Entitled to God
Copyrighting “Allah” in Malaysia Stirs Strife
by Peter Riddell
Most Westerners assume that Allah is the name used for God in Islam. Indeed it is, but Muslims are not the only ones to use it.
Allah was used for one of the deities, probably the supreme deity, in pre-Islamic Arabia some 1,500 years ago. In today’s Arab world, Allah is the standard term for God among Arabic-speaking Christians of different denominations. The Catholic Maltese, whose language is related to Arabic, refer to God as Alla. In Indonesia, Allah is commonly used by Christians; the 1974 New Translation of the Bible in Indonesian renders the Old Testament Hebrew terms for God with Allah. These usages . . .
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Peter Riddell is Vice Principal-Academic at the Melbourne School of Theology in Australia, and a Senior Fellow of Kairos Journal.
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