Thursday, March 06, 2008

Yemeni Jew Explains: Allah is a Name for God!

A bit anti-Christian, but nonetheless nails it: Christians, it is ok to call God "Allah"!

View it here.

Glory be to the Triune Allah: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Alu Akhbar! (God is Great!)

9 comments:

Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

Hi Subdeacon Thomas. The Arabs in our Church call God "Allah" too, but I never will.

bríde said...

That was really interesting... His animation was pretty funny, as well.

Benedictus said...

Bride,

His characterization of a Texas drawl (presumably mocking Southern Evangelicals like John Hagee) had me rolling on the floor as well.

Vir,

LOL!!!

I guess you won't be learning Arabic any time soon ;-)

BTW, the Spanish word for God-Dios-is an exact transliteration of the Greek word for Zeus. I suupose Robert Morey and his ilk will have to claim that Spanish-speaking Christians are worshipping Zeus!

bríde said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owCXbDVTLRE&feature=related

This video was in the related videos list.

It leads me to wonder - if they villanize us, who, from what I can tell, have mostly good intentions, who is to say that we don't villanize them just as much?

I often think that most Americans - Christians, in particular - don't get the full story on Muslims.

It's too bad, really.

Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

Well, for one there's a huge difference between Orthodox Christianity and these kind of protestants, out of thousands of kinds of protestants. I personally am insulted every time such folk are called "Christians." That'd be like me claiming to be a member of my favorite band because I know all their songs, have all their albums and have seen them live a few times.

We do indeed have the whole story on islam: it was started by a pagan who combined his own pagan religion with nestorian heresy, led raids, personally murdered people, married an eight year-old named "Aisha" waged war upon the entire middle east, told his followers under no uncertain terms "Kill the Infidel" had revelations which nobody ever witnessed, didn't see his own death coming and therefore never named successors (a real prophet would have done so) and whose adherents have been trying to conquer the world ever since.

Good intentions? What were muslims doing then in Vienna, Lepanto and Spain? Sight seeing?

Good intentions? Tell that to the Copts, Maronites, Syriacs and our own Patriarch and my fellow parishioners who are from Syrian and Lebanon. They will tell you how "peaceful" and "tolerant" these muslims.

For the whole story, just visit www.jihadwatch.org, read "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades" and even the Koran itself! The deeds of islam and it's founder are well documented and irrefutable.

You're being naive. I don't see "christians" (and I now use that word loosely) beheading people, blowing up themselves, teaching kids in TV shows to "kill the Zionists" or rioting every time a liberal insults Jesus Christ (Piss Christ, and the Elephant Dung Virgin Mary come readily to mind).

Muslims enjoy FAR more freedom here than we do there. Letting us merely live and not caring what we do inside our Church is not "tolerance."

bríde said...

As the wise philosophers of 90's era daytime television have often said, "Take a chill pill."

I am not nearly as naive as you seem to think.

I am, however, more polite and concerned for my neighbor than you seem to be.

First of all, I go to a Protestant school. Second of all, my whole family is Protestant. What kind of gall would I have - no, what lack of charity would I have to besmirch and rail against them as though they were pagans?

As far as my comments about the Muslims go, I confess that I was unclear.

I am well aware of what the Quoran requires, as I am possessed of one. I am also well aware of how Muslim governments and pietists treat Christians - Orthodox or otherwise - as my mother has had extensive conversations on the subject with Iraqis, Lebanese, Syrians, Egyptians, Jordanians, etc.

I am not naive enough to think that Muslims do not do horrible things.

I am, however, optimistic enough to think it possible that the average Muslim peasant - the people being helped by the missionaries in that video - is about as good-hearted as the missionaries themselves. Those people, after all, seemed very grateful, if facial expressions tell us anything.

The question I had was not: "Are all Muslims really just nice people?"
It was: "Do the blanket statements really apply all the time?"

I'm really not sure why you felt the need to attack any Protestants in your response to me, nor do I understand the venomous tone you used in your response. If I am, in fact, naive, then you certainly could have corrected me kindly. My perceived naivety, however, does not excuse your malicious comments towards those not even engaged in this conversation.

Benedictus said...

Well, gentlemen, let me exercise my role as moderator by re-focussing the discussion to the main question at hand.

The Yemeni Jew in question raises a very interesting question: Do Christian, Jews and Muslims mean the same thing when they use the word "Allah"?

Let me illustrate this by using a silly example. Let's say there is an island nation called Lamiradaland (after La Mirada, the fair city which is the home of the fine university that employs me). In their tongue, they speak of a transcendent personal being which they call Mr. Figgy-Pudding. Now, Christians, Muslim and Jews have moved into Lamiradaland and have adopted the Lamiradalandian name for God: Mr. Figgy-Pudding.

When the Christian Lamiradalandian worships Mr. Figgy-Pudding, he thinks: The Holy, Consubstantial, Life-Giving Trinity-Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When the Jewish Lamiradalandian prays to Mr. Figgy-Pudding at schule, he thinks: the Mr. Figgy Pudding of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who is one, and only one person. When the Muslim worships Mr. Figgy-Pudding, he is thinking: There is no other Mr. Figgy-Pudding than Mr. Figgy-Pudding, and Muhammad is his prophet, AND he is one, and ONLY ONE, person.

So there you have it: three uses of the word "Mr. Figgy-Pudding."

So when Middle Eastern Christians, Muslims and Jews use the word "Allah," do they really mean the same thing?

bríde said...

It's doubtful. But that doesn't mean they can't all use the same word.

We do the same thing in America, for the most part. Christians, Jews, and Muslims use the word "God" to signify their respective deities.

The meaning of a sign is determined by the communal context in which it is employed. Christians, therefore, could all agree to use the term "Mr. Figgy-Pudding" to denote what we now mean by "God". If "God" were a proper name, however, this would not quite be the case. I am fairly sure that Christians, at least, do not consider "God" to be a proper name, but something more of a placeholder for a "Trinity in one essence and undivided" which they cannot quite describe or delimit.

By the same reasoning, we could use the word "Allah" to speak of "God". Etymology, however, would have nothing to do with it.

Benedictus said...

"It's doubtful. But that doesn't mean they can't all use the same word."

Right!

The point is, as you say, any word employed in other languages to describe God is simply that-a placeholder for "the Trinity one in essence and undivided". And we Orthodox are very adamant about the ability of language to properly delimit the incomprehensible being who is even above all being (that whole "apophatic" thing). Whether we use God, Gott, Deus, Dios, Allah, etc., none of these are proper names for God.