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Allah vs God?

Reader comment on item: Is Allah God?

Submitted by James Eckert (United States), Jun 28, 2005 at 10:00

"One reads "I testify that there is no God but Allah," and the other "I testify that there is no deity but God." The first states that Islam has a distinct Lord, one known as Allah, and implies that Jews and Christians worship a false god. The second states that Allah is the Arabic word for the common monotheistic God and implies a commonality with Jews and Christians."

First, "there is no deity but God" is offensively meaningless. It cannot be that the only way for Muslims to become 'moderate' is to adopt Unitarianism.

Second, if Jews had a profession of faith which read "There is no God but Yahweh" is that proof that Yahweh and the Christian God are different? Even if Christianity were not based on the same 'old' Testament as Judaism, it seems to me that such a profession of faith is a denial that other alleged Gods are God, not a statement about which other faiths do not worship the true God.

I read the British Scouting profession ("no God but Allah") as saying "anyone who does not worship the God which we call Allah does not worship God". It is not necessarily a statement that all others must call God Allah.

Finally, any faith implicitly holds that other faiths are in error. Muslim claims that other faiths are polytheistic are far more worrisome than claims that there is no God but Allah. If we criticise Muslims who say "There is no God but Allah", we bolster the claims of the Islamists about the vast gulf between Muslims and the rest of the world.
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