You know those moderate Muslim dominated nations in Asia? You know the ones always held up as examples of Muslim tolerance of other faiths and ethnic groups? Well, there seems to be a change of heart in the government of Malaysia.

In a move that may hurt Malaysia’s multi-religious social fabric the government has announced that certain Arabic words like ‘Allah’ cannot be used in the literature, gospel and speeches of non-Muslims faiths.

Three other commonly used words ordered excluded from non-Muslim lexicon are ‘Baitullah’ (House of God), ‘Solat’ (prayer) and ‘Kaabah (Sacred House).

The decision has shocked Christians, Sikhs and Hindus, who have for centuries liberally used borrowed Arabic words in their religious practices, see the government decision as a serious infringement on their religious freedom.

While Malaysia’s constitution says Islam is the ‘religion of the federation’ and that other faiths are freely allowed, non-Muslims increasingly fear freedom of worship is being curtailed by officials influenced by resurgent political Islam.

“Only Muslims can use (the word) Allah. It’s a Muslim word. It’s from the Arabic language. We cannot let other religions use it because it will confuse people,” deputy minister for internal security Johari Baharum told presspersons explaining the rationale for the decision.

What!? Confuse people? I thought Allah was the same god as the Judeo-Christian God. Isn’t that what Muslims and our political leader always say? We all pray to the same God? Now Muslims say their god is different from ours?

Is the truth finally coming out that Islam I just a religious cult that prays to a different god than the Judeo-Christian God?

What gives here? They can’t have it both ways.

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