I am not a Muslim and I am not a Christian either. However, I grew up having mostly Malay friends around me in school and I totally understand their feelings when our High Court declared that Christians are allowed to use ‘Allah’ in their publication. Let me share my thoughts from a neutral point of view on this subject.
For the Muslims in this country, the unique usage of ‘Allah’ as a personal name of God is a reflection of Islam's emphasis on the purity of the belief in God. Because of this, Islam considers associating any deity or personality with God as a sin which God will never forgive. He is the only God, Creator of the universe, and the Judge of humankind.
This is the reason why so many Muslims in this country are not happy with the court's decision because confusion may arise later when non-Muslims start calling their Gods ‘Allah’. A non- believer is called 'kafir' which means 'one who denies a truth' and also 'one who is ungrateful' and that is why two ‘Allahs’ will lead to confusion.
Globally speaking, ‘Allah’ is the standard Arabic word for God. While the term is best known in the Western world for its use by Muslims as a reference to God, it is widely used by Arabic- speakers of all the Abrahamic faiths, including Christians and Jews, in reference to ‘God’.
Ten to 12 million Arab Christians today have been calling God ‘Allah’ in their Bibles, hymns, poems, writings, and worship for over nineteen centuries. It will be an insult to them when we tell them not to use the word ‘Allah’.
Up until now, I have not have the opportunity to read Justice Lau Bee Lan's grounds of judgment nor have I had the privilege to read the Herald's papers reference to ‘Allah’. However, my humble opinion is that if the Herald refers to ‘Allah’ as Jesus Christ, then it should not be allowed to because Jesus is the Son of God and not God Himself.
In Islam, Allah refers only to the God Almighty and does not recognise the father, son or mother of God. If Herald refers to ‘Allah’ as God Almighty, then it is all right for them to use the term because true believers of both faiths believe that there is only one God they are praying to.
My name is Kiang. You can call me ‘Kiang, Ah Kiang or Kiang-Kiang’. I wouldn't care as long as you have me in your heart. ‘Allah’ is a beautiful name for God. If I were God, it doesn't matter what name you wish to call me, as long as you have me in your heart.
Instead of bridging the distance between Muslims and Christians in this country and in the world at large, we have widened the gulf of separation between both when we keep arguing and arguing among ourselves because of this. We should stop this immediately.