents the identity of the community- many think it should be American Muslims, many others think it should be Muslim-American, then others say it should be just Muslim and the drama continues.

I guess what you wrote, anonymous was not a typo- can you elaborate on "I AM of the Bible". Not sure what that is and it might be a great opportunity to learn something beneficial so look forward to you response.

As to your lawsuit question, I think its all part of being American. Sue people's rear ends off, much like American pie (LOL, its a joke)

Anonymous said...

The Dutch Minister is such a pitiable Dhimmi. He's getting ready to retire? Obviously, he's already senile! Has totally lost it!

As for affad, do you have any other vocabulary besides "right wing nut jobs?" OK - you're an Islamic Barbarian. You like? Not to mention nutty as the proverbial fruitcake for worshipping a pagan moon deity that doesn't exist!

"al-lah" the pre-Islamic PAGAN moon-god! LOL! Go on, affad, whack your cerebellum 5 times today to something that doesn't exist! No wonder Muslamics are so mentally-challenged - all that head-whacking is wearing!

There is only ONE Judeo-Christian God and Jesus - they are One and the Same. "allah" is an idol made of Arabian limestone.

Affad Shaikh said...

When you think you can have a civil conversation the nutcase comes out in 'em. The above is an example of how hate and fear motivate a person to be so stupid. LOL. Anyway I got life to live so dear reader get a laugh when you read anonymous because the sad reality is there are SO many idiots like this one out there :)

Zahra Billoo said...

Affad, I don't think it was the same person.

Affad Shaikh said...

I hope it was not the same person, look forward to hearing from the person that asked the question about being Hispanic :)

Anonymous said...

I am the Anonymous who asked the question about being Hispanic. My last post was deleted.

Yesi King said...

Haha anonymous you are one funny character....anyway, so since your ignorance doesn't let you see past your dillusion I will simplify it in video format for you. So you say us Muslims pray to a moon god is that correct?...and you throw around your version of God and Jesus which in actuality are not too far from our version...blah blah whatever...ok...so we don't worship a moon god, sorry buddy. But perhaps you might be interested in seeing how who worships an idol, a sun god to be exact. Here I'll just let you watch for yourself:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=5216975979627863972&q=zeitgeist&total=1103&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=3

Enjoy and oh yeah, our history is stated very clearly and we have great guidance from great sources that have never been changed or manipulated by men. Thanks:)

Anonymous said...

Where is this blog coming from?

Zahra Billoo said...

"Anonymous who asked the question about being Hispanic" - might have been a computer glitch. None of the administrators deleted your comments.

I like Affad also look forward to hearing back from you.

"Anonymous who wants to know where the blog is coming from" - You mean geographically?

Yesi - you rock.

Affad Shaikh said...

Dear Yesi,

I just watched the entire video that was put up.

While I understand why you put it up and can see how it might benefit this conversation in that you are addressing one ignorant persons hatred with the same sort of structural arguement. I however have to say that by using the video in the fashion used only weakens the position for those who believe that faith and life can be combined into one.

The video is a basis of deriding all religious beliefs.

"Religion can never reform mankind because religion is slavery."

is the quote that this video ends with. As people of faith, we should be wry in how we defend our beliefs. We can use this to belittle those who belittle us like anonymous but why play such petty games with people who lack the integrity to respect other peoples differences, to seek out similarities and to build on these to work for a better society.

In my honest opinion this video is interesting in the argument it presents, to an extent it offers some aspects of Muslim belief that Jesus's message was corrupted, like for instance it points out the Treaty of Nicea.

However, it goes further to say that religion as a whole is opium for the masses. I strongly disagree with this conception, as I am sure you do as well. It paints even Muslim belief in Noah and Joseph as being a hoax, though the Biblical and Quranic versions differ on major points.

So how does it help us as believing people to use such material to explain our stance or to defend our religion at the expense and belittling those very people who are allies- other people of faith- in this?

To be honest this video needs to be viewed like the 9/11 Truth video's floating out there, with a bucket full of salt.

Thanks for reading this through.

Your brother in Islam,

Affad Shaikh

USpace said...

This Bishop is a bit wacky, it will only embolden the Jihadis. I just read that he said a little while ago that Islam had no future because of all the violence. He seems very confused and conflicted.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe thinks
insult Christians

if you want a riot
which the police will allow


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
appease angry religions

someday there will be just one
let the conversions begin


absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
change religious history

blasphemize the Christians
they will not murder you
.

Yesi King said...

Hey Affad thanks for your reply....i was actually waiting for anonymous to respond to it and then i was going to touch on some of the same points that you did. Personally i really like this video (even though i do not necessarily agree with everything as you have noted) and find it informative alongside most of the 9/11 conspiracy videos.

My point for posting it was to show anonymous that just as he can come onto a blog and ignorantly address his concerns while pointing to faulty evidence so can the average joe. the video was actually made by an athiest. i'm sure that anonymous can come back with facts that might refute what the video is saying just like anyone of us can go back and do the same when he calls Allah a moon god. the point here is that anonymous just like ourselves, is in fact not an athiest and seems to have strong convictions. we are united in that belief. however the way he approached all of our posts are not so much out of serious concern for an answer to his questions, and if he did and i just didn't notice, then the discussion immediately takes a different direction of us vs. them when he begins to insult and be crude. had he in fact asked serious questions on this blog without having to insult anyone, i know that anyone of us or anyone else that has the capability to answer the questions and give resources for would be more that glad to do so.

if anything, all anonymous has done is criticize and really talk down muslims and islam. i am fine with that as i'm sure many who read our blog are. for one, we are probably used to it and secondly we hold onto our beliefs strongly enough to blow his comments right off.

my only concern is that it is people like him that make it difficult for people, not only Muslims to live in a society that respects differences and embraces them. Anyone could have responded very crudely right back, and could have offended him just like he has, other than me and in comparison to him i think everyone has been quite respectful to a large extent.

it is important for him to realize that we understand where he is coming from. he is talking from basic ignorance and from fear. ignorance because he frankly does not know what he is saying and most of it is intended to be offensive. and fear because like much of american society they constantly are only exposed to swayed and bias information on Muslims and Islam.

anyway, again thanks for your reply.

Marya Bangee said...

All praise be to Allah. :) It's nice to see steps being taken to promote tolerance and understanding.

What I find interesting is the responses provoked on this website. It's almost as if the ignorant are afraid of positive steps being taken, because it threatens their hateful, black-and-white beliefs and their belief in God in some real way.

It must be sad to be so insecure.

Anonymous said...

LOL! "ALLAH" IS A PAGAN MOON god of pre-Islamic Arabia - DOESN'T EXIST! lol!

You stupid Barbarians worshipping a limestone idol! LOl! No wonder you're such Barbarians.

Only ONE GOD - the Judeo-Christian God and His Son, Jesus Christ.

I pity you Muslamics - you're all going to Hell with Mohammed the Psychopath. Enjoy your pitiful idol-worshipping selves in Hell, Muslamics.

Anonymous said...

Affad the left-wing nutcase, LOL!

AFFAD THE LEFT-WING NUTCASE, LOL!

WORSHIPS A PAGAN MOON god, LOL!!!

No wonder Affad is such a nutcase!

Anonymous said...

How sad it is to be "Marya," the female Mohammedan. She worships a pagan moon-god that doesn't exist!

SAD, SAD MARYA!!! SO, SO SAD! PITIFUL, IN FACT. HEY MARYA - BEEN HONOR KILLED YET BY YOUR MALE MUSLIM FAMILY?

Anonymous said...

Don't you just love those Islamic honor killings of females?

So....civilized. Just like Mohammedans.