In her latest letter, Fathima Idris says that because Muslims have a different concept of God from Christians, therefore Christians should not be allowed to use the word ‘Allah’ in Malay and other related Malaysian languages in spite of the fact that the word ‘Allah’ predates Islam in reference to the Creator of the Universe.
‘There is no duality for Muslims, Allah is One. Will the Church accept this?’ and ‘Christians have an anthropomorphic view of the Creator such as ‘God as a loving father’.’ Actually, Christians do not believe in multiple gods, but rather one God, and I have heard many Muslims refer to God as a ‘loving Father’ as well - especially when they were trying to convert me.
However, I admit that we do disagree about some details about God with Muslims. However, we also disagree in English, and Muslims seem to have no problem using the same term, ‘God’, in English to refer to a Muslim understanding of God. So why can't we use the same term in Malay?
But, I'm not here to argue theology - we can argue theology till the cows come home. You told me not to ‘muddy the waters’. I'm not muddying the waters - you are, by arguing theology in essentially what is a human rights case. I'm talking about our rights as fellow citizens of Malaysia. What right do you have to tell us how to worship God?
Christians in Sabah and Sarawak have been using ‘Allah’ since before Malaysia existed. Are you asking Sabah and Sarawak to secede from Malaysia? And it's not just Sabah and Sarawak. The Baba Nonya, Orang Asli, and other Christians in West Malaysia who use Malay or Malay-related languages also have had this practice since before Malaysia existed. Do you want religious apartheid?
Anyway, it looks like the government has eventually agreed with our view and allowed the Catholic Herald to be published without any restrictions on the term ‘Allah’. Hopefully they will also allow the Sabah Sidang Injil Borneo Church to get their children's literature.