Dutch Roman Catholic bishop: For the sake of harmony, let’s call God “Allah”

Posted by: ST on August 16, 2007 at 11:10 am

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.


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  • 31 Responses to “Dutch Roman Catholic bishop: For the sake of harmony, let’s call God “Allah””


    1. Dana says:

      It should also be noted that of the seven dioceses in the Netherlands, Bishop Muskens’ diocese has the lowest percentage of Catholics actually attending Mass regularly, just 5.44%. He isn’t a newcomer, but has been Bishop of Breda since 1994.

      I think that tells us all we need to know about his eminence’s leadership.

    2. maryak says:

      Why not just say “fiction”?

    3. Jamal says:

      I am pleased Bishop, Martinus “Tiny” Muskens, has rightfully called on all faithful people of all religions to call God by the name Allah. This can be seen as a positive shift.

      For those that want to disagree, be aware that Allah is an Arabic word that doesn’t simply mean “God”, but “The God”.

      Al=The ilah=God

      Therefore Bishop Muskens is quite correct to call on all faithful people of all religions to call God by the name Allah as more accurate translation of the word “Allah” into English might be “The One-and-Only God” or “The One True God”. The Arabic word “Allah” stems from the Arabic verb ta’Allaha (or alaha), which means “to be worshiped”. The Aramaic word for God is “ALAHA” ….and we all know who spoke Aramaic.

      Regarding use of the word Jehovah, early bible manuscripts do not spell out the word J-e-h-o-v-a-h but instead use a ‘tetragrammaton’ from which the word Jehovah is derived. The tetragrammaton simply means a four letter word (YHWH, JHWH, YHVH or JHVH) from which you cannot read the word Jehovah, no matter how the vowels are added. Since the Jews did not articulate the word YHWH for centuries, and since even the Chief Rabbis would not allow the ineffable to be heard, they have forfeited the right to claim dogmatically how the word is to be sounded, thus making the popular use of the word Yahweh null and void. Nevertheless, YHWH occurs in the Hebrew (Jewish) Scriptures many times, in combination with the word “Elohim”, and we all know that the commonality between “Allah” and “Elohim” is “eloah” and “ilah”.

      The combination YHWH/ELOHIM has been consistently translated in the English Bible as “Lord God”. Therefore, YHWH, Yehova, Yahweh and Yahuwa all mean the very same thing. “Ya” is a vocative and an exclamatory particle in both Hebrew and Arabic, meaning Oh! and “Huwa” or “Hu” means He. Together they mean Oh He! and so instead of ‘YHWH ELOHIM’ we now have ‘Oh He! ELOHIM’;

      YaHuWaH Eloh(im) = HuwaAllah = He is Allah (He is The God).

    4. Leslie says:

      Oh let’s just play Paul Simon’s “Call Me All” and call it a day.


    5. Lorica says:

      I suddenly hear the song “The Name Game”. I am sorry but “God” is generic enough.

      For those that want to disagree, be aware that Allah is an Arabic word that doesn’t simply mean “God”, but “The God”.

      Jamal wonderful post on the phonetics of Allah, but to say The God would be in error in the Christian religions. It is difficult for us to take away from the divinity of Jesus the Christ. He is “God with us”. He is the Annointed One, He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last. It is also difficult to take away the divinity of the Holy Spirit also. The Holy Spirit was a gift to the Church, the Bride of the Christ. We worship a God who is 3 but all the same, as only God can be. These are the mysteries that even Abraham desired to understand, and no man has a full comprehension of. God is The God, but so is Jesus His Son, and so is His Holy Spirit, and only God can be all that He is. – Lorica

    6. Lorica says:

      It is good to see the Roman Catholic Church leading Chirstianity into obsurity. =d> Thank you again guys for all your help.

      It is good to see someone at the Vatican speak out about this. Also Mark’s comments are spot on. Why not just fold up and go away. After all according to so many on the left the “Christers” are the reason there is so much evil in the entire world. – Lorica

    7. Baklava says:

      Jamal wrote, “be aware that Allah is an Arabic word…

      be aware that I’ll use that Arabic word when Islam stops “killing the infidel” and allowing other people to worship freely.

      be aware that I’ll use that Arabic word when the last woman shreds her burka and wears what she wants to freely.

      be aware that I’ll use that Arabic word when slavery in the muslim world ends, women aren’t treated as property and Palestinians aren’t taught in Sesame Street type progams about how glorified it would be to be a martyr and strap bombs on them and kill as many Jews as possible.

      be aware that I’ll use that Arabic word when the entire nation of America isn’t targeted for termination – be aware that we aren’t targeting any nation for termination but rather attempting free people in nations from tyranny and lack of freedom. Trying to change a nation isn’t targeting it from elimination.

      be aware that none of this maybe something YOU care about but I’m here to tell you you should. YOU will be able to convince more people to use that word if and when you FINISH/COMPLETE the things I laid out above. And I reserve the right to lay out more items than the ones above.

      People below my post may give you more items to consider… and I may myself.

      I respectfully submit this post so that you can understand the uphill battle you face. My goal is to HELP you understand what OUR perspective might be given recent current events.

      We don’t hate or fear muslims – we do hold in contempt and fear extremist terrorists who happen to be muslims and have hijacked the religion. It will be a problem for you and others until they are NOT tolerated, not JUSTIFIED, not coddled, explained away, given credence, funding or told we need to understand.

      There is NO understanding people who fly jet fulls of people into buildings, mutilate their women, have double standards for their women that keep them subjected and in fear, keep hords of people in slavery, and kill infidels.

      You cannot negotiate or understand these people – they need to be eradicated.

      Using the arabic word Jamal will not placate these people nor will it stop their evil ways.

      Thank you for reading. I hope you get to work in the items I listed above. As that is the WAY to convince us.

    8. TedintheShed says:

      Sings “What if Allah were one of us?”

      Naw- doesn’t have the same ring to it…

    9. Woodruff says:

      I’ll say Allah when a muslim says Allah is the God of Avraham, Yitz’chak and Ya’akov.

    10. tommy in nyc says:

      I’m a little curious on this one ST.If for example you are at work and you sneezed and I said “Allah be praised” instead of ” God bless you” would you be offended?

    11. tommy, you know how when you sneeze and generally people will say “God bless you” and in turn you would say “thank you”? Well, if somebody said your version to me, I would respond “no thank you.”

      But then again, this isn’t want the Dutch bishop is talking about.

    12. Tom TB says:

      Our Judeo-Christian tradition pre-dates the existence of Islam, so it would make far more sense for Muslims to use the name God, for Christ’s sake!

    13. NC Cop says:

      As valid a point as ever, tommy.

    14. Baklava says:

      I was going to refer to ST as an allahess but it just doesn’t sound as good as goddess…. :d

    15. NC Cop says:

      It is good to see the Roman Catholic Church leading Chirstianity into obsurity. =d> Thank you again guys for all your help.

      We’re not all like that!!! This bishop is a disgrace. I hope he hears it from his congregation for such an idiotic statement.

    16. Lorica says:

      NC I know you all are not like that. There are many wonderful faithful Catholics in this world. The odd thing is just a few years ago Holland lost one of their living national treasures to and islamic extremists. Seems to me they wouldn’t be so quick to placate this type of behavior. – Lorica

    17. NC Cop says:

      Amen to that Lorica!

    18. Big Bang Hunter says:

      – Note to Jamal:

      – When you meet the Cobra on the road, you can bow and call him Mr. Cobra. He will smile and still bite you.

      – Capitulation to a theocratic totalitarian cult will only get you dead even faster.

      – BBH – **==

    19. forest hunter says:

      Good luck with allah that rinse and spit rhetoric Jamal.

    20. Steve Skubinna says:

      Yeah, it seems that the more you grovel to bullies, the less they respect you.

    21. Drewsmom says:

      Yeah right bishop, like we’re gonna refer to our God as Allah, in your dreams.

    22. Jamal says:


      Using the Arabic language the name is more specific and is only used in relation to Allah (The God). We cannot use god, God, The God, Lord, Jehovah, I am, etc in the same way due to the existence of trinities, etc and previous revision of the bible existing as a result of modern Christianity.

      Therefore, to use the term Allah is more specific and has a single meaning, exemplifying the oneness of Allah (God) and monotheistic nature of Abrahamic religions.

    23. Lorica says:

      Jamal, which speaks to what I was saying. If you cannot include Christ into the divine praises of “Allah”, it has no real value to the Christian religion. For even the Lord God desires the angels to sing praises to Jesus in His very presence. I am sorry, but Allah is just too limiting. – Lorica

    24. Steve Skubinna says:

      The real reason “Allah” is too limiting, Lorica, is that it’s the word used by the thugs who will hack off our heads if we don’t go the whole hog.

      Oops – sorry, I mean, er…

    25. TedintheShed says:

      So, does this mean when I am working on my car and bust my knuckles I can say “Allah damnit!!”.


    26. Baklava says:

      Jamal, Are you working on that list in comment 8?

      It’s the only way to be persuasive on this topic….

    27. Kevin says:

      Too angry… can’t write complete sentences… priest is idiot…

    28. Lorica says:

      Ted if you said “Allah Dammit” in the presence of a jihadist he would cut off your head. But if you said “Goddammit” he would agree with you. – Lorica