« Previous | Main | Next »

What's in God's Name?

Anu Anand | 15:48 UK time, Friday, 17 August 2007

Lord, Allah, Yahweh, Bhagwan? Does it matter how you address God?

Dutch Roman Catholic Bishop Martinus 'Tiny' Muskens of Breda says Christians should address God as Allah to promote unity with Muslims. "Allah is a very beautiful word for God. Shouldn’t we all say that from now on we will call God Allah?” Bishop Muskens said in an interview on Monday. “God doesn’t care what we call him.” He points out that in Arabic, the word for God is 'Allah' and that Arabic-speaking Christians already use the word.

What do you think about his suggestion? Are we all Allah's children?

Here's what the "Boring Made Dull" blog says:

"Allah isn't the God worshipped by Christians or Jews. This is a distinction that every Muslim understands - Why can't a Catholic Bishop get it? It will foster understanding, all right - the understanding that the Church is an empty shell, willing to capitulate to the world."

And Isabel in Antwerp has just emailed:

"Can't you please please for once dedicate a show to the free thinkers, the non believers, the atheists...??????????
Do we really have to listen nearly daily to that same old religeous story?
For my part, call god Jehova, Allah, Jehovallah... , I don't care!
I can live very happy without god, without bible, without veil, without wig, without saints, without holy water..."

Here's the story in detail.

What would you do about Zimbabwe?
Have Zimbabwe's neighbors got their heads firmly stuck in the sand?

President Robert Mugabe received a loud round of applause when he was introduced at the start of the Southern African Development Community summit in Lusaka, Zambia.

But Zambia's president, Levy Mwanawasa, broke ranks and broke his silence by calling on the people of Zimbabwe to 'maintain peace at all costs.' Ok, it's hardly stinging, but what are Zimbabwe's neighbors prepared to do about Mugabe?

We'll be assembling our own summit here at Bush House (in the BBC World Service canteen downstairs, which reminds me of a Noah's Ark of humanity...). What would you do about Zimbabwe?

Jadoung Metty in Ohio asks 'Is Zimbabwe Africa's problem?'

Speak to you soon,


  • Comment number 1.

    Dear BBC

    Here below is my comment:

    WHY the EU should persecute Sudan?:

    Uncovering the untold motives behind their move.

    That is the theme of my view and the full text asap.

  • Comment number 2.

    Dear BBC;

    The other part of my Sudan Advocacy, to be lectured tomorrow at the SAXAFI Hotel in Mogadishu, Somalia.


    WHY The EU should persecute Sudan?:

    Uncovering the untold motives behind their move

    Abubakar Abubakar

    Email Address: [Personal details removed by Moderator]

    A. Introductory Remarks

    1. The side effects of the post cold war Era
    2. The essence of the New World Order
    3. ….and institutionalization of the New World Order
    4. National vs. Global sovereignty
    5. The Global Faith: unconditional access to natural resources and local markets

    B. Historical factors

    1. Peter Right’s laments

    Peter Right was a second generation head of the British colonial office in 1950’s. Peter is considered second generation colonial officer because he inherited the office from his father. In his book’ By way of deception” laments that Sudan was among three or five countries which had escaped colonial tricks, simply because Great Britain was defeated by Sudan freedom fighters and as a result withdrawn without labeling pro-colonial elements portrayed as heroes as founding fathers as proxy rulers that oppress their own people in order to generate the highest profit for the ex-colonial powers. Other examples of this nature include {I think} South Yemen {Aden) and Cyprus. The rest of the subject countries were deceived.

    2. Great Britain missed the golden opportunity of fragmenting Sudan: time to revenge has come
    Another reason for the colonialists intend to re-colonize Sudan from European point of view is to reinvent the wheels of colonial dreams and divide the country {initially} into three separate nations; namely north, south and Darfur

    C. Political issues

    1. The southern connections

    ? The referendum in the south
    ? Dispute over the Abyey Province

    2. Pre-emptive strike against scheduled change of policy towards Sudan by the new president in the White House {President Obama}

    Some American analysts/Think tanks hinted that the presidential aides were preparing policy statements directed to both Iran and Sudan in which the EU were trying to pre-empt it. Besides this its important to recent peace deal between the GoS and the most powerful opposition group in Dafur{ Justice and Equality} which had taken place in Qatar few days earlier than the European court decision might have also been an important element of the EU decision.

    Whether or not Qatar mediation was with or without the pleasing of the big brother {USA} is subject examinations and further speculations.

    The extent to which President Obama administration is involved in connection with unconventional stand and unprecedented unity Arab Sheikhs have taken/demonstrated represents an additional area of analysis and professional curiosity.

    D. Proactive Policy Initiatives

    1. President Al-Bashir kept the Britton-Wood Institutions{the W. Bank and the IMF} at bay
    2. President Al-Bashir alienated the western Riba institutions{financial institutions}
    3. President Al-Bashir blocked eventual landing of development Para shooters and denied access to Sudan
    4. President Al-Bashir ensured economic Sovereignty for his country and people
    5. President Al-Bashir achieved unprecedented socio-economic development record by exploiting Oil resources and managing it for the interest of the Sudanese people and exchanging it for Appropriate Technology
    6. President Al-Bashir de-colonized the National Education system and devised area-specific syllabus and curriculums.

    E. The natural resource base

    1. The prevailing north-south relationship

    Sudan is the largest and most resourceful nation colonial Sub-Sahara Africa. Let alone Sudan, the Darfur Region alone has more natural resources than the entire West European sub-continent. This is to say that the EU members are the poorest nations in the world from the point of view of natural endowment and land resources. Besides this Europeans are subjected to the most severe weather conditions in the world, which is often attributed to their continued and ruthless scramble and continued aggressions on the universal rights and national resources in almost everywhere in the Third World countries. And this is what international relations and the governing international Laws are all about. The ICC represents a pretext for the EU members escalate/intensify their grip on the less developed countries in Asia and Sub-Sahara Africa.

    It should be noted in this context the fact that the trans-Atlantic allies have already re-colonized the entire black African continent, excluding South Africa and Sudan. Now that the white minority control the bulk of the South African national economy, Sudan is the only remaining front to be free from the nationalist leaders and replace them with Karasay-like president {or may be Ex-Mbuto Seso Seko of Zaire} who will be satisfied with Silky Dharbuush and Leopard overcoats in order to allow national economy overtaken by western cannibals and as a result impoverish own people.

    2. Sudan is endowed with abundant natural resources

    2.1. Abundant Water Resources
    2.2. Endless agricultural land with exceptional soil Fertility which can feed the entire African continent and Arab world for centuries

    2.3. Favorable climate conditions which is conducive for all year long cultivations
    2.4. Rich livestock wealth
    2.5. Indigenous wildlife with naturally-enriched host eco-system
    2.6. Well educated human resources and experienced workforce

    F. Strategic Resources

    Strategic Resources are intended to mean Oil and Minerals. This definition originates from the west and should therefore be dealt with great consciousness and care. I cannot tell what was in their minds while inventing it, yet I can understand that the strategic nature of these particular resources reflects their utmost importance and therefore interests from their point of views. In other word, they perceive them strategic simply because they cannot exist without them. As a result, and under the prevailing International Laws, treaties and conventions, Sudan has no right to exploit these particular resources in favor of its own people and nation. Under this assumption Oil and Minerals belong to them and final decision to either extract or leave for future generations is up to them and not Sudan and its leadership.“

    More importantly, showing Oil and Minerals-rich African Countries that they can do without Uncle Sams, represents a big crime against humanity, which should be prosecuted by them. Kenya has recently invited China to explore Oil deposits in the eastern and North Eastern Provinces.”

    G. Economic factors

    1. Global economic reality

    1.1. Are the western economies applying socialist ideology to escape bankruptcy?

    Economic crisis underway in the west represents total collapse of the western packed capitalism economic framework. America, the biggest defender and believer of market forces as sole determinants of economic choices has recently announced measures to regulate private corporations and closely supervise their actions and deeds. Such move would have been unacceptable by American regulators and law makers. The fact that USA has admitted failure of the capitalism framework and introduces measures to put an end to free market systems suggest the extent to which profound faith in market forces has eroded in the minds and hearts of American presidency and law makers. Besides this move represent an untold recognition of at least some aspects of the buried socialist and communist systems.

    1.2. Is another Cold war approaching?

    America is unlucky super power. Its global supremacy did not last long. A new multi-pillars global balance is in the making. America is already challenged by China and reshaped Russia on one side and EU on the other side. America’s unchallenged supremacy is vanishing. Technological and economic superiority is also losing grounds.

    This is the main factor behind the prevailing economic crisis in the west. And it’s unlikely that it will disappear in the foreseeable future. Following the fall of the World Trade Center few years back and relocation of global economic weight to the other side of the Atlantic, it was certain that the American economy going to follow suit with no apparent reason to get reversed in near future.

    The face of the upcoming Cold war is a bit different from the previous one; this time around the emphasis will be more economic that earlier. Military might will however remain important, given the fact that economic superiority cannot hold without superior military machines.

    The poles of the upcoming new world order may not however concentrate in east and west. New super powers will for sure emerge, which may eventually affect global power equations. Third world countries will play vital role in the future landscape of global economic and military powers. Iran and India are candidates from the Asian continent where Brazil and Venezuela may emerge from the South American continent. Africa will stay back for another cycle. Sudan and South Africa may emerge as economic powers, without equivalent advancement in military hard ware.

    1.3. The Obama factor

    Obama’s emergence from the recent American election has represented source of series of questions among all levels of global thing Tanks. There’s however consensus among many that besides attracting Muslim world by putting in the White a president with Muslim name, the Afro-American president has risen into the White House to bring African Oil and Mineral resources under the auspices of the American Oil Corporations. This is in response of the growing cross-Atlantic controversy over the access and control of global resources.

    In considerations of the fact that Europe maintains colonial links with each and every one of the African countries, America feels bit cold and marginal when it comes to dealing with Africa, for there’s a an un-written rule that America can only communicate with African countries through respective colonial masters, who still exercise remarkable influence on them. A good example of this is how Italian contingency forces challenged American super power during the UNISOM era on Somali affairs. Americans are facing similar challenges from European countries in connection to African affairs on a continued and constant manner.

    In my view, Brack Obama was promoted into the White House to put an end with regard to the colonial legacy and bring the continent in the mainstream of the American economic block.

    The case in point should not therefore be addressed in isolation of the above, but should rather be examined in considerations of this global geo-political and economic prospectives.

    But why Africa matters in this context? The main reason behind this is purely economic. This is particularly true given the fact that Africa is the only continent whose natural resources has not been exploited so far, and as a result contain over 60% of global Oil and Mineral resources, Siberia and Black Sea being two important exceptions.

    The west had already depleted the Middle East deposits and set fire to great Oil supply partners in the Gulf region. Africa is the only remaining Oil frontier where Sudan and Somali areas hold 45% of the entire African Oil deposits.

    1.4 Could the Al-Bashir case unify China and American positions against the EU?

    It’s too early to make such statement; yet there is a possibility that their point of views may merge predominantly on purely business ground. After all there are no permanent friends but only business interests that determine global diplomacy. Parallel lines in the meantime meet at outer space based on Einstein’s relativity theory. Under such scenario, relative stability could have come to Sudan and the ongoing European invasion could have come to an end.

    2. The Sudan economic Development records

    2.1. The cost of sound economic development

    EU colonialists seem to victimize Sudan in general and president Al-Bashir in particular for steady socio-economic development Sudan had scored under the nationalist leadership of the concerned president of the nation. Though this is untreatable in light of the unexpected victory of the capitalism over Communism and the resulting New World Order where single superpower I mean the North Atlantic Alliance commonly known as NATO runs global affairs uncontested. Such illegitimate act may not however go unnoticed, given changing geopolitical landscape in the global arena. Punishing sovereign nation for having utilized their own resources wisely will for sure go into the history with great concern from the totality of progressive forces across the globe. Such move should in the meantime be considered as a credit for the people and leadership of Sudan.

    It should however be realized that economic development fronts and the resulting social change in the country as a whole could not be covered in this brief notes intended to utilize as a working outline than academic paper.

    The development and operationalization of national and sector specific institutions, especially in local distribution of Petroleum products could represent a practical example of which could be attributed to the disturbances manifested by the EU imperialists.

    2.2. Industrial valleys

    Entering the capital city of Khartoum from the east one cannot escape observation of sizeable areas the government had allocated all kinds of industrial installations. I estimated that the industrialization polices the people and government of Sudan have embarked could be stated with great certainties that it overlaps similar programs underway in 27 African countries I happen to visited during the past 15 years or so. Although I had no chance to go through available materials which contain relevant government policies and plans, as an experienced development economist, I can conclude that Sudan will be deleted from the list of developing world and transferred into the industrially advanced economies. This is particularly true given the demonstrated commitments from the side of the national leadership and abundance of raw materials in the country, which represent essential flavors for true national development path. The relative sizeable population of the country and less industrialized markets surrounding Sudan represents a contributing factor to the process of industrialization underway in Sudan.

    The more Sudan achieves success in this particular front, the more western imperialists will intensify their intimidations aimed at scaring national leaders give up positive changes being scored by this nation.

    2.2. Higher learning Institutions

    Though true statistics has not come to my attention so far, and as a result cannot satisfactorily picture on this particular issue, I can however underline the fact that there has not been a single state or city I happen to visit which did not had one or two universities. Higher learning institutions represent a good indicator for the future availability of educated and skilled man power for different categories and aspects of the future socio-economic development programs of the country.

    2.3. Infrastructure

    Socio-economic infrastructure represents another front the Republic of Sudan has manifested success relative to similar conditions in the African context.

    H. Related developments

    1. NGO’s as agents of instability in the Darfur Region

    Foreign NGO’s operating in the Darfur Region are there to promote the interests of their respective countries. I am in the meantime aware that the majority of them are from the EU countries. As far as I am aware foreign NGO’s receive millions of Dollars under the excuse of saving lives and fighting malnutrition among the intended communities; such funds are however used for instructions they receive from respective donors and therefore invest in creating instability and cultivating poverty among local communities they work with. In their absence, stability will for sure will return to the Darfur Region and put to an end the plight of the Darfurian people. In my view, termination of the presence of the foreign NGO’s in the region represent positive step towards the right direction. President Al-Bashir seems to have finally addressed the root causes of the matter and treated with great wisdom.

    2. Complementary action proposed

    As long as foreign forces are stationed in Sudan soils, the country is for sure susceptible to further disturbances and continuous waves of chronic instability.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.