Monday, November 3, 2014

"Allah/God" again

[An update to this essay:  Topological Theology]

[Update 3 November 2014]  Murphy wrote that “Allah/God” riff, by way of encouraging Christian tolerance towards Muslims.  But these days, the bulk of the intolerance is on the other side, even with respect to this linguistic issue:

KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia — As the students knelt in a circle at a Christian kindergarten near the shores of the South China Sea, a 6-year-old girl in pigtails read out a chapter from a children’s Bible: “Sepuluh hukum dari Allah” – God’s Ten Commandments.
Technically, she broke the law.

According to a series of government orders and rulings by Malaysia’s Islamic councils, the word for God in the Malay language – “Allah” – is reserved for Muslims. Malay-language bibles are banned everywhere except inside churches. State regulations ban a list of words, including Allah, in any non-Muslim context.
Malaysia, with its collage of ethnic groups and religions, has a long history of tensions over issues ranging from dietary differences to the economic preferences enshrined in Malaysian law for the Malay Muslim majority.
Zainah Anwar, the founder of Sisters in Islam, a women’s rights group, describes a “headlong descent into a puritanical, extremist, intolerant brand of Islam in this country.”
“Malaysia’s moderate Islam is only touted for Western consumption.”

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