REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, NEW YORK – A number of aggressions still occur around the world, the Muhammadiyah General Chairman, Professor Din Syamsuddin, admits. The differences of ethnics, religion, and culture become the reason to trigger the conflicts. However, differences are inevitable in our life.
“The differences in religions, ethnics, and cultures will always happen. It is a fact of life. However, the difference is not a reason to live inharmoniously and not peacefully,” the Muhammadiyah General Chairman, Professor Din Syamsuddin, spoke in the World Interfaith Harmony Week 2012 in United Nations Headquarter, New York, US.
Syamsuddin is invited by the head of general assembly to represent Islam world in delivering the message and perspective of religion. The presented topic is ‘Mediating the Conflict through Interfaith Dialogue’.
He said when differences trigger the conflict, the solution to find peace becomes importunate. In this case, the importance of mediation to ease the difference and find the similarity is inevitable.
Moreover, in reality, aggression keeps continuing and causing human disaster. History speaks for itself that war is a nightmare. Combined with poverty, disease, and unfairness, it becomes the threat that people face.
“Through war, people get nothing except misery. Power cannot solve the problem. Violence will only lead to other violence,” he added. According to Syamsuddin, Islam tells about respecting to differences. In Islam, God creates human with various tribes and nations so that they know each other (Holy Quran 49:13). For that, the difference as a conflict trigger is contradicted to nature law.
He added, one of human main duty was to ensure that religion is the base of peace. He ensures that religion cannot be an excuse of violence in any form.
Syamsuddin believes, dialogue is needed to prevent those conflicts. The intensity of ideas exchange between civil societies should be encouraged. For that, interfaith dialog should not only at the elite but also at the grassroots level.
“We must ensure that several activities can bridge the gap between civil societies and push the understanding,” he said. The interfaith dialogue is only meaningful if we involve all elements in society. “The dialogue can be achieved by good environment and the spirit of honesty, togetherness, and relationship,” he said.
While President of the United Nations General Assembly, Abdulaziz al-Nasser, said, religion teach us to bring unity and harmony among people. “Universal values is the base to unite diversity,” he said.
Al-Nasser added, UN also boosts the universal values, such as peace, victory, honor, and humanity, supported by religion.