Netherlands Catholic Priest: Let’s Just Call God “Allah” to Get Along

God doesn’t care what we call Him, this priest argues. And if we’re going to pray anyway, why not at five specific times during the day and facing a particular direction. After all, God doesn’t really care when or in what direction we pray, right?

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 “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.”

If the name isn’t as important as the belief in God, then why doesn’t Hooper recommend that Muslims drop the word Allah in favor of the more accepted “God” for the sake of “interfaith understanding”?

Mark Steyn at The Corner continues:

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.

Indeed. It’s been accepted that Christianity died in Europe a while ago, but if it still exists even in a small part, that will be wiped out soon enough with this attitude.

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