Recently, in the attempt of feeling Turkey a little bit less far while enjoying my quiet evenings in Florence, I have been reading Snow of Orhan Pamuk in its Italian translation.
My attention was caught by the persistence of the translator to refer to God as Allah in the Italian version. Having lived in Turkey, I do know the importance of the name of god (well, the names of god and this is really less clear to me I have to be honest).
Being Italian, I realized what a difference it makes to read Allah rather than God in a novel that talks expansively about religion. Reading a text where I know that it is not the religion of my culture under object, but Islam, and keep on seeing Allah rather than God the impression I get is that we are talking about a god that is not the one the other major monotheist religions praise. And this god is exotic with this name, and more “other” than ever.
When living in Turkey, though, what I clearly felt was that this entity referred as God, is the same in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. My faith in God might had been questioned seldom, while discussing about religion with Muslims Turks, but it was never which god.
The question here then is: is God Allah?
Wikipedia informs me that it should be, as it is the name used by pre-Islamic Christians to refer to god. As a person who does not have faith in a monotheistic God, I do believe it is the same entity we are talking about and referring at it as Allah in translations to non-muslim countries helps only otherizing Islam.
Any muslim who wants to add thoughts?