Muslims say “no.” Aren’t they right? Not that they need to riot about it. From the Associated Press:
Eight churches have been attacked over three days amid a dispute over the use of the word “Allah” by non-Muslims, sparking fresh political instability that is denting Malaysia’s image as a moderate and stable Muslim-majority nation.
Many Muslims are angry about a Dec. 31 High Court decision overturning a government ban on Roman Catholics’ using “Allah” to refer to their God in the Malay-language edition of their main newspaper, the Herald.
The ruling also applies to the ban’s broader applications such as Malay-language Bibles, 10,000 copies of which were recently seized by authorities because they translated God as Allah. The government has appealed the verdict.
Joe Carter asks, but why would Christians want to call the Triune God “Allah”? Yes, it’s the Arabic word for “God,” but he argues that since the term is used for a name, and the deities that Christians and Muslims worship are so different, the same name should not be used for both. The Malaysians do have a more generic term they could use. Read Joe’s argument at A God By Any Other Name . . . » First Thoughts | A First Things Blog.
Of course, Malaysians should be free to call their deity whatever they want without government sanctions or mob persecutions. But still, isn’t Joe right?