Non-Muslims banned from using the term 'Allah' in Malaysia

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  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 22, 2013 4:38 p.m.

    brokenclay quoted Jefferson:

    "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever."

    There is no empirical evidence to support the contention that there is a god, much less that he, she, or it is "just".

    Indeed, the evidence all falls on the other side.

  • brokenclay Chandler, AZ
    Oct. 19, 2013 9:09 a.m.


    Religious monuments are not without precedent in our public buildings, including parts of many of the monuments in Washington, D.C., like the Library of Congress, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. Many of the references go beyond a general theism to being overtly Judeo-Christian in content.

    The problem here is that if we were to be completely consistent in your take of neutrality on religion, we would have to strike all of these references from these monuments. I'm sure the ACLU would love to do this, but they know better than to attempt something that would be so unpopular.

    It is interesting that the same fathers who shaped our Constitution did not find references like these to be inconsistent with the first ammendment-- especially not Thomas Jefferson, the one who penned the famed words, "separation of church and state," who wasn't even in the country when the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written. He explicitly disavowed any involvement in those documents' composition. His monument says, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever."

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 18, 2013 10:38 p.m.

    @brokenclay – “Yeah, the post was intended to be humorous as a response. I'm glad it came across that way.”

    I’m sometimes a little surprised by congeniality on this forum… so thanks.

    This is an area I’ve struggled to reconcile because on the one hand our society could use a good dose of civic virtue and a reminder of ethical standards – and certainly commandments 5-10 do that (#10 listing oxen and manservants notwithstanding).

    But the first four are strictly religious in nature and therefore can easily put us on the slippery slope of displays on public property of any religious text. That makes me uncomfortable…

    In terms of how that would affect daily actions, I think we can easily imagine a scenario of, say, a Buddhist (a religion that does not believe in personal gods) walking into a court of law that displays the Ten Commandments and feeling like he/she is not equal in the eyes of the law.

    I just think we’re on safer ground if the government remains neutral with respect to religion, overtly or otherwise.

    Thanks again for the friendly discussion…

  • brokenclay Chandler, AZ
    Oct. 18, 2013 1:49 p.m.


    Yeah, the post was intended to be humorous as a response. I'm glad it came across that way.

    On one level I agree with what you're saying. I do believe that all religions should be given an equal voice in the public sphere. There are a number of countries in the world that surpass the United States in this regard (e.g., the Philippines), which speaks poorly of us.

    I don't view the 10 commandments monuments as so much of a religious statement as a statement of heritage. No, the Constitution is not drawn directly from the Bible. But there is some indebtedness to the Bible in the development of Western law and worldview. In this sense, I think that any ancient law that has substantially contributed to this heritage should also potentially have a place in our courts and other public buildings. I'm not sure how Sharia Law has contributed in any substantial sense to Western Law. Eastern law, yes.

    It's also unclear how a monument directly affects the day-to-day actions, beliefs, and responsibilities of citizens like certain contraceptive laws do.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 17, 2013 9:26 a.m.


    From an aesthetic perspective I liked (and got a good laugh from) your comment… touché.

    Of course I disagree with the content and wonder how you would feel if next to the 10 Commandments we also put up a plaque listing the edicts of Sharia Law (because if you believe the 1st Amendment would allow one how could it not allow the other)?

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 4:03 a.m.

    Secular Left?

    Like most things associated with religion, seems like a made up term.

  • brokenclay Chandler, AZ
    Oct. 16, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    For anyone who bemoans religious practice interfering with the State, this is what it actually looks like - not the silly 10 commandments monument stuff the Secular Left here in our country has been railing about.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Oct. 16, 2013 3:02 p.m.

    For anyone who bemoans the State interfering with religious practice, this is what it actually looks like – not the silly health insurance stuff the Religious Right here in our country has been railing about.

    Oct. 16, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    Way to to Malaysia! Banning the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims will absolutely stop the conversion of Muslims to other faiths! At the very least it should help increase outward immigration!

    This is almost in the same league as China banning reincarnation!