Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dutch Bishop Martinus Muskens calls upon Christians to begin calling God Allah

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands - Bishop Martinus Muskens of Breda in The Netherlands has called upon Christians to begin calling God “Allah”. Bishop Muskens is confident this will promote better relations between Christians and Muslims.

Bishop Muskens suggested in an interview with Radio Netherlands that Christians should refer to God as Allah. The 71-year-old bishop believes people are needlessly divided over the different names used to refer to God.

The bishop, who had worked in Indonesia, noted that even Christians use the term Allah for God there. The Dutch should learn to get on spontaneously with different cultures, religions and behavior patterns:

"Someone like me has prayed to Allah yang maha kuasa (Almighty God) for eight years in Indonesia and other priests for 20 or 30 years. In the heart of the Eucharist, God is called Allah over there, so why can't we start doing that together?" he was quoted as saying.

Bishop Muskens admitted that he did not think his suggestion would be welcomed readily and that it would take about 100 years before Catholics would feel comfortable calling God “Allah”.

Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations backs the idea as a way to help interfaith understanding.

"It reinforces the fact that Muslims, Christians and Jews all worship the same God.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," he said.

The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago supports the idea.

“I think it will open up doors.Language is a man-made limitation. I think what God cares about is how we fulfill our purpose in life,” said Janaan Hashim, a spokeswoman for the group representing more than 400,000 Muslim Americans in the Chicago area.,2933,293394,00.html

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ahmadinejad Invites Bush To Speak At Any University In Iran

NEW YORK, USA - After being welcomed in New York by the president of Columbia University, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad extended an invitation to US President George W. Bush.

Ahmadinejad told Iranian state television if US president George Bush plans to travel to Islamic republic, he is welcome to make speech at any Iranian university.

"If their president plans to travel to Iran, we will allow him to make a speech" at a university, Ahmadinejad told state TV earlier this week before leaving New York to travel to South America.

The harshness of Monday's introduction at Columbia prompted complaints in Iran and elsewhere that Ahmadinejad had been blind-sided by his host. Ahmadinejad complained that Columbia University President Lee Bollinger's speech had contained "many insults" and amounted to "unfriendly treatment."

Back home, Iranians also were dismayed by Bollinger's introduction and said his words only added to their image of the United States as a bully.

Iran and the U.S cut off diplomatic relations in 1979 after Iranian militant students seized the U.S. Embassy and took 52 Americans hostage for 444 days.

Ahmadinejad left New York on Wednesday and traveled to friendlier ground in South America, first stopping in Bolivia, where he pledged $1 billion in investment and then visiting Venezuela to meet the Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.