A quick peruse of a recent Aljazeera press release reveals a most interesting article. Non Muslims in Malaysia are not allowed to use the word Allah! It’s a blanket ban, it seems, which the Catholic church has challenged in the high court of Malaysia, and lost.
Thoughts of Allah are often on my mind, as I settle back on my stunning verandah, perched high above the hypnotic harbour of Labuan Bajo, on the island of Flores, Indonesia. Allah makes his presence felt here, via the nearby mosque, in a loud and most annoying way at 5.00 AM, then more pleasantly at 3.00 PM and then again, with a long, mystical call at 5PM, ( this one I quite enjoy), which symbolises a “Call to Drinks” for me.
Flores is a Catholic island sitting in vast islamic Sea , except for Bali which is Hindu, but Allah has a small foothold here in Labuan Bajo. particularly around the harbour and fishing port.
Mr Tranquillo, a patient and generally tolerant man, talks often about wire cutters at 5 Am or whenever he passes a hardware. He fancies the idea of sneaking out in the dead of night and cutting the speaker wires of the nearby Mosque. The volume of Allah at 5 AM, via his earthly agent, the recorded Iman, is extraordinary and it is not a coincidence that the shop next door to our nearest mosque specialises in loudspeakers and stereo equipment.
Mr T suggests, in response to the ban of the use of Allah’s name by Non Muslims, that we just call him Allan.