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Gott or gott or G-tt or g-tt

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God? - Continued
in response to reader comment: Documented pre-Islamic usage is not an example of "dhimmitude"

Submitted by Oliver (United States), Mar 8, 2008 at 00:46

First off, the usage of "Allah in pre-Islamic poetry does not mean that it is in all circumstances PAGAN by definition- a point that I made previously. Your point that the definite article used in conjunction with "Ilah" refers to a solely Islamic God stands refuted.

First off - Paganism (from Latin paganus, meaning "an old country dweller, rustic") is a term that, from a Western perspective, has come to connote a broad set of spiritual or cultic practices or beliefs of any folk religion, and of historical and contemporary polytheistic religions in particular. Seems like a perfect description of pre-Islamic polytheism in Arabia – of which Allah was the chief deity. I was unaware of Christian Missionary attempts to ‘differentiate' the true and living god from the pagan god (Allah) by the use of the term al-ilah. It was thoughtless of me not to have thanked you for that clarification in an earlier post – please accept my gratitude for that information. But, I have always noted the name Allah whenever I had previously mentioned the conjunction (contraction) of al + ilah = Allah. So your refutation is ‘beating at air'. You have simply provided me additional evidence that the NAME Allah was in use in pre-Islamic Arabia – perhaps not in ‘written' form – but Arabic was a spoken language for, likely, millennia before it became a written language. Else, why the ‘need' to differentiate the ‘true god' from the pagan god – Allah?

As far as your statement about your paraphrase, yes, from a Christian point of view the logos is Jesus. In the Islamic point of view, the Logos is the Qur'an. I have no problem with these diverging views of the same entity; it only serve to illustrate my point that there are different human conceptions of the nature of a single god of monotheism, not different Gods.

Please explain to me when the ‘Islamic' Logos (Quran) ‘became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.' So – what now – is Allah ‘the Father' – NO – can't be – Allah never had a Son.

NO FATHER – NO SON – NO LOGOS – NO QURAN IN JOHN 1.

All is used because of the "long term effects of dhimmitude"? If there is documented CHRISTIAN usage in pre-Islamic times, and that Christians even influences the development of the Arabic alphabet, then the argument is highly erroneous. Like I said, if you don;t like the term, fine, by all means use what you like. But you really don't have the right to object to Arabic speaking Christians using it, for what amounts to a "guilt by association" fallacy. This is why so many Arabic-speaking Christians that I know deeply resent the attempts of Western Evangelicals who employ this argument.

Christians have had a hand in the development of many written languages out spoken-only languages – it was the only way they could perform missionary work among ‘backward' nations. The ‘translation' of the Bible into ‘Gothic' comes to mind. A Christian Monk assigned ‘Roman' letters to the phonic sounds of the Castilian language to produce EspaƱol. Christian missionaries assigned ‘English' letters to the phonic sounds of the Hawaiian language so now it is a written language. Simply because Christians helped develop the Arabic alphabet, allowing Arabic to become a written language, cannot suggest that Christians could have any effect on the actual spoken-language that pre-dated Christianity by thousands of years. However, I have been considering other possibilities for the ‘need' of Arabic speaking Dhimmified-Christians to use the name of the false god Allah – could it be that they are deriving a portion of ‘spiteful-revenge' against Islamic coercion? IT'S PERFECT – Islam demands that god be called Allah – so Arabic speaking Christians call their god (Jesus) Allah – IT'S PERFECT I TELL YOU – now the fact that they are calling their god Allah is ‘irksome' to Islam – IT'S PREFECT I SAY!

If it were only TRUE.

Furthermore, as far as a pagan reference goes, will you also demand that Germans no longer use "Gott" because it was once used with reference to Gallic/ Germanic pagan gods?

How many times do I have to say it – neither I nor the ‘Bible' give a hoot if generic words or terms are used to reference ‘the one true god' or ‘other gods' – because ‘the one true god' and ‘other gods' are referred to by generic words or terms in the ‘Bible'. It is the use of the NAME(S) of ‘other gods' in reference to ‘the one true god' that should not be allowed. Is that statement to difficult to fathom?

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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