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From: Alis Camdon [Send email]
James Fulford's article regarding Obama being a Muslim says "Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer…" I think this is incorrect. There are Christian Arabs, so I myself would say the "Muslim call to prayer".
Also "Allah" meaning God was first used by Christian Arabs—although even some Muslims think that word is theirs! Many people seem to be confused thinking that the Arabic language is an Islamic language—not so, history refutes that.
Anyhow, Kristof isn't wrong—the institution of the Muezzin calling the faithful to prayer is a Muslim one (Christians tend to be "Summoned by Bells") and the point about it being Arabic is that Arabic is the language used by Muslims whether in Indonesia, where Obama learned it, in Denmark, or in Dearborn.
There are no Christian calls to prayer in Saudi Arabia—Christianity is forbidden by law there. As for Allah as a name for the Christian God, I'm aware of the issue; see Hitchens On Allah, where Christopher Hitchens turns out to be able to speak Maltese.