So do I stop just because three narrow-minded judges couldn't see the BIG PICTURE of what UNIVERSAL RELIGION is about?
I reproduced an article I sighted in M today, from the well-regarded international paper, THE ECONOMIST:)
Malaysia and monotheism - The Economist
OCTOBER 15, 2013
Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God? It is never hard to find to devout followers of either faith who answer that question with a resounding negative.
Evangelical Christians were dismayed when former United States president George W. Bush welcomed a group of Muslims to the White House with the words: "We see in Islam a religion that traces its origins back to God's call on Abraham. We share your belief in God's justice..."
Actually, the "same God" question is not one that a monotheist can meaningfully ask.
The question does make perfect sense for an atheist (who thinks that all gods are human constructs), for a polytheist, and indeed for a henotheist—a member of a tribe that worships one deity but accepts there may be others.
But for a logically consistent monotheist, God's "sameness" must remain supremely unaffected by the legitimacy of the worship offered by one or other group of human beings.
But that doesn't stop monotheists arguing about the question, and it can cause violence on the streets as well as common-room debates.
A fresh, unhelpful contribution came from a Malaysian appeals court which has just affirmed that non-Muslims must not use the world "Allah" when referring to God in any public context.
This is the latest twist in a saga which began in 2007 when the government banned the use of the word "Allah" — which is the usual word for God in the Malay language — by Herald, a Catholic newspaper.
It also confiscated thousands of copies of the Bible printed in Indonesia which used the word "Allah" for God.
In December 2009, the Kuala Lumpur High Court overturned that ban, and in reaction there was a wave of attacks on non-Muslim places of worship, including Christian churches and Sikh temples.
This week's decision, restoring the ban, was justified by a three-panel judge on the grounds of Islam's vulnerability to conversion efforts by other faiths.
"It is my judgment that the most possible and probable threat to Islam, in the context of this country, is the propagation of other religions to the followers of Islam," said the chief judge, who added that the use of the word Allah was "not an integral part of the faith in Christianity".
The story will not end there: Herald's editor, the Reverend Father Lawrence Andrew, has said he will appeal to the highest court.
Whatever the Malaysian judiciary ultimately decides, it will not stop Christians in the Arabic-speaking world, and in countries where Arabic influence has been strong, from calling on the name of Allah. Go into any traditional church in the Middle East and you will hear the chant: "Quddusan Allah, Quddusan al-Qawi" ("Holy God, Holy and Strong...")
That chant is said to have originated in Greek-speaking Constantinople, but the chances are that people were singing something similar in Semitic languages, of which Arabic is one, for centuries before.
In 2010, as mobs rampaged, Malaysia's opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, made a thoughtful comment on the issue. He insisted that Muslims scholars outside Malaysia found the claim to a monopoly on "Allah" absurd.
After all, "Arabic's sister Semitic languages" also used very similar words for the Deity, namely Elaha in Aramaic and Elohim in Hebrew.
"Historical manuscripts prove that Arabic-speaking Muslims, Christians and Jews have collectively prayed to God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, as Allah for over 1,400 years," he wrote in the Wall Street Journal.
When it comes to calming passions on the street, arguments about monotheism may have little impact, but a bit of broad historical perspective certainly does no harm. - The Economist, October 15, 2013.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.
DESIDERATA: No, I am a writer with a ind of my own. No one but GOD -- however you may call Him -- will censor what I think, what I read, what I WRITE. So InsyaAllah, I will surive Man's frailty and folly and cntinue to writHe in future, God-abiding! God bless all the *GOoD people on earth ~~ Amen/Amin.