It’s my word, you get off it

Hooray! More mayhem and violence and carrying-on over ridiculously trivial items. It’s three in one, no, it’s just three. It’s transubstantiation, no it’s taking the biscuit. This is the birthplace of Ram, no it’s the birthplace of Ram’s piano teacher. It’s green, no it’s red, no it’s green. You break an egg at the little end, no you break it at the big end.

There were angry protests at mosques in Malaysia after four arson attacks on Christian churches, apparently provoked by a controversy over the use by Christians of the word Allah. Police were increasing their patrols of areas around churches and Christian communities were hiring security guards, after petrol bombs were thrown at four churches in and around the capital Kuala Lumpur, partially destroying one of them.

Good! Good good good; splendid work; keep it up. Obviously if there is an Allah then it can’t possibly tolerate having its name used to identify a god that is officially supposed to be the same god by another name, because that would – erm – well it would be unfitting. Obviously if there is an Allah then it has nothing better to do than to get upset about what Christians in Malaysia call their version (which is supposed to be the same, remember) of the deity. Obviously if there is an Allah then it can’t do something about all this itself, say by delivering a new revelation, but has to rely on stupid bad-tempered humans throwing petrol bombs at each other. Obviously if there is an Allah then it wants nothing more than to see human beings tearing each other to shreds over ownership of its name.

“We will not allow the word Allah to be inscribed in your churches,” said one speaker at the Kampung Bahru mosque in central Kuala Lumpur. Protesters carried posters reading “Heresy arises from words wrongly used” and “Allah is only for us”.

Great! Impressive. A refined sense of ownership and exclusivity and pettiness beyond the wildest dreams of a bilious nap-deprived toddler. Well done protesters! Don’t let other people use your words; those words are yours, dude, and nobody else can have them.

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