An Islamic authority in Indonesia’s East Java province has told a man whose name means God to change his name or risk being denied social services, a report said today.
A photo of an identity card belonging to a 42-year-old carpenter called simply Tuhan, the Indonesian word for God, was widely shared on the internet last week, with a caption: “God does exist”.
The chief of the local branch of the Indonesian Council of Muslim Scholars, Abdussomad Bukhori, urged Tuhan to change his name or add the prefix Abdu so that his name would translate as ‘Servant of God’.
“We suggest the name change to avoid an interpretation that could lead to idolatry,” Abdussomad was quoted as saying by Tempo.co news website.
“Besides, the name Tuhan is unseemly from a religious point of view,” he reportedly said.
He urged authorities to suspend Tuhan’s identity card and halt social services for him until he changed his name.
The man, from Banyuwangi district, said he did not know why his parents named him Tuhan and wondered why it had only become controversial now, according to Tempo.co .