“Allah” is the Arabic word for “God” and we typically hear it used when referring to Islam.
In Malaysia, though, the word isn’t limited to Muslims:
The Arab word Allah has been used by Malay-speaking Christians for centuries, much as it is used by Christians in Arabic-speaking countries or in Indonesia, where, like Malaysia, the concept of a single God was introduced by Arabic-speaking traders. Rev. Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Herald, says there’s no other appropriate term for God in Malay.
That means it’s not out-of-the-ordinary to say “Jesus Christ was the son of Allah.”
And that’s pissing off Muslims who want the word to be restricted for their use only.
A judge recently ruled that Roman Catholics in Malaysia could use the term Allah, but the government is challenging the ruling.
The New Year’s Eve ruling penned by Judge Lau Bee Lian was one of the few times that a secular institution has intervened to block the advance of an increasingly political interpretation of Islam in Malaysia. She ruled that under Malaysian law, Christians have “a constitutional right to use [the word] Allah.”
… The National Union of Malaysian Muslim students urged the government to take the case to the Appeals Court, arguing that Christian missionaries using the word Allah could trick Muslims into leaving their faith, and the influential Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement is planning a large demonstration against the verdict in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
Muslims don’t have a monopoly on words. Or how others use them. Or how others interpret their faith or prophet. We can do whatever we want in those regards because we don’t buy into their silly-yet-oppressive belief system. It’s one of the perks of not being a Muslim.
The judge made the right call here, and it’s just fueling the violent/angry Muslim stereotype that they’re getting pissed off about this issue.
(Thanks to Donna for the link)