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Many Words Lead to the Same God

June 04, 2005

"If Muslims Called Allah 'God,' Would the U.S. Be More Respectful?" Commentary, May 30: Michael McGough draws the right conclusion, that "it is a matter not of shared beliefs but of respect for differences." Unfortunately, respect for differences between religions will be difficult to obtain as long as missionaries try to convert people of other faiths. Conversion implies disrespect for other faiths. Zoroastrians, Hindus and Jews are the exceptions who truly respect other religions with their policy against proselytizing, offering a shining example for cultivating religious harmony and respect for differences between faiths.

Maneck N. Bhujwala

Huntington Beach

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Re McGough's Allah and God: Many years ago, when I was a teenager, there was a movement among science fiction enthusiasts to embrace the concepts of semantics and learn to say what we mean and mean what we say. Among the basic principles was the fact that "the name is not the thing," just as "the map is not the country," etc. The words "Allah" and "Elohim" and "God" are simply words, not the things they try to represent, and will have as many individual meanings as there are individuals using them. When humanity recognizes this, humanity will truly become more human.

Salem Spitz

Cerritos

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