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Rabin Almeddine's argument (Apr.6 2008 update)

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God? - Continued

Submitted by jennifer solis (United States), Apr 6, 2008 at 22:43

Rabin Almeddine's argument in favor of adopting "Allah" into English to mean "God" has a few holes.

Quoting Almeddine - "We never say the French pray to Dieu, or the Mexicans pray to Dios. Having Allah be different from God implies Muslims pray to a different deity."

Well, I've never heard anyone say, "the French pray to God", or "the Mexicans pray to God", either.

Christians pray to God. Muslims pray to Allah. The difference is in the RELIGION, and the connotation the term represents, not the country, nor the language of that country. I've never heard, to use Almeddine's argument, anyone say the Middle East prays to Brahmarshi, or, for that matter, Chiuta.

The Arabic word, "Allah", means "Supreme deity" or "The God".

The English word, "God", constitutes the "god" of the Bible, or used to, anyways. More and more on the internet "God" is used as a replacement for "god", i.e. ".....generaly, Buddhists do not believe in a personnal 'God'." If Almeddine had his way, this would read, "generally Buddists do not believe in a personnal 'Allah'."

The English word, "god" constitutes a "deity".

As far as I know, Arabic does not contain the equivalent of "god" - the word for any given "deity". In English the word "god" can be used to describe any "god" of any religion - the "god" or "gods" of Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. When the word "God" is used in English, it is usually used in reference to the "God" of the Bible.

Why do people have a problem with that?

Rabin Almeddine opens his argument with, "In Arabic, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians all pray to Allah." Assinign. They don't pray to Allah, they use the word Allah. Gee, maybe that's because Arabic has no other word for "God" but "Allah".

I've never heard of Rabin Almeddine, but I did read the article referenced, and his argument seems to boil down to since "Allah" is the Arabic word for "God" (supreme deity) English should adopt it. Never mind that the only religion that uses it when not speaking Arabic is Islam.

Maybe it's time for Arabic to evolve.

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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