A reader in the Netherlands named H. Numan just sent us an email with this translation from the Dutch.
Believe it or not! The following story appeared this morning in the Algemeen Dagblad:
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Muskens: Let’s call God Allah
Hilversum — According to Tiny Muskens, the bishop of Breda, we can just as well call God Allah. “Allah is itself a beautiful word for God. Why shouldn’t we all together say: from now on we all call God Allah?” said Muskens on Monday during an interview in the program “Network”.
The bishop, who will retire soon, looks back on his experiences in Indonesia. “I worked eight years in Indonesia, and prayed together with other priests. In the Eucharist of the Holy Mass God is there named Allah. Why don’t we look at this example and do the same thing? Why can’t we celebrate mass together?”
Muskens continues, “God doesn’t really care how we address him. He is above that. Those are our worries. We are all worried if God would mind it, that it might be blasphemy. Absolutely not. We invented those different names so we can quarrel about it.”
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He thinks using the word Allah in the Catholic Church will not take place soon. “This sounds absurd, of course. You’ll never get away with it. But come back in another century or two, and look again.”
Muskens, who suffers from bad health, recently requested that Pope Benedict XVI retire him as bishop of Breda. The 71-year-old Muskens will join the Pauline Community of the Congregation of Benedictus in Teteringen. If his resignation is granted, Hans van den Hende will become the new bishop of Breda.
Mr. Numan adds this afterthought:
Why not call God Quetzalcoatl? Or maybe Baal or Moloch? After all, they are supreme deities too.
And almost as bloody as Allah.