Dr. Reza Aslan, an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, has recently been interviewed by the BFM Radio’s Evening Edition on Allah issue as was reported by pro-Pakatan Malaysian Insider. What is the significant of interviewing a liberal person on such an important matter? May be Radio BFM, as well as The Malaysian Insider are trying hard to remind us their true colours.
Dr. Aslan mocked the Court of Appeals for unanimously ruling against allowing the Catholic Church to use the word “Allah” as the Malay translation for the Christian god in its weekly publication the Herald for which Justice Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali said:
“It is our common finding that the usage of the name ‘Allah’ is not an integral part of the faith and practice of Christianity. From such finding, we find no reason why the respondent is so adamant to use the name ‘Allah’ in their weekly publication. Such usage, if allowed, will inevitably cause confusion within the community.”
The Malaysian Insider reported that Dr. Aslan said,
“We Are Laughing At You”.
“Allah is constuction of the the word al-Ilah. That’s what the word is,” he explained. “Al-Ilah means ‘The God’. Allah is not the name of God.”
Reading the report by The Malaysian Insider, I found that his statements and arguments were rather far-fetched. Let me analyse his statements one by one:
1) Dr. Aslan says that “Al-Ilah means The God”.
“Al-Ilah means ‘The God’. Allah is not the name of God.”
Fine – Dr. Aslan says that it is okay for the Christians to call their God, Allah because to his understanding, Allah simply means ‘The God’. What Aslan failed to understand is that the Arabic word ‘Al’, meaning ‘the’ in English is used to emphasise the fact that ‘Allah’ is one and the only God. When a Muslim says ‘Allah’, he is referring to our one and only God. Now, for the Malaysian Christians who want to call their god, ‘Allah’ , does it means that they are rejecting the Christian doctrine of the Holy Trinity? Or do they think that Elohim, YHWH and Jehovah are not classy enough to refer to their god?
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary wrote:
“When this command (Jesus commanded his followers to baptize “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit) is taken seriously and obeyed, the whole issue is greatly clarified – a Christian cannot baptize in the name of Allah,” – (see Christian Post’s Is Calling the Christian God ‘Allah’ Wrong?)
If the world-renowned theologian and seminary president has made such a strong statement against calling Christian God ‘Allah’, why must those Malaysian Christians still stubbornly want to call their God ‘Allah’ (but only in Malay texts and speeches)?
2) Dr. Aslan said that Christians and Jews in the Arabian Peninsula had been referring to their God as Allah because they spoke Arabic.
“Echoing many other Muslim scholars and writers, Aslan said Christians and Jews in the Arabian peninsula since before the time of the Prophet Muhammad had been referring to God as Allah.
“Why? Because they spoke Arabic… that’s why,”
Good, so now we know the Christians and Jews in the Arabs used Allah because they speak Arabic. So why in the world must the word God be translated to an Arabic word Allah for Malay translation, when the Malay word for God is Tuhan? Why must those Malaysian Christians translate their text to Malay when they do not want to recognise the Malay word for God? I guess the whole thing was too complicated for a foreigner like Dr. Aslan until he is confused; he has no idea that Malay and Arabic are two different languages. Maybe he thought that the Malaysian Christians are referring to Arabic translation and not the Malay.
3) Dr. Aslan says that:
“This idea that not only should Christians not be able to use this word, but that using the word is somehow a threat to Islam… that Malaysian (Muslims) are so stupid if they hear a Christian use the word Allah, they will accidentally become Christians. I mean, the idiocy of that statement speaks for itself,” he said.
In the first place who said that, “if they hear a Christian use the word Allah, they will accidentally become Christians”? Our reason is that, “such usage if allowed, will inevitably cause confusion within the community” and not “if they hear a Christian use the word Allah, they will accidentally become Christians.” That crazy statement is so foolish. It seems like Dr. Aslan is really good at spinning stories as the Pakatan Rakyat does. Or don’t tell me that it was Malaysian Insider or BFM Radio who fed Dr. Aslan with the wrong information?
In Malaysia, Allah is the proper name of the Muslim god and exclusively referred to the one and only god of the Muslims’. But it is untrue that non-Muslims cannot mention the word Allah; they can mention the word Allah but only to refer to the Muslim’s god. So, either Dr. Aslan is purposely confusing his listeners or despite of his PhD in Sociology, he’s pretty silly after all or too confused that he can’t think straight.
4) Dr. Aslan gave an example of a threat to Islam… in Pakistan.
“A Taliban put a bomb in the Quran and took it to a mosque in Pakistan, where Muslims were slaughtered on one of the holiest days in the Muslim calendar. You want to talk about threats to Islam? That’s a threat to Islam”
So Dr. Aslan, now that you know and admit that it is a threat to Islam – why must you made such crazy statements? Oh, I’m sorry I forgot that you are an Iranian-American living in the United States. Perhaps it escapes your understanding that Pakistan and Malaysia are two different countries with separate governments and laws? Maybe, since you heard that we’re all in Asia, perhaps you made a conclusion that Asia is actually a country?
5) Next Dr. Aslan says that if anyone says that god has a name is blasphemous.
“Frankly, anyone who thinks that Allah is the name of God, is not just incorrect, but is going against the Quran itself. It is almost a blasphemous thought to think that Allah has a name. “And this is not an interpretation. It is a historical fact,” Reza added. “Any Imam that tells you God has a name, is blasphemous. It is as simple as that,” – Malaysian Insider.
Let me ask you readers – honestly, would you really take the words from a person who says that it is blasphemous to say that god has a name? So Dr. Aslan is accusing that all of the Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah as blasphemous? So no wonder he made all those rubbish statements. If that was what he really says, I wonder if he really converted back to Islam after converting to Christianity. But he couldn’t be a Christian either because the Christians believe in their lord ‘YHWH’ (or Elohim/Jehovah) and Jesus. I really think that he is really confused about almost everything that he said.
6) Dr. Aslan also says:
“We are laughing at you.”
And I’ll say that actually, the Christians in the Vatican are laughing at YOU, Dr. Aslan because you doesn’t seems to understand what you were talking about!
From Catholic Online:
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX (Catholic Online) – On the Commonweal magazine blog, Michael Peppard posted an article entitled “Pope Benedict: ‘May Allah bless you all!” While it is unquestionably true that the Holy Father gave a blessing Arabic, he did not say “May Allah bless you all!” as Peppard states. Peppard says in his article that there is only one word that could have been used by the Pope, and that word was “Allah.” But in fact, the whole article is built on a faulty premise. There are other words that may be used to refer to God other than Allah, although Allah is certainly one. The text in Arabic, which can be found on the Vatican website is: Translated, the meaning is “The pope prays for all Arabic speakers. May God bless you all.” The word used for “God,” however, was not Allah, but rather al-Rab or Lord.
Even the pope himself did not use the word Allah when he gave his blessings in Arabic (yes, Dr. Aslan, I said in Arabic), Dr. Aslan is getting head over heels over his support for the Christians to call their god Allah, until he went as far as to twist the facts and play with people’s perception (he does have a PhD in Sociology after all). But look, who’s laughing now? BFM Radio and Malaysia Insider, please do me a favour; don’t tell me that Dr. Aslan understands Christianity better than the pope himself.