By Aaron Sseruyigo — Originally published in Ug Christian News
Linguistic and theological petition hits Uganda’s constitutional court.
A Ugandan man has sued members of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, The Uganda Daáwa Association and anyone who calls himself / herself a Muslim, alleging they have no right to interfere with other people’s religious beliefs by referring to God as “Allah”.
Ivan Samuel Ssebadduka, a resident of Bulega in Wakiso district, who describes himself as a monotheistic Christian, petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking orders to stop Muslims from calling God “Allah” or “God of Jesus” and likening Islam to Christianity.
Ssebadduka said he is dragging the Muslim community including the Mufti of Uganda, Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje, Supreme Mufti, Sheikh Sulaiman Kasule Ndirangwa and others to court on behalf of other Christians in the country.
“Your petitioner wants to move this honourable court to stop Muslims from likening their religion, God and Koran to Christianity, Yahweh and the Holy Bible respectively,” Mr Ssebadduka contends in his petition dated October 4, 2019.
“We Christians who believe in Yahweh El Shaddai, transliterated Jehovah God Almighty, want to stop Muslims from calling our God, the God of Jesus, “Allah”. It’s true we have one creator but that does not mean our creator (of Christians) is called Allah… We the Christians of this generation want to put things right once and for all. We want to clearly say that our God is Yahweh, not Allah as Muslims claim. Their claim is baseless and has no Biblical truth in it,” the petitioner contends.
Ssebadduka in his petition made reference to Malaysia, a country in Asia which banned the use of the word “Allah” to refer to God in non-Muslim publications since 1986, with the authorities arguing that using the Arabic word for God in such publications could confuse Muslims and entice them to convert.
“The honourable Judges in Malaysia made history when they differentiated facts from fiction. Truthfully, Isa is not Jesus and Allah is not Yahweh. If they were the same, why would the judges in Malaysia differentiate them. Today, Christians in Malaysia are not allowed to call their God, “Allah”. If the government of Malaysia petitioned the honourable court to make this ruling, why can’t Christians of this generation petition this honourable court to make the same ruling,” the petitioner contends.
According to the 2014 census, over 84% of the population was Christian while about 14% of the population adhered to Islam, making it the largest minority religion.
The court has given the correspondents 10 days to file a response to the petition.