When this writer was in Malaysia earlier this year, she was appalled at the open (and sometimes violent) dispute over word usage.
As noted in The New York Times, “According to a series of government orders and rulings by Malaysia’s Islamic councils, the word for God in the Malay language — ‘Allah’ — is reserved for Muslims.”
Sure, Allah is an Arabic word, and the Qu’ran was revealed in Arabic — but by all measures and translations, Allah is the Arabic word for God. It’s used by Arabic-speaking Christians, Jews and others to refer to the supreme deity.
How in the name of linguistic integrity can a government forbid someone from using a word (and a loan word at that) outside a specified context — especially when it’s trying to present itself to the world as a 21st century democracy where minorities live harmoniously?
True, Islam is the official religion of Malaysia but Christians, Hindus and Buddhists make up sizable minorities. What do you think?
(Photo of an historic Christian church in Melaka, Malaysia @2014 by Suzy Shuraym)
There’s been much discussion about “Disgraced“, the new production at the Lyceum Theater in New York City. The play won the 2013 Pulitzer prize for drama.
Roughly speaking, the play by Ayad Akhtar (pictured) deals with what’s authentically Islamic in the context of contemporary America.
Akhtar was born in New York City in 1970 to parents of Pakistani descent. He grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and graduated from Brown University.
Have any of you seen it? What’s your take on the representation of American Muslims in popular culture — in this play or otherwise?
(Photo by Larry D. Moore via Wikipedia)
As if we didn’t have enough Islamophobia to deal with, along come those who want to dress up as ISIS military for Halloween.
Now, Halloween isn’t exactly a Muslim holiday (it isn’t a Christian one anymore either), but, really?
“Whether or not Islam itself inspires conflict, debates about it certainly do,” writes Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times.
Why do you think that is so?