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Netherlands Catholic Priest: Let's Just Call God "Allah" to Get Along

God doesn't care what we call Him, this priest argues. And if we're going to pray anyway, why not at five specific times during the day and facing a particular direction. After all, God doesn't really care when or in what direction we pray, right?

A proposal by a Roman Catholic bishop in the Netherlands that people of all faiths refer to God as "Allah" is not sitting well with the Catholic community.

Tiny Muskens, an outgoing bishop who is retiring in a few weeks from the southern diocese of Breda, said God doesn't care what he is called.

"Allah is a very beautiful word for God. 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," Muskens told Dutch television.

"I'm sure his intentions are good but his theology needs a little fine-tuning," said Father Jonathan Morris, a Roman Catholic priest based in Rome. Morris, a news analyst for FOX News Channel, also called the idea impractical.

"Words and names mean things," Morris said. "Referring to God as Allah means something."

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington, D.C.-based Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group, backs the idea as a way to help interfaith understanding.

"It reinforces the fact that Muslims, Christians and Jews all worship the same God," Hooper told FOXNews.com. "I don't think the name is as important as the belief in God and following God's moral principles. I think that's true for all faiths."

If the name isn't as important as the belief in God, then why doesn't Hooper recommend that Muslims drop the word Allah in favor of the more accepted "God" for the sake of "interfaith understanding"?

Mark Steyn at The Corner continues:

The question is: At what point do you stop? If it's only being "sensitive" to insist that Belgian police officers not be seen eating donuts during Ramadan, when will sensitivity require that female police officers adopt Muslim-sensitive headscarves? If it's only being "sensitive" to ask Catholic worshippers in the heart of European Christendom to call God "Allah", why not rename churches "mosques" and disavow Jesus' divinity? These small groveling unreciprocated concessions that do nothing but provoke further demands communicate the same big message: We're losers, and the best we can hope for is that you'll let us lose gradually.

Indeed. It's been accepted that Christianity died in Europe a while ago, but if it still exists even in a small part, that will be wiped out soon enough with this attitude.


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Comments (39)

How about Barry?--... (Below threshold)
pennywit:

How about Barry?

--|PW|--

I find it odd that he made ... (Below threshold)

I find it odd that he made this ridiculous statement on a Holy Day of Obligation for the Catholic Church; the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Bend over and grab your ank... (Below threshold)
the wolf:

Bend over and grab your ankles, Father Tiny.

Considering the importance ... (Below threshold)

Considering the importance placed upon names in the Bible, I don't think the Almighty would take to kindly to having His name changed to that of an idol's.

Step by step, they're slowl... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Step by step, they're slowly being conditioned to accept Shari'a in Holland. Ten years, twenty - they're patient.

Damn. 6 years back, I was pretty certain that Islamic funadmentalism wouldn't gain any real footholds in the West. I didn't think that there would be folks who, in the name of accomodation and 'just trying to get along', would give in to it without even attempting to fight.

Mark Steyn has it right. "At what point do you stop?" If enough Islamic organizations raise a significant stink, would there be people advocating Dutch girls be forced into burquas?

Or should we simply dismantle our culture (with all it's faults, foibles and fantasies) and go wholly into a 7th-Century social order?

Islam's going to have to learn to coexist. And if that means calling 'God' 'God' - then let them translate it in their own minds.

Ugh, that should be "too ki... (Below threshold)

Ugh, that should be "too kindly," not "to kindly."

I hope the Father wiped the... (Below threshold)
marc:

I hope the Father wiped the "sweat" of his lips after this very large smooch on Allahs ass.

One things for sure... he won't be beheaded anytime soon.

The bishop seems to be conf... (Below threshold)

The bishop seems to be confused. The correct translation of "Allah" is "Satan".

Few things here.Fi... (Below threshold)
RB:

Few things here.

Firstly, Muskens has a point. "Allah" is merely Arabic for "God", and if you pray to Him in Arabic, you pray to Allah. The central tenet of Islam is not Allah, but that Muhammed is his prophet.

But it's a really stupid argument. If you don't pray in Arabic, why pray to Allah? Why not to Dieu, Diós or Yahweh? It doesn't really matter what language you pray in, but why change the word for God? It just makes no sense.

Finally, I'd like to see the full context of his statement before I pass judgement. I've done a quick Google search, but I don't exactly what he said and the context under which he said it. He could well have said "we might just as well call God Allah - it's the same word", which then got latched on and quoted out of context. If that's the case, consider the following statement retracted: he's an idiot.

his name was actually "A... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

his name was actually "ALLEN"...it's a typo in the Koran (Ver. 1.0)

...now back to the debate

It's important because name... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

It's important because names have power. If you refer to Allah, you're NOT referring to Yahweh or Jehovah.

In My house, they call Him ... (Below threshold)

In My house, they call Him pudge.

Pudge controls the weather.... (Below threshold)
Linoge Author Profile Page:

Pudge controls the weather.

The Listkeeper has it exact... (Below threshold)

The Listkeeper has it exactly right. Because of the power of the name this becomes an issue. This is why many Jews today will use the word G-d out of respect when writing.

While others may not feel it is a big deal, I do. As others have stated if it's not that big of a deal why not have the Muslim community refer to Allah as Jehovah or Yaweh? That would be utterly rejected because that would acknowledge the correctness of the Torah and Bible and open the possibility of fallacy in the Koran. I really don't think it's just because of a language difference.

The only way we will all get along is when people realize that we all think differently, have different beliefs and can live with that.

Nice try pudge.....but we a... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

Nice try pudge.....but we all know it's really "wife".

This priest is an apostate ... (Below threshold)
Richard Romano:

This priest is an apostate -- plain and simple. He has no clue what's expected of believers; he is more interested in amalgamating than being "light in the darkness." Very sad.

You're absolutely right tha... (Below threshold)
rb:

You're absolutely right that names have power, and that if you refer to Allah in ENGLISH, then it refers exclusively to the God of Islam.

BUT... an Arabic speaking Christian prays, presumably in Arabic, to "Allah", referring to the Christian God. The difference is in Islam that prayers are almost exclusively in Arabic, as opposed to the local language (Turkish, Farsi, Indonesian, etc) and furthermore, in a dialect of Arabic that is pretty much incomprehensible to the average Arabic speaker on the street. It's comparable to the way that church services used to be in Latin, which is why their God is referred to almost universally as "Allah" regardless of which language they speak. But Allah is merely the Arabic word for God, and that stays the same whether the Arabic speaker is Islam, Christian or Jewish.

Sorry, everyone, but God's ... (Below threshold)
harshmellow Author Profile Page:

Sorry, everyone, but God's name is Harold.

As in- Our Father who art in heaven, Harold be thy name.

As in- Hark, the Harold angels sing.

What?

One of the many reasons I n... (Below threshold)

One of the many reasons I no longer call myself a Catholic. Too much sexual and moral deviancy to warrant my endorsement. It's times like this that I miss the later Cardinal Joseph Bernardin whom, while practically inventing interfaith cooperation, would never go so far as to advocate (agitate?) calling God "Allah".

Sorry. "Late" Cardinal Ber... (Below threshold)

Sorry. "Late" Cardinal Bernadin. RIP.

It seems obvious to me that... (Below threshold)
kim:

It seems obvious to me that Allah is testing the Muslims for their fitness for world domination, by tempting them with the mirage of oil wealth. Is there a chance a sharia driven culture can beat one with the underpinnings of the enlightenment? Islam needs a prophet, and now.
===========================================

I suppose this genius "prie... (Below threshold)
914:

I suppose this genius "priest" is also advocating calling child molesting "interfaith healing".

Lets just get along..

I am pleased Bishop, Martin... (Below threshold)

I am pleased Bishop, Martinus "Tiny" Muskens, has rightfully called on all faithful people of all religions to call God by the name Allah. This can be seen as a positive shift.

For those that want to disagree, be aware that Allah is an Arabic word that doesn't simply mean "God", but "The God".

Al=The ilah=God

Therefore Bishop Muskens is quite correct to call on all faithful people of all religions to call God by the name Allah as more accurate translation of the word "Allah" into English might be "The One-and-Only God" or "The One True God". The Arabic word "Allah" stems from the Arabic verb ta'Allaha (or alaha), which means "to be worshiped". The Aramaic word for God is "ALAHA" ....and we all know who spoke Aramaic.

Regarding use of the word Jehovah, early bible manuscripts do not spell out the word J-e-h-o-v-a-h but instead use a 'tetragrammaton' from which the word Jehovah is derived. The tetragrammaton simply means a four letter word (YHWH, JHWH, YHVH or JHVH) from which you cannot read the word Jehovah, no matter how the vowels are added. Since the Jews did not articulate the word YHWH for centuries, and since even the Chief Rabbis would not allow the ineffable to be heard, they have forfeited the right to claim dogmatically how the word is to be sounded, thus making the popular use of the word Yahweh null and void. Nevertheless, YHWH occurs in the Hebrew (Jewish) Scriptures many times, in combination with the word "Elohim", and we all know that the commonality between "Allah" and "Elohim" is "eloah" and "ilah".

The combination YHWH/ELOHIM has been consistently translated in the English Bible as "Lord God,". Therefore, YHWH, Yehova, Yahweh and Yahuwa all mean the very same thing. "Ya" is a vocative and an exclamatory particle in both Hebrew and Arabic, meaning Oh! and "Huwa" or "Hu" means He. Together they mean Oh He! and so instead of 'YHWH ELOHIM' we now have 'Oh He! ELOHIM';

YaHuWaH Eloh(im) = HuwaAllah = He is Allah (He is The God).

Jamal, how is it better tha... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Jamal, how is it better that people use a word for God in a language they don't speak? Except of course for the illegitimate purpose of Arab cultural domination.

He? What use would God hav... (Below threshold)
kim:

He? What use would God have for a sex?
==========================

God.(BTW. "... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

God.


(BTW. "Netherlands Catholic priest" is almost an oxymoron.)

It would no doubt also be b... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

It would no doubt also be better if we all submitted to Islam.

I am pleased Bisho... (Below threshold)
I am pleased Bishop, Martinus "Tiny" Muskens, has rightfully called on all faithful people of all religions to call God by the name Allah. This can be seen as a positive shift.

For those that want to disagree, be aware that Allah is an Arabic word that doesn't simply mean "God", but "The God".

Al=The ilah=God

Ok, so why do we not make this simpler, and you all call Allah "God" (or "The God", if that would suit you better)?

Would that be an equally positive shift? By your own words, they both mean the same thing, so why is one better than the other?

I mean, after all, English is pretty much the international language these days...

How about if we call this b... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

How about if we call this bishop NUTS and excummunicate him instead

Jamal, while you are no dou... (Below threshold)

Jamal, while you are no doubt pleased, your reasoning is flawed. It's not so much that Islam tries to tell us we are praying to the same God, but the fact that Muslims have a totally different interpretation of "God's will" and what God intends for each of us.

No sir, I will not be calling God "Allah" for that very reason. For using "Allah" to refer to our creator is to imply an acceptance of Muhammed as his final prophet and all that he claims is God's word.

No sir - no thanx.

Jamal, has your linguistic ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Jamal, has your linguistic analysis made a mockery of 'and Mohammed is his prophet', or is it the 'one and only God' part that is in error?
=======================

We should all call God Alla... (Below threshold)
Fred:

We should all call God Allah? And then comes breaking down further barriers, until we have a one-world religion... just like the Bible prophesizes... it's coming.

I don't want anything to do... (Below threshold)
nikkolai:

I don't want anything to do with the teachings of a pedophile false prophet. Is it also true that Mohammed comitted genocide on the Jews in Medina? And the Koran is heavily plagerized from the Old and New Testaments?

Using the Arabic language t... (Below threshold)

Using the Arabic language the name is more specific and is only used in relation to Allah (The God). We cannot use god, God, The God, Jehovah, etc in the same way due to the existence of trinities, etc existing as a result of modern Christianity. Therefore, to use the term Allah is more specific.

I have studied his issues and am leaned in religious studies.

"learned"... (Below threshold)

"learned"

Jamal, your comment does no... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Jamal, your comment does not make sense because you are proposing to alter other people's meaning to match your own. That is not acceptable.

The west believes in religious liberty, that does not mean that you get to coerce others into following your practices.

No you are mistaken. I hav... (Below threshold)

No you are mistaken. I have presented you with the historical and religious context of the words used. Whether you follow or not is your choice, the point is that I am pointing out what is correct. I am happy to read whatever evidence you have to support your understanding or to prove mine as incorrect.

Jamal, it is not "correct" ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Jamal, it is not "correct" for a christian caucasian european to use an arabic word for god.

Two things. First of all, ... (Below threshold)
Leon Kennedy:

Two things. First of all, we do not all worship the same God. God is God. And if you do believe in Allah, then you surely know that Allah and God have totally separate values. Secondly, if you believe that God and Allah are one in the same, then please call him "God" not Allah. Allah is a very insulting term to call my Christian got. Not to mention that I refuse to cave in to the B.S. of calling God something different just because it relaxes the hearts and minds of the death cultists we know as Muslims. I am not sensitive to your needs nor your false god. I guess you will just have to take my head. Btw, good luck trying.




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