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Thread: Dutch Bishop: Call God 'Allah' to Ease Relations

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    Dutch Bishop: Call God 'Allah' to Ease Relations

    Updated: 11:29 a.m. ET Aug. 15, 2007

    Dutch bishop: Call God 'Allah' to ease relations

    AMSTERDAM - A Roman Catholic Bishop in the Netherlands has proposed people of all faiths refer to God as Allah to foster understanding, stoking an already heated debate on religious tolerance in a country with one million Muslims.

    Bishop Tiny Muskens, from the southern diocese of Breda, told Dutch television on Monday that God did not mind what he was named and that in Indonesia, where Muskens spent eight years, priests used the word "Allah" while celebrating Mass.

    "Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn't we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? ... What does God care what we call him? It is our problem."AMSTERDAM - A Roman Catholic Bishop in the Netherlands has proposed people of all faiths refer to God as Allah to foster understanding, stoking an already heated debate on religious tolerance in a country with one million Muslims.

    Bishop Tiny Muskens, from the southern diocese of Breda, told Dutch television on Monday that God did not mind what he was named and that in Indonesia, where Muskens spent eight years, priests used the word "Allah" while celebrating Mass.

    "Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn't we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? ... What does God care what we call him? It is our problem."

    A survey in the Netherlands' biggest-selling newspaper De Telegraaf on Wednesday found 92 percent of the more than 4,000 people polled disagreed with the bishop's view, which also drew ridicule.

    "Sure. Lets call God Allah. Lets then call a church a mosque and pray five times a day. Ramadan sounds like fun," Welmoet Koppenhol wrote in a letter to the newspaper.

    Gerrit de Fijter, chairman of the Protestant Church in the Netherlands, told the paper he welcomed any attempt to "create more dialogue", but added: "Calling God 'Allah' does no justice to Western identity. I see no benefit in it."

    A spokesman from the union of Moroccan mosques in Amsterdam said Muslims had not asked for such a gesture.

    Religious tensions on the rise

    Signs of tension had already surfaced in the last two weeks after the head of a committee for former Muslims was attacked and populist anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders called for the Koran to be banned.

    Bishop Muskens, who will shortly retire, has raised eyebrows in the past with suggestions that those who are hungry may steal bread and that condoms should be permissible in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

    Some Dutch Muslims welcomed his comments as a valuable gesture of support coming just days after Wilders branded the Quran a "fascist book" in the vein of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" which legitimizes violence.

    Wilders, whose new party won nine seats out of the 150 in parliament in last November's elections, is well known for his firebrand remarks on Islam.

    He said an attack by two Moroccans and a Somali on the head of a Dutch group for "ex-Muslims" had spurred him to write.

    Issues of immigration and integration had faded from the Dutch political agenda over the last year, after a period of unprecedented social tension sparked by the 2004 murder of Theo Van Gogh, a filmmaker critical of Islam, by a Muslim militant.



    Source: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20279326/?GT1=10252

    What the Hell is up with some Europeans bending over backwards for the Muslims?
    I'm sure this news strengthens alot of Muslim Wackos Self-Esteem now.




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    "We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world; and already that godliness is it, which let us love and foster peace."
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    Thanks for posting Boche.
    Here is another article about the retiring bishop.
    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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    Senior Member Matamoros's Avatar
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    In 2005 he said Islam was a religion without a future because it had too many violent aspects.
    He was right about this back in 2005, but now I definitely don't agree with his idea of referring to God in the same way that the muslims do. He doesn't realise that if you give the muslims an inch, they'll take a mile. It sounds almost like he hopes the two religions will become so similar that they merge into one.

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    Senior Member AlbionMP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matamoros View Post
    It sounds almost like he hopes the two religions will become so similar that they merge into one.
    I think the jews have that idea in mind.

    They want to merge - all religions into communism, and then they will call it 'Faith'!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlbionMP View Post
    I think the jews have that idea in mind.

    They want to merge - all religions into communism, and then they will call it 'Faith'!
    That’s a naïve vision. Yes, we are social creatures that live in their own limits that split “mine” from “yours”. And yes, the "left" since Kant dreams to put an end to that. But the three monotheist creeds have their own sacred book that perpetuates the word of god – their own god – and their own rituals. The authentically communities of faith oppose to any change in rituals or understandably in the sacred book. The religion it’s a static order, not a dynamic order.

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    Here's a better idea: the Muslims can start calling Allah Jehova.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JFRevel View Post
    That’s a naïve vision. Yes, we are social creatures that live in their own limits that split “mine” from “yours”. And yes, the "left" since Kant dreams to put an end to that. But the three monotheist creeds have their own sacred book that perpetuates the word of god – their own god – and their own rituals.
    Well, there's this constant popular hammering on what Christians, Jews and Muslims have in common, and how they would be worshiping the same God.

    I also think that the coming of a a single world religion is just a matter of time - just have a look at the invited religious groups when there's a ecumenical mass - even occultists are represented. At the same time you got blooming new age groups and UFO cults who use bits of the story of the Buddhists, the Christians, the Hindus and what not - viewing Christ or the Buddha as divinely inspired beings, but never as God in flesh.

    Quote Originally Posted by JFRevel
    The authentically communities of faith oppose to any change in rituals or understandably in the sacred book. The religion it’s a static order, not a dynamic order.
    That's why such a "single world religion" wouldn't last very long indeed, not in places where people feel strong about the "old" religions.
    “Remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure which no-one is too poor to buy.” - C. S. Lewis, The Last Battle

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chlodovech View Post
    I also think that the coming of a single world religion is just a matter of time.

    That would be pure pornography. Wars in the past has started for less.
    Yet doesn’t seem impossible. But a pure christian, muslim or jew in good humour would/will laugh of the idea.
    In a normal day would think of any adultery of the word of god as a blasphemy and a matter to a legal action.

    Edit: Forget the legal action and start to think in dead bodies in the midlle of the street

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    And Jesus wept...

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    Somebody needs to tell this moron that "Allah" is nothing more than the Arabic word for God. And the 20 million Arab Catholics in the world do indeed use the word.

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