Why does Catholic Bishop Muskens call God, Allah?


Allah is Not the Judeo/Christian God.



Wrong–Allah is the normal word used for God by Arabic-speaking Jews and Christians and was used in this way long before Muhammad.

However, it’s more reasonable for European Muslims to call Allah God than for European Christians to call God Allah.

More broadly, I know it is tempting to say that the Islamic God is radically different from our God, but this won’t hold up. You then have to say that Jews also worship a different God than we do. This results in one of two conclusions.

  1. People in the Old Testament did not worship the same God we do. This is the heresy of Marcionism. Or

  2. When Jews rejected Jesus, they stopped worshiping the God they had been worshiping up to that time and started worshiping a different God. I find that completely unbelievable.

I would make the further argument that all monotheists by definition worship the same God. But that is a somewhat more difficult point to prove–the historical argument outlined above is sufficient, I think.



“Allah” is simply the Arabic variant of “EL” in Hebrew,
which means simply, “God.”

Now, the pre-Muslim Arabs of Mohammad’s tribe used
to believe that Allah, God, was the moon.

But that doesn’t change the fact that word, Allah, simply means, GOD.

On the other hand, using the word Allah today usually means that you subscribe to the tenets of the Islamic faith. Thus for a Christian to use Allah to refer to God is very confusing and should not be done. To me, this Bishop’s actions are an example
of ecumenism taken to the extreme.



If a Christian is speaking Arabic then they should use “Allah” with no problem.

If speaking French, “Deu” and not “allah”

If they are conversing or praying aloud in Spanish, “Dios” is just fine (Though sometimes “Senior” is used for “Lord”) and “allah” is not.

In English, “God” is suitable, or “Lord”. “allah” should never be used.

What the good bishop suggested is silly, pandering and probably insulting to Moslems.


I think he made his personal reasons clear in the article. It is only the opinion of one soon-to-retire bishop in one obscure diocese – not official Church teaching or ascribed to by the average Catholic. Aside from the fact that it is one rather goofy opinion voiced by one bishop, why even bring it up, much less be on the defensive about it? What’s it supposed to prove?:confused:


Muhammad has a polytheistic history, and one of those gods was “Allah,” the name of the moon god of his father’s tribe.

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the same God who identified Himself to Moses centuries later, did not call Himself “Allah.” If you call yourself a Christian then you have no business calling the God a Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by a pagan name.

“Allah” is not the God of the Bible. Never was, never will be. Now calling the God of the Bible “Allah” might become the practice of RC’ism and liberal Protestants, but never of true believers.


So you are saying that Arabic Christians were wrong for using this word long before Muhammad? Don’t you think that’s a bit arrogant and presumptuous of you? Mightn’t Christians who actually spoke Arabic long before Muhammad was born know more about the connotations of the word than you do?

Furthermore, you are simply wrong that “Allah” was the name of a moon god. This is a tortured argument made by fundamentalist propagandists, not by historians. If you follow the argument on this website, for instance, you will see that they are actually claiming that the moon God Sin was called “al-ilah,” which they admit means “the god.” In other words, they are giving away the whole argument–“Allah” is by their own admission simply a generic word for God, applied by some pagans to the moon god. It is bizarre and completely illogical to claim that because some pagans used the term “the god” to apply to the moon god, therefore whenever someone speaks of “the god” they are talking about the moon god. But that is what this website is arguing. (If you know of a better argument, please let me know.) I am giving them the benefit of the doubt in assuming that their historical and linguistic arguments are accurate–this may not be the case, but it doesn’t matter, since the argument falls to pieces anyway.





Edwin, Islam is a 7th century religion that was started by Muhammad who rejected the gospel message of Jesus Christ and started his own religion based on his own visions and his own god. Neither “Allah” nor Islam have anything to do with true Christianity or the God of the Bible. Argue all you want but you and Bishop Tiny (and CM) are simply wrong. Remember the Pauline principle, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump” (Gal. 5:9).



So in every other language in the world all people must use the English word “God” to satisfy your belief system? :rolleyes:

This reminds me a great deal of the system that the Jews live under to this day in that they won’t even write anything but “G-d” or say it for fear of blasphemy.

Did you convert to Judaism perhaps?

I don’t agree with the bishop in question, but I think you go too far in your criticism.


Exactly! :thumbsup:

Why don’t some Christians get this?

The muslim religion and its God is the ultimate replacement theology going on today.

Abraham didnt go to sacrifice Isaac, it was Ishmael, and so the promises went to him, Abraham didnt settle in Canaan, it was Palestine, there never was a Jewish Temple on the Temple Mount, it was built for the furthest place of Muslim worship and where Muhummed rode his horse to heaven. Jesus was a Palestinean prophet etc., etc., etc.


The article you send us to states that “Allah” is the moon god of ancient, polytheistic Arabia and the god of Muhammad:"In effect he said, “Look, you already believe that the Moon-god Allah is the greatest of all gods. All I want you to do is to accept that the idea that he is the only god. I am not taking away the Allah you already worship. I am only taking away his wife and his daughters and all the other gods.” This is seen from the fact that the first point of the Muslim creed is not, “Allah is great” but “Allah is the greatest,” i.e., he is the greatest among the gods. Why would Muhammad say that Allah is the “greatest” except in a polytheistic context? The Arabic word is used to contrast the greater from the lesser. That this is true is seen from the fact that the pagan Arabs never accused Muhammad of preaching a different Allah than the one they already worshipped. This “Allah” was the Moon-god according to the archeological evidence. Muhammad thus attempted to have it both ways. To the pagans, he said that he still believed in the Moon-god Allah. To the Jews and the Christians, he said that Allah was their God too. But both the Jews and the Christians knew better and that is why they rejected his god Allah as a false god.

Do you know better, Edwin? I hope so!!


It asserts it. I was not dealing with the empty rhetoric which you cite, but with the alleged evidence, which I have characterized accurately. Please deal with that evidence, which shows clearly (assuming it to be correct) that “Allah” was not a name proper to the moon god but a name meaning “the god” which worshippers of the moon god (again, if the article has its facts straight) sometimes appropriated.

The argument from the pagan Arabs’ acceptance of the word is false, because it rests on the assumption that they were familiar with the name as the name of a moon god, rather than (as the earlier “evidence” actually indicates) as a generic word for the supreme God.

Finally, as I have said several times, Christians and Jews were already using “Allah” to mean the one true God. No one is disputing this, and it blows the “moon god” argument right out of the water.



In other words, you don’t care about truth? I hope you are speaking hastily here. I have given arguments and evidence. You simply repeat what you want to believe and insist that you will believe it no matter what evidence is presented. This is not what defending the Faith is supposed to look like!



Edwin and CM are right. Christians who speak Arabic say “Allah” all the time in reference to God. Guess what else, their Bibles say Allah as well. So this is a language issue, not solely a religious issue. Arabic was around before Islam, so Muslims do not have ownership over the word ‘allah’.

However, Christians who do not speak Arabic should not be advised to use the word allah in some sort of whacky ecumenism. The rest of the (non-arabic speaking) world has their own word for God, thank you very much. I don’t know what this Bishop is thinking.


Well, I know what he’s thinking (he’s trying to emphasize common ground), but I agree that it is misguided. Use of “Allah” by non-Muslims in a non-Arabic linguistic context would indeed imply to many people that the Islamic concept of God is entirely correct, which it is not. (I don’t have a problem using it in talking to Muslims, depending on the context and the point I’m trying to make at the time, but generally I would just say “God,” since they know what it means!)





You’re right, I suppose I should not have said I didn’t know what he was thinking because, in truth, I knew it to be an effort to ‘emphasize common ground’. As CM said earlier, I think it is ecumenism taken to the extreme (sort of like political correctness in America, eh?)


Yeah… I think he goes a bit too far, but so do some of the responses from n-Cs that I have read.

He’s just one bishop…if His Holiness had said this then I’d have an issue. But that won’t happen.


To my understanding - the Jews had an imperfect understanding of the god they worshiped and with whom they had made a covenant. That god revealed himself - and they didn’t accept his revelation. So in my opinion while they technically worship the same god, that is their prayers go to the God of Abraham, their understanding is so different that in truth they can be seen as two separate gods.

I hope that makes sense.


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