Muslim or Moslem?

According to wiki, A Muslim (Arabic: مسلم) is an adherent of the religion of Islam. The feminine form of Muslim is Muslimah (Arabic: مسلمة). Literally, the word means “one who submits to God)”. A Pakistan journal, Renaissance says that the use of either word “depends on the intention of the speaker.”  Renaissance added that if the use is a mere matter of pronouncing the Arabic word ‘Muslim’ in the typical English accent, then this cannot be objected to. If it is derived from Zulm, however, then Muzlim (the correct grammatical version of the word pronounced as Moslem) means a person who is oppressive, which of course is derogatory. (www.renaissance.com.pk) 

Which is which really, now? Center for Nonproliferation Studies maintains that Moslem and Muslim are basically two different spellings for the same word.  An article published at www.hnn.com seems to be the more prevalent and sensible view.  Why Do People Say Muslim Now Instead of Moslem?” written by Ms. Yii-Ann Christine Chen of HNN has this to say:  

But the seemingly arbitrary choice of spellings is a sensitive subject for many followers of Islam. Whereas for most English speakers, the two words are synonymous in meaning, the Arabic roots of the two words are very different. A Muslim in Arabic means “one who gives himself to God,” and is by definition, someone who adheres to Islam. By contrast, a Moslem in Arabic means “one who is evil and unjust” when the word is pronounced, as it is in English, Mozlem with a z.

Ms. Chen added that “[j]ournalists switched to Muslim from Moslem in recent years under pressure from Islamic groups. But the use of the word Moslem has not entirely ceased.”

On our part, Filipinos, with the “born-gifted tongue”, it is “fortunate” that most of us pronounce and spell the word Muslim as it is.  No “z’s” no “o’s” no “e’s” just that plain and simple Muslim. 

Graphics by: Teakster of deviantart

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