Via Fox News:
A proposal by a Roman Catholic bishop in the Netherlands that people of all faiths refer to God as “Allah” is not sitting well with the Catholic community.
Tiny Muskens, an outgoing bishop who is retiring in a few weeks from the southern diocese of Breda, said God doesn’t care what he is called.
“Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn’t we all say that from now on we will name God Allah? … What does God care what we call him? It is our problem,” Muskens told Dutch television.
“I’m sure his intentions are good but his theology needs a little fine-tuning,” said Father Jonathan Morris, a Roman Catholic priest based in Rome. Morris, a news analyst for FOX News Channel, also called the idea impractical.
“Words and names mean things,” Morris said. “Referring to God as Allah means something.”
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington, D.C.-based Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group, backs the idea as a way to help interfaith understanding.
“It reinforces the fact that Muslims, Christians and Jews all worship the same God,” Hooper told FOXNews.com. “I don’t think the name is as important as the belief in God and following God’s moral principles. I think that’s true for all faiths.”
Riight. Then why not just call “Allah” God?
I’ll hand the mike over to Mark Steyn, who says it best:
Andrew’s post on Scottish hospitals telling infidel doctors to cut out working lunches during Ramadan and Kathryn’s post on Dutch bishops telling European Catholics to call God “Allah” are two small examples of the remorseless incremental concessions we make every day in the name of “cultural sensitivity”.
The question is: At what point do you stop? If it’s only being “sensitive” to insist that Belgian police officers not be seen eating donuts during Ramadan, when will sensitivity require that female police officers adopt Muslim-sensitive headscarves? If it’s only being “sensitive” to ask Catholic worshippers in the heart of European Christendom to call God “Allah”, why not rename churches “mosques” and disavow Jesus’ divinity? These small groveling unreciprocated concessions that do nothing but provoke further demands communicate the same big message: We’re losers, and the best we can hope for is that you’ll let us lose gradually.
Hat tip: Kim Priestap
More: Make sure to check out ST reader Dana Pico’s post on this issue here.