Here’s an interesting article by Dahlia Lithwick in Newsweek on David Hamilton. Hamilton, Obama’s first judicial nominee, came under fire for writing that “Allah” may be the best way to refer to God in “non-sectarian” prayers:
"In a post-judgment order, Hamilton also wrote that the ‘Arabic word ‘Allah” is used for ‘God’ in Arabic translations of Jewish and Christian scriptures" and that ‘Allah’ was closer to ‘the Spanish Dios, the German Gott, the French Dieu, the Swedish Gud, the Greek Theos, the Hebrew Elohim, the Italian Dio, or any other language’s terms in addressing the God who is the focus of the non-sectarian prayers’ than Jesus Christ. Hamilton, himself a Christian, also added that ‘if and when the prayer practices in the Indiana House of Representatives ever seem to be advancing Islam, an appropriate party can bring the problem to the attention of this or another court.’"
In our editorial discussion at this morning’s staff meeting, we talked about the remarkable fallout from last Friday’s election in Iran. Over the weekend, I received an e-mail with a link to video of Iranians shouting from their rooftops at night. Simply, I found the sounds of the voices simultaneously haunting and beautiful.
This has been described as Mousavi supporters chanting Allahu Akbar, or “God is Great” — a symbol of similar nighttime protests done over 30 years ago to show opposition to the Western-backed monarchy before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. A few news outlets report it this way, and I can hear Allahu Akbar in the video, but an AP story reports people also were shouting “death to the dictator,” and others report chants of “bye, bye dictator.”