First Yahweh, Now Allah: The Elevation and Politicization of God’s Name

Malaysian Christians have long used the name "Allah" when they speak of God.  No more, though--on January 21, Malaysia's Federal Court ruled that a weekly Catholic newspaper may no longer use the word "Allah" to refer to God.  Muslims have been unhappy--according to Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar, president of the Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia--because the word "Allah" was used to refer to a non-Muslim God.An eight-year dispute between the Malaysian government and the Roman Catholic Ar … [Read more...]

IN NIGER: Catholic Churches, Schools, Agencies Shuttered Against Muslim Violence

Niger's Catholic bishops have called for Masses to be cancelled and Catholic organizations to be closed, in the wake of Muslim attacks against churches.More than 40 Catholic churches have been burned and at least eight people killed, as angry Muslims protest the depiction of the prophet Mohammad on the cover of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo.  The violence has prompted Niger's three Catholic bishops to order the cancellation of Masses and the closure of Catholic churches, schools, health c … [Read more...]

Why Duke University Should Not Broadcast Islamic Prayer Via Its Chapel Loudspeakers

Duke University Chapel (Photo courtesy of Duke University)

A few days ago my fellow Patheos blogger over at the Muslim Channel, Dilshad Ali, criticized Duke University in Durham, North Carolina for rescinding its permission to broadcast the Islamic adhan (call to prayer) from its Chapel tower.  Dilshad wrote: For me, if Duke had decided this wasn’t a good thing to do from the very beginning, that would’ve been it. But to decide that the adhan would be called from the Bell Tower, then to withdraw that decision in 24 hours, well it’s just sad. I understan … [Read more...]