Allahu Akbar: Arabic term used by Muslims, Christians and Jews
It's been reported that alleged Ft. Hood shooter Nidal Hasan shouted the phrase, "Allahu Akbar" prior to firing shots. Allahu Akbar is an Arabic phrase that roughly translates to God is Great or God is Greatest.
While the major media outlets have been quick to point out Hasan's Islamic upbringing and paint him as an Islamic extremist, it is extremely important to clarify that "Allahu Akbar" is not a phrase exclusive to Arab Muslims.
The word "Allah" refers to God and is the same word used by Arab Muslims, Christians, and Jews, although they have differing opinions about Allah, and what Allah stands for. So while both Arab Muslims and Christians call God by Allah, only Christians would recognize Jesus as the son of Allah.
It has not yet been confirmed that Hasan actually shouted Allahu Akbar prior to firing shots. All reports of Hasan shouting Allahu Akbar are just reports, and not facts. Allahu Akbar is in no way tied to fanaticism, extremism, or violence. If a Christian shouted "Hallelujah" before going on a rampage, would that automatically make Hallelujah a word identifiable with violence or religious fanaticism? I would hope not.
Even if he shouted such a thing, it would no more reflect on his co-religionists than does the fanatic who murdered Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller and who happened to consider himself a devout Christian does on his co-religionists. It’s worth remembering that nearly all mass shootings in this country are committed by white men. Do we have a white-man problem on our hands?
These are the first words a Muslim child hears after entering this world. The father makes the call to prayer in his or her ears as the welcome-to-this-world message. The same call is heard wherever there are Muslims, five times a day.