19 Words That Will Soon Be Banned in Brunei

Allah.

Azan.

Baitullah.

Al Quran.

Fatwa.

Firman Allah.

Hadith.

Haji.

Hukum syara’.

Ilahi.

Ka’bah.

Kalimah al syahadah.

Kiblat.

Masjid.

Imam.

Mufti.

Mu’min.

Solat.

Wali.

Beginning this April, the government of Brunei will penalize any non-Muslims who use those words in reference to their own faith — including local Christians who refer to their God with the word “Allah.” And it’ll only gets worse from there:

The punishments for committing acts prohibited in the penal code range from a $4,000 fine or a year in prison for a non-Muslim who cohabits with a Muslim, to death by stoning for a married non-Muslim committing adultery with a married Muslim. Parents who leave their children in the care of non-Muslims can be fined and jailed.

I suppose some brave citizens will just have to start using synonyms. Instead of “Allah,” try “God Who Must Not Be Named.” Instead of “solat,” which means prayer, try “Huge Waste of Time.” You get the idea. I’m sure the government will love it. Feel free to leave you own substitutions in the comments. (You can see a rundown of the definitions here.)

(Image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.


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