The Allah Controversy

A Malaysian court has recently ruled that non-Muslims cannot use the word Allah to refer to God, even in their own faiths : Malaysia court rules non-Muslims cannot use ‘Allah’.

When I read news like this, I am glad we left Malaysia last year.

The word “Allah” is not synonymous with Islam, it’s an Arabic word for “God”. Coptic Christians in Egypt have been using it for more than a millennium without any issues. Allah was actually a Pagan god. When Arabic became the dominant language of the region, they started translating a lot of the Coptic into Arabic, so as not to lose their history, hymns, etc… so when they began to search for a word to use for “God” they just used the Arabic word “Allah”. For a more in-depth history of God, I invite you to read this excellent book by Karen Armstrong : A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam

Clearly this is not a religious or even a linguistic problem. This is a political one. This farce only serves to prove the Malaysian government is pandering to extremists who are stirring up dissent via political & legal channels.

As I wrote earlier, I am glad we left Malaysia last year.