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Thread: Bishop of Breda: "Let's call God 'Allah'"

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    Thumbs Down Bishop of Breda: "Let's call God 'Allah'"

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    The Bishop of Breda, Tiny Muskens, wants people to start calling God Allah. He says the Netherlands should look to Indonesia, where the Christian churches already pray to Allah. It is also common in the Arab world: Christian and Muslim Arabs use the words God and Allah interchangeably.

    Speaking on the Dutch TV programme Network on Monday evening, Bishop Muskens (pictured) says it could take another 100 years but eventually the name Allah will be used by Dutch churches. And that will promote rapprochement between the two religions.

    Retiring
    Muskens doesn't expect his idea to be greeted with much enthusiasm. The 71-year-old bishop, who will soon be retiring due to ill health, says God doesn't mind what he is called. God is above such "discussion and bickering". Human beings invented this discussion themselves, he believes, in order to argue about it.

    More than 30 years ago Bishop Muskens worked in Indonesia and, there, God was called Allah, even in Catholic churches. The Dutch should learn to get on spontaneously with different cultures, religions and behaviour patterns:

    "Someone like me has prayed to Allah yang maha kuasa (Almighty God) for eight years in Indonesia and other priests for 20 or 30 years. In the heart of the Eucharist, God is called Allah over there, so why can't we start doing that together?"

    In the Arab world God is called Allah. The long history of Christianity in the Arab world led to the development of a rich Christian-Islamic theological vocabulary, which makes God a normal equivalent to Allah. Both Muslims and Christians use the word in the Middle East.

    ar-Rabb
    Apart from Allah, the term ar-Rabb (the Lord) is also widely used, although this appears far more often in the Arabic version of the Bible than in the Qur'an. In the Islamic context, references to ar-Rabb are normally found in the possessive form, such as Rabbi (My Lord). Interestingly, the word Allah was already in use by Christians in the pre-Islamic period.

    Bishop Muskens proposal will undoubtedly receive a warm welcome from the Islamic community in the Netherlands. Particularly as it follows last week's remarks by Geert Wilders about banning the Qur'an and, shortly before that, former Muslim Ehsan Jami's comparison of Muhammad with Osama bin Laden.

    Attention
    Perhaps this is the reason Bishop Muskens' remarks have received so much attention in the Dutch press. The bishop actually said exactly the same several years ago. He also suggested abolishing Whit Monday as a national holiday in favour of an Islamic religious day.

    In the past, Bishop Muskens has offended many Muslims. In 2005 he said Islam was a religion without a future because it had too many violent aspects. The bishop is also responsible for a number of controversial remarks. He caused uproar in the Netherlands when he said the poor had a right to steal bread if they were hungry. And he put the Vatican's back up with an appeal for the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torcuil
    Bishop Muskens says it could take another 100 years but eventually the name Allah will be used by Dutch churches....
    Which you can't deny because by then they will have all been converted into mosques.

    When will people get it into their thick (or, in this case, senile) skulls that there can be no rapprochement or compromise with the "religion of peace". Gestures like this are just ridiculous attempts at appeasement.

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    I get the feeling there will be a big trend in Protestantism to Islamicize. The Protestant denominations seem to be much more malleable when faced with pressure. I don't care for Christianity as a religion, but at least the Catholics seem to be better prepared to resist Islam.

    We're so used to thinking of our Western civilization as the source of light in the world, the best and most humane culture on earth. But notice what has been happening since the introduction of Islam into the West. Christians are the ones feeling the need to accommodate themselves to Islam, not the other way around. Muslims living in the West haven't modernized their views at all. Look at how some are trying to bring Sharia to England.

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    I wonder how Tiny would be fairing today if he had suggested that Moslems really should call Allah "Jesus Christ" (given that the Council of Chalcedon decreed that Christ Jesus is "Light of Light, True God of True God").

    Tiny's tiny head would most likely be an ornament on an Islamist's lance.

    'Tis always safer to insult Christians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torcuil
    I get the feeling there will be a big trend in Protestantism to Islamicize. The Protestant denominations seem to be much more malleable when faced with pressure. I don't care for Christianity as a religion, but at least the Catholics seem to be better prepared to resist Islam.
    This senile old fool is a Catholic....

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    (loads shotgun) yep. Muslim Season opens up pretty soon.
    Tequila Sunrise

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torcuil
    The 71-year-old bishop, who will soon be retiring due to ill health, says God doesn't mind what he is called.
    Interesting connection.

    Seriously, though, this isn't about gods or religion, but entirely about politics. It's not like the name of the Muslim god is Allah. Allah simply means god. Allah is just as boringly descriptive as the usual Christian title "God" for God. The reason the Indonesian Christians are calling their god Allah has nothing to do with any name — it's just that their language (which is a creole) has taken its word for god from Arabic.

    It would make as much sense for this bishop to suggest that the Dutch Christians should start calling their god Dios because that's what the Christians in Spain call him. If anything, the Muslims in the Netherlands should call their god by the Dutch word God. After all, most Muslims in the United States call their god God when they're speaking in English. It's just a language thing.

    I suspect this guy is suffering from a problem that tends to happen with Christian missionaries. They go off to foreign lands to preach and it's like it's their first time considering the fact that ethnicity is an important attribute of human nature (because for the first time they're asked to actually care about people of foreign ethnicities). Then they come home and think that the culture of the people they witnessed to is superior to their own (which they consider empty or irrelevant; otherwise they'd've noticed the importance of ethnicity before they left). It sounds like this guy fell too much in love with Indonesian culture during his time there and just thinks it's better than Dutch culture. And no doubt his perception of Indonesian culture is better than his perception of Dutch culture — any image looks exquisite to a blind man. It's just too bad that his position affords his naïveté so much publicity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Torcuil
    Christians are the ones feeling the need to accommodate themselves to Islam, not the other way around.
    Everyone is having to accomodate them and the gestures are never reciprocated.

    Government staff in Scotland are currently being told not to eat in front of Muslims during Ramadan.

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    Tiny's proposal will be a sticky wicket for Jews won't it?

    Rather than G-d they'd have to write -ll-h.

    Oy Vey

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunwheel
    Everyone is having to accomodate them and the gestures are never reciprocated.

    Government staff in Scotland are currently being told not to eat in front of Muslims during Ramadan.
    perhaps you can confirm this for me: i heard that the Holocaust has stopped being taught in England for fear of insulting muslims. Is this true?
    Tequila Sunrise

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