Without a doubt, the issue of who can use the word “Allah” is an emotionally charged one. What one could doubt, though, is whether it’s a question of theology, or if there are other agendas at play.
And when such a situation arises, you know that a myAsylum opinion poll can’t be far away. After a week, plus change, of running the poll, the results are in. This time around, the poll managed to get the opinions of over 4,100 persons. Not too shabby, if you ask Walski.
Click on image to see results at Polldaddy.com
Are the results surprising? Don’t know about you folks, but not to Walski. It reinforces his belief that the entire non-issue centers around something other than theology alone…
(analyzing the results, and more, in the full post)
Apart from myAsylum, this poll was also picked up by RantingsbyMM, Unscientific Malaysia, and X-Blogs, plus a mention by Anas Zubedy (thanks bro!) – and Walski would like to thank them, again, for spreading the word far and wide. If you had run the poll, and Walski forgot to mention your blog or website, please leave him a comment. Truly, Walski is very grateful for your obliging to post the poll.
Walski had hoped more Muslims would participate, but he can live with the 27% – equivalent to 1,100 persons. Out of the 27%, 17.3% stated that they have no problem with “Allah” being used by anyone. This translates to roughly about 65% of participating Muslims (or 712 persons) – a majority, by any measure.
Which does make Walski wonder: exactly whom do the numerous (and mushrooming) Malay NGOs speak for?
Reading through the numerous opinions (on the Internet) of those who feel “Allah” is exclusively for Muslims, not one opinion successfully presents a solid theological basis for the exclusivity. These ranged from the assertion that Muslims worshipped a “different” God, to the oft-mentioned opinion that such allowance would “confuse Muslims”, to totally confused arguments convoluting religion and race.
Over the past week, Walski had two separate conversations with two Malaysian Muslims on what they thought. Both persons felt that it should be exclusive. What was interesting, however, was that both individuals had the notion that it was only recently that the Catholic Church was insisting on the use of “Allah” for God. Equally interesting is that neither one could really say with conviction that it was something actually theologically verboten. Contradiction, you say?
Yesterday, The Malaysian Insider published an opinion piece by K. Anand, entitled “A letter to a Muslim friend". In it, Anand postulated that much of the opinions exhibited by Muslims promoting exclusivity, were based on flawed assumptions. Among them:
- the insistence by Catholics on the use of "Allah" is something very recent
- Jesus would also be referred to as “Allah” in Catholic publications
- the Catholic Church chose to bring the case to court, when they should have chosen other “less provocative” channels
- “Allah” would also be used in the English version of The Herald
K. Anand’s piece provides an editorialized chronology (of sorts), plus some background information surrounding the issue, and it’s perhaps worth your while to give it a read.
One question remains, however: who’s been propagating strategic misinformation about the facts of the matter?
Another thing that Walski’s read is that the judgment by the presiding judge, the honorable Datuk Lau Bee Lan, was biased because she’s an “active preaching Christian”, further insinuating that “she has her own agenda” (via Mahaguru58).
Walski will not comment on this, which he feels is tantamount to being in contempt of court. Instead, he urges you to read Datuk Lau’s judgment, which has been made available for download by LoyarBurok.com, and then decide for yourself. If you were to ask Walski, however, this accusation is purely based on sentiment and conjecture, without having even read the judgment. Or perhaps, caring to.
Also, numerous comments were left at the Polldaddy.com poll results page, incidentally. Apart from Walski’s own, a total of 50 comments, to be exact. Most of them were left by those who support the use of “Allah” by all.
Unless some new developments come up regarding this emotionally charged non-issue, this will probably be Walski’s last posting touching on the “Allah” debate. There are, in fact, many other more important issues, as opposed to this one, which Walski would rather focus on.
In any case, Walski would like to thank you for participating in the poll, and thank you once again to his fellow bloggers who saw it fit to re-post it on their own sites. Let’s hope this non-issue gets resolved real fast, because truthfully, folks, we’re just wasting too damned much energy on something so trivial, that God’s probably laughing real hard right now.
On the other hand, two questions raised in this post remain unanswered… so, we’ll see how it goeth.