‘Alla’ or ‘Allah’ is a universal term

Listening to the BBC World Service just now, I heard about the Malaysian Appeal Court ruling against the use of the word ‘Allah’ by Malaysian Christians.

Jul 11, 2014

Dear Editor,
Listening to the BBC World Service just now, I heard about the Malaysian Appeal Court ruling against the use of the word ‘Allah’ by Malaysian Christians.

I wish to bring to your attention the case of my country, the island nation of Malta, in Southern Europe. Malta is a devout Catholic country, in fact we count as one of the very earliest Christian peoples, converted by St Paul during his visit to the island around the year AD 60.

Our language, Maltese, is Semitic, left behind by the Arabs over 1,000 years ago when they conquered large parts of the Western and Southern Mediterranean. Despite over 200 years of Arab rule here, the Maltese remained Christian and remain so to this day.

The point I wish to make is that in the Maltese language, our word for ‘God’ is ‘Alla’. Centuries of Arab rule here did not change the fact that both Muslims and Christians worship the same God, we simply have different traditions to worship Him.

Maltese Christians continue to call God ‘Alla’, and none of the Muslim countries that neighbour us to the South and West have ever felt offended by this fact at any time in the past 1,000 years.

My sincere hope is that this case may be seen by the Malaysian Judiciary as a point of reference: That ‘Alla’ or ‘Allah’ is a universal term for God, proven by history, and that His name is not free to be claimed as exclusive to any religion or any country.

Patrick Beacom
Malta

Total Comments:0

Name
Email
Comments