Friday, January 8, 2010

of 'ALLAH' and "Tuhan"

There has been a lot of issues, debates, arguments, demonstrations, etc. on this issue. As an academic, let me give my two cents worth from my perspective:

(i) linguistically, a word is a word. Its referent may be known by many symbols--Allah, tuhan, God, etc. etc.
(ii) however, we have to look at the pragmatics of this situation. If Muslims want to use Allah exclusively for their religion, what is wrong with that? Why should catholics use "allah" when they could use "tuhan". Why should the Christian God be known as "Allah" ?

Frankly, let the muslims use "Allah" and let the christians use "Tuhan".

But i think the real issue is also the banning of bibles from indonesia, because they use the word Allah. there lies the real problem isn't it...the govt should take pro-active steps to allow publications of bibles, etc. in the Malay language (which is the lingua franca of many of our Sabahans and Sarawakians) and allow the church to publish these materials locally.

It is no problem for the church to use the word "Tuhan" to replace "Allah". In my opinion, it is easy for the catholic church to change the word through its mass media--the mass, catechism, prayer groups, etc.

But the church has to be given the freedom to publish its own reading materials locally.