Nathaniel Tan on Compromise

Nathaniel Tan @

I have read many articulate opinions quoting precedent as to how and why the use of “Allah” should not be exclusive to Muslims. At the same time, I have yet to read truly compelling arguments as to why the usage of “Allah” by Christians is of such pivotal necessity, given the possible alternatives.

…Surely, however, if adherents to either religion had faith in their precepts and appeal to non-believers, what difference does a single word make? Does its usage or non-usage by Christians truly make or break the most fundamental causes of either Islam or Christianity in Malaysia? Are our religions built only on the use of a name?

…Perhaps it is time to lay both pride and prejudice down, reflect on the true teachings of our faiths, and reach out not in suspicion, but in love, towards “the Other.” Let us forget for a moment our tribal affiliations and blind adherence to those “like us,” and seek out compromise in a spirit of sincerity; perhaps that is the best testament we can give to our common humanity and the first step to uniting against common adversaries.


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