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Dhimmitude at the Times

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In the New York Times, John Kearney wants the media to stop calling Allah “Allah,” and just use the name “God” to signify that Jews, Christians, and Muslims all worship the same deity: My God Is Your God. (Hat tip: davesax.)

Last August the Washington Post Web site posed this question to readers: “Do you think that Muslims, Christians and Jews all pray to the same God?” One Muslim respondent wrote yes, each of the three major monotheistic faiths “pray to the God of Abraham.”

Christian respondents, however, were equivocal or hostile to the notion. “Jews pray to Yahweh,” one Virginia woman wrote. “As a Christian, I pray to the same God.” But she insisted that “Muslims pray to Allah. Allah is not the God of Abraham.” This woman might be surprised that Christian Arabs use “Allah” for God, as do Arabic-speaking Jews. In Aramaic, the language of Jesus, God is “Allaha,” just a syllable away from Allah.

Still, who can blame her? Earlier that month, NPR reported Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza City intoning, “there is no God but Allah.” Last week, The Los Angeles Times mentioned mourners for a slain Baghdad professor reciting, “there is no God but Allah” at the university campus. In September, The New York Times reported an assassinated Palestinian uttering, “there is no God but Allah” before he died.

“There is no god but God” is the first of Islam’s five pillars. It is Muhammad’s refutation of polytheism. Yet to today’s non-Muslims, the locution “there is no God but Allah” reads as an affront, a declaration that inflammatory Allah trumps the Biblical God. This journalistic rendition distorts the meaning of the Muslim confession of faith.

But Kearney gives no evidence that the phrase “there is no God but Allah” is a distortion, just his own word. This is argument by assertion; politically correct wisdom received from on high. Hasn’t Kearney ever read a transcript of the Islamic supremacist sermons preached in Gaza City mosques? A real case could be made that the phrase as currently used by journalists conveys its precise meaning—that all other gods and all other religions are inferior to Islam.

Kearney uses the CAIR-approved term “Abrahamic faith” to denote Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, and thinks the Muslim festival of Eid Al-Adha would be a good time to start implementing his shiny multicultural ideal world—a festival during which the God of Islam demands his followers sacrifice animals. With their own hands. Supermarket Chain Sells Sacrificial Sheep.

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 Frank says:

I think you should leave it up to the parent, because not all parents want to keep their children totally ignorant. -- Frank Zappa in response to a question from Senator Hollings.