x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Turning a linguistic term political

In reference to Malaysian churches bombed in Allah row (January 9), the Malaysians violently protesting against Christians using the word "Allah" is only misplaced sentiment which betrays insufficient knowledge of Islam.

Police officers inspect damage at the All Saints Church in Taiping, Malaysia. A reader deplores the misunderstanding that resulted in the firebombing of churches after a court decision to allow Christians to use the word 'Allah' for God.
Police officers inspect damage at the All Saints Church in Taiping, Malaysia. A reader deplores the misunderstanding that resulted in the firebombing of churches after a court decision to allow Christians to use the word 'Allah' for God.

In reference to Malaysian churches bombed in Allah row (January 9), the Malaysians violently protesting against Christians using the word "Allah" is only misplaced sentiment which betrays insufficient knowledge of Islam. As the news article rightly points out, the word itself pre-dates Islam. The name Allah is used to represent God the Creator. Christian and Jewish Arabs also use the name Allah to refer to Almighty God. Islamic society has peacefully co-existed with diverse beliefs systems and faiths. Far from promoting heresy, the use of the word is likely to promote greater understanding of monotheism, the central tenet and teaching of Islam. According to Islam, Allah is the Arabic proper name for The Almighty God: the Creator of the whole human race. Allah is the very same God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed and all the other prophets and messengers. In the light of the above facts, the rage of Malaysians is only wasted energy and misguided fervour. Akash Sagar, Abu Dhabi

In reference to CIA bomber was a triple agent (January 6), the suicide bomber in Afghanistan, Homam Khaleel Abu Mallal Balawi, said he was provoked by the scenes of killing of women and children in the Gaza Strip last year. As far as I can remember, the root of Islamic extremism and its consequences has always been the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. With all its knowledge base, the US doesn't seem to realise this and continues to pay lip service to finally resolving this conflict and bringing peace to all of the Middle East. It's not just the CIA that's entirely clueless but the entire US government.

The US president Barack Obama has raised hopes by making peace his primary concern in the Middle East. But so far it has been all words. There's hardly any movement in the Israeli-Palestinian front. Perhaps this is because Barack Obama is now busy with airport security. Gico Dayanghirang, Philippines

After reading your story Homeless suffer in North Indian winter cold (January 7), I was wondering why doesn't the government open up public buildings like schools and offices during the night-time to provide shelter to these homeless people.

Each person could be provided with bedding and a blanket for the night in such a shelter for a nominal fee which would be enough for cleanup of the premises each morning before normal working hours begin. The bedding and blankets can be procured through donations. Ritu Aggarwal, Abu Dhabi

In reference to Race running on empty (January 8), I was in complete shock as a runner in this Zayed Half Marathon. Screaming children on tricycles zoomed in and around the runners, while others held hands, not allowing runners to pass. Runners dodged vehicles which were allowed back on the road, almost crashed into pedestrians who had no idea a run was happening and then finally there was zero organisation at the finish line. No water, nothing! Please consult professionals prior to any future events. Bob Pincura, Abu Dhabi

In reference to the business article DP World seeks liquidity in London (January 8), the writer Frank Kane is correct that the London listing is not primarily motivated by the woes of its parent company Dubai World. But DPW's actions speak rather loudly about its assessment of the adequacy of local markets. Simply put, it did not think it could find proper liquidity in the main exchanges in Abu Dhabi, Dubai or any other of the regional markets. No doubt local market factors have an impact on the valuation of DPW.

However, one could look to others as well: the amount of free float, corporate transparency at the DPW and Dubai World level, concerns about potential conflicts of interest between the major shareholder and other investors. A "flight to London" is unlikely to resolve these issues. And I am unaware of significant demand from serious institutional investors outside the region clamouring for a piece of DPW. Roger Thomas, US

I refer to Chris Alexander's article Fruits of the loom: picking up the threads of an ancient story (January 9) which described his efforts to set up a cooperative of carpet weavers in Uzbekistan. This was a very interesting story and it is sad to read that rulers repress progressive measures benefiting local communities, their traditions and lifestyles.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi