Allah does not exist (for me)Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at 15:50 | Posted in Freedom of speech, malaysia, Press freedom | 6 Comments
Diptychal points to an article in the International Herald Tribune reporting that a senior government official in Malaysia has told Malaysian catholic weekly Herald to drop the word “Allah” in their Malay language section as a condition to have their publishing permit renewed.
The Herald, the organ of Malaysia’s Catholic Church, has translated the word God as “Allah” but it is erroneous because Allah refers to the Muslim God, said Che Din Yusoff, a senior official at the Internal Security Ministry’s publications control unit.
“Christians cannot use the word Allah. It is only applicable to Muslims. Allah is only for the Muslim god. This is a design to confuse the Muslim people,” Che Din told The Associated Press.
The weekly should instead, use the word “Tuhan” which is the general term for God, he said.
In the same IHT article, the Herald editor explains the biblical usage of “Allah” and “Tuhan”:
The Rev. Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Herald, said the weekly’s use of the word Allah was not intended to offend Muslims.
“We follow the Bible. The Malay-language Bible uses Allah for God and Tuhan for Lord. In our prayers and in church during Malay mass, we use the word Allah,” he told the AP.
Diphytcal refers to a Wikipedia article about Allah which spells out that “Allah” is widely used by Arabic speaking christians and jews as a reference to god. Diphytcal’s conclusion is that Mr. Che Din Yusoff obviously does not know the difference between language and religion.
Personally I could not care less because I have no religious belief at all. God, Allah and Tuhan do not exist for me. However, I am an advocate of freedom of speech and religion. No matter what ignorant officials in the Malaysian or any other government say, everybody must have the right to address the god they believe in whatever way they see fit.