Monday, January 11, 2010

To a Buddhist

I don’t blog about religion very often because I’m just not a very religious person. I’m a Buddhist but the Noble Eight-fold Path does not rule my life.

However I do know a few things; Buddhism is the teaching of the Buddha and if some guy or some group decides to one day start calling the Buddha by another name, I will be unhappy about it.

So I can absolutely understand why Muslims in Malaysia are unhappy about Christians using the name “Allah”. Problem started when Malaysian Roman Catholic Church wanted to use the name “Allah”. Naturally, Muslims in Malaysia are up in arms about the matter.

First off, I can’t understand why Christians, much less the Malaysia's Roman Catholic Church, want to call their God “Allah”. It just does not make sense to me. Allah is the name of the God of Islam, not the name of the God of Christianity. Why do they want to call their god “Allah” when it’s not His name. And if Christians want to give their god a name, surely the name they ought to pick is “Yahweh” not “Allah”.

Second, I cannot understand why the Malaysian Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed non-Muslims to use "Allah". Names are important, much less the names of gods! I cannot understand why the court this to happen.

Third, can someone from the Malaysia's Roman Catholic Church please come out and argue their case. Muslims in Malaysian are arguing that “Allah” is the name of their God, not the God of Christianity. To me, a Buddhist, this makes prefect sense. The Buddha is the Buddha. I can’t even imagine calling the Buddha by another name, so why is in the world would Christians want to start calling their god “Allah”? That makes no sense to me. Explain to me why the Malaysian Roman Catholic Church wants to call their god “Allah”, and not “Yahweh” or even “God” (like you know, every other Christians I know of in the world).

I can just tell the explanation is going to be a good one.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

it doesn't matter what name you call it, so long you respect it.

names are only used for easy reference and communication. like the finger(language) used to point to the moon(truth).

it doesn't mean that by using other finger to point, the moon will disappear.

Ghost said...

Sorry but names are very important. Just because the moon will not disappear if you use another finger to point at it dosen't mean its okay to point at something using the middle finger

Terence said...

Look at it this way, if some religious cult started using the word "buddha" for their own purposes, would you start calling on the govt to ban the use of the word? or would you adopt a live and let live attitude?

Ghost said...

That will depend on what the religious cult is about. If they are buddists, okay. But if a group of Christians or Muslims start to call their god "buddha", then where is the sense in that? There's just no good reason (or explaination) for Christians to start calling their god "Allah".
Personally I don't think this is something about liberty, freedom etc, but simple common sense.

Anonymous said...

http://firereaver.wordpress.com/2010/01/01/christians-can-use-allah/

Jaimee said...

All Abrahamic faiths have been using the word "Allah" to describe God for centuries. "Allah" is an Arabic word so it has been widely used even by Christians in the Middle East even before Islam was spread in our part of the world. What they are doing is to claim that the word "Allah" exclusively belongs to them. Let us be mindful of those indigenous people of Malaysia where they have been taught how to read and write in mainly in '**Old Bahasa Malaysia' hence the usage of the word "Allah" by Christians in their part of Malaysia more oftenly so for centuries.

**Bahasa Malaysia is infused with Arabic, Sanskrit, etc. languages.

Sorry for the messy writing. In the office actually, will head back to work. Will try to answer questions better later in the day.

Good day.

Ghost said...

To me
- it doesn't matter if all Abrahamic faiths have been using the word "Allah" to describe God for centuries.
- it doesn't matter if "Allah" is an Arabic word so it has been widely used even by Christians in the Middle East

to me, what matters is that Christians has been calling their god 'God' so why in the world would they want to change the name to 'Allah'? Saying that other people, other Christians, are doing the same thing is hardly a good reason.

Jaimee said...

Ghost,

You have to finish reading what i wrote before replying my friend.

East Malaysians(Borneo Natives) have been taught how to read and write in their mother tongue 'Old Malay/Indo' by early missionaries, they have been preached in this language since birth! You cannot just take away what they only know. This comes into an arguement of basic human rights.

The question now is 'Why Only Now Has This Non-Issue Been Publicised?' or 'Why Didn't The Authorities Fix This Problem Decades Ago?, the rotten politics of the ruling Government is playing with religious sentiments lately. Not one decently educated Malaysian will deny this fact.

Jaimee said...

Just to make things clearer, to your question 'why must they suddenly change and give God the name "Allah"?' This didn't just happen or was it suddenly changed or altered.

Ghost said...

To Jaimee,
You made a point that East Malaysians Christians had been calling their God "Allah". That's a good point. East Malaysians Christians were doing it, not Malaysians in West Malysia. So why the change now? Saying that East Malaysians Christians are doing it, so all Malaysians should call god "Allah' is a silly argument. Especially when you think of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Christians in the world just call their god "God".

Most people are trying to use this issue as some sort of example of rotten politics and freedom of speech etc but I just do not see it that way. To me, this is a simple question of why the Malaysian Roman Catholic Church now want to start calling their god "Allah"? And to repeat myself; Especially when you think of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Christians in the world just call their god "God"! It just make no sense

Jaimee said...

Ghost,

East Malaysians leave their native lands to come to Peninsular Malaysia insearch of jobs etc. These people still carry with them their knowledge of biblical terms in Bahasa. Therefore special services and sermons conducted in churches in West Malaysia have to cater to their needs in their mother tongue to suit them. Yes you could say that when services conducted in Bahasa it is specially for Indigenous Christian believers of Malaysia. In this case The Catholic Herald writes 'Allah' in their Bahasa edition news write ups as to 'God' in their English newspaper edition.

"...the overwhelming majority of Christians in the world just call their god "God"! It just make no sense"

That is true, but the Indigenous people of Malaysia don't fall into the Majority English speaking group like you and i.

Ghost said...

Christians speak to English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese etc etc etc and they are call their god “God”. As for East Malaysians coming to Peninsular Malaysia for jobs; they are in Peninsular Malaysia now and Christians in Peninsular Malaysia do not call their god “Allah”. So instead of new migrants adapting to local culture, it is now the other way around. That still make no sense.

Jaimee said...

Ghost,

You keep trying imply that Christians of Malaysia "suddenly" decided to change the word 'God' to 'Allah' , as if its for their anyhow fancy. You fail to understand that it is a translation from English to Malay text and yet you make another attempt and ask 'Why Now Suddenly Change?' -again. The translation did not suddenly change. The first translation known of the bible from English to Malay translated by a Malay-Muslim scholar named Munshi Abdullah he specifically used 'Allah' as to 'God' in his bible translation. This apparent "phenomenon" to you did not just happen, it happend 150years ago for early residents from the Straits!

Adapting to culture is not an issue, it is the language that they have been familiar with taken from them and all together banned is the issue. This is this is an oppressive act to freedom to practice their religion.

Everything will never make sense to you if you would only view things from one perspective. I suggest that you would do more reading and research to broaden your mind. Otherwise historic facts that i have stated would be futile. :)

Ghost said...

Sorry Jaimee but I do not understand what you mean by "This is this is an oppressive act to freedom to practice their religion." The Malaysian government and the Malay Muslims has no desire to stop Christians from practicing their religion. I don't even think this is an oppressive act at all. Muslims disagree with Christians using the name "Allah" to call their god. To me, this make perfect sense because well..Christians in Malaysia (or Peninsular Malaysia if you want) do not call their god "Allah". They have a dispute. That's it and in my view, the Malay Muslims got a case (a very good one).

Jaimee said...

They got a case? They already lost their case in High Court! What case is left?? You want to talk about history, i gave you historical facts but you ignored. You want to talk about Human Rights, i have mentioned but you insist. You want to talk about religion, lets do it but be prepared to dish out facts on 'Why Other Abrahamic Religion Can't Use The 'A' Word?'

What you have been doing is repeatedly say 'It Doesn't Make Sense' to brush off dished out facts. You have selective reading issues or you are in a sorry state of denial?

**I'm sure with your poor efforts in research before writing on this topic you don't even know how this issue ignited.

"More Than 15,000 Bibles Confiscated in Malaysia" ( www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,570241,00.html ) -read the FACTS here!

Now you tell me Sir, how is this Freedom to Practice Their Religion?!

This is the Live interview on Aljazeera TV on the arson attack, do watch this ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV89G-wrgDQ )

Regards

Ghost said...

Jaimee, the more than 15,000 bibles confiscated in Malaysia was after the case blew up in court and the churches got firebombed in Malaysia. The Malaysian government is trying to defuse the situation, not trying to stop Christians from practicing their religion.

Another thing is the offensive tone in your latest comment. It is unnecessary. I do not brush off dished out facts, in fact I have made a point of looking at both sides of the argument. Fact is that Christians in Peninsular Malaysia did not call their god “Allah”. You say that Christians in East Malaysia has been calling their god “Allah” for decades, fine but Christians in Peninsular Malaysia didn’t and problems only began when the Roman Catholic Church decided to use the name “Allah” in Peninsular Malaysia. Of course Malaysian Muslims would be unhappy about the matter.

Why does the Malaysian Roman Catholic Church decide to use the name “Allah” in Peninsular Malaysia when they had never used it there before? That is not a sorry state of denial but a simple question no one, including you, has been able to give a good answer to. I say 'It Doesn't Make Sense' because it doesn’t. Saying that Christians in East Malaysia has been calling their god “Allah” for decades, so Christians in Peninsular Malaysia should also use the name “Allah” in Peninsular Malaysia is a poor answer. It would, and did, increase anger instead of defusing the situation.