The “Allah” issue, which had a final hearing in the highest court in Malaysia, provided further evidence that Christian-Muslim tensions globally are on the rise. The Christian and Islamic worlds can contribute to global inter-religious harmony given their common Abrahamic roots.
CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM are two major religions embraced by more than half of the world’s population. With such a significant share of the global population, relations between Christians and Muslims will therefore have a huge impact on the state of religious harmony globally. Unfortunately, the world today continues to witness the rising global trend of Christian-Muslim tensions and even conflicts that seriously affect inter-religious relations.
One that is very near home is the “Allah” issue. It became so protracted that it created tension between the two communities in Malaysia. The recent verdict of the apex Federal Court to reject the appeal of the Catholic Church to over-turn the High Court’s earlier judgement in October 2013 disallowing use of the term “Allah” in its weekly bulletin The Herald will hopefully put a closure on the “Allah issue”.
Closest yet different
Fortunately, the “Allah issue” did not escalate into violent conflict, unlike the numerous Christian-Muslim conflicts in recent times. The bloody Christian-Muslim confrontation in Maluku, Indonesia a few years ago, in which many were killed, was a grim reminder about how tragic inter-religious strife could be.