By : Wildan Nasution *)
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, Indonesian interfaith leaders are set to visit several countries across Europe and the United States to introduce values of tolerance among Islamic religious followers in the country.
As a country of multi-ethnic groups and religions, Indonesia has long been considered a good example for other countries in building harmony among religious followers.
“The delegates will speak about the religious concord in Indonesia, how moderate Islam plays a crucial role in the country and how Indonesian nationalism can have tolerant and inclusive religious followers as its pillars,” said Leimena Institute founder, Jacob Tobing, said as quoted by national media after he met with Vice President Jusuf Kalla at the Vice Presidential Office in Jakarta, last week.
Interfaith leaders who will join the tour include the presidential envoy to the Middle East and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Alwi Shihab, and noted Islamic scholars Azyumardi Azra, Amin Abdullah and Syafii Ma’arif. France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the US are among countries they will visit from March 28 to May 11.
Amin said the harmonious life among religious followers in Indonesia was no longer only at the level of dialogue and theory, but it was fully practiced as well. It has been shown in Indonesia’s history that respect for diversity has been built well. The Vice President also asserted that holidays of all [nationally recognized] religions are celebrated in Indonesia. There is no other country that has so many religious holidays.
All this time, he further said, the Middle East has always been a reference for Western countries in examining Islam. In fact, Indonesia could become a much better example in realizing the harmony among religious followers.
I think a key to maintain our harmonious conditions between all religions in Indonesia is how we must respect to Islam as a majority religion communities in Indonesia. Actually, Indonesian moslem is a moderate communities because they’re implementing their religion teachings, so that we can not deny that a simultaneous Indonesia’s religions harmonious is a big political deviden which share by Islam community in Indonesia.
We have a positive think about the plan of Indonesia’s interfaith leaders who will be promoted moderate Islam in Indonesia to several countries in Indonesia. But, we must remember them that whatever will be happened in Indonesia if whoever don’t try to disturb and to provoke Islam communities in Indonesia.
As far as, Islam communities in Indonesia always respect to our government and another religions communities in Indonesia, but being admitted or not, in the recent conditions especially related to second round Jakarta’s governor elections will be held on April 19, 2017, several communities through social media has been launched their statement which insulted Indonesia’s moslem society, but we can understand from a various news resources in Indonesia, the National Police doesn’t take a proportional law enforcement process to them such us to Iwan Bopeng’s case etc.
Unproportional treatment among our citizen especially among religion communities will be triggered social segregration and gap of distrust to government maitaining and keeping harmonious religion relations in Indonesia will be questioned.
I think Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Netherlands and United States have negatively opinion about Islam. For example, in France, Islam communities doesn’t protect their government so that blasphemous religion especially to prophet Muhammad have been happened which done by one of France’s newspaper which attacked and undersiege by “a terror groups” and every event especially a negative event such as people shooting or a bom terror have been blamed to Islam by France government or their communities. In Netherland, one of their legislative leader who name Gerd Wildeers has a negative thinking to Islam even he is always insults prophet Muhammad but the Dutch government doesn’t take a proportional law enforcement to him. I think this is a roots of fundamentalism. So, I want to make argument that the actor of a global interfaith unbalance relations are them.
Diversity and harmonious religion relation in Indonesia don’t be politicized because it will be happened, it will destructive our national resilience. So, interfaith who will go to several countries in Europe and the United States will be taken Indonesia’s moslem trust to them, and explain to them to respect Islam in Indonesia and in the world, if they want to build a dynamic international balancing power. Explain them that Islam communities in Indonesia had always to maintain our national resilience including interfaith good concidition because Islam in Indonesia love their country.
*) The writer is Cersia’s researcher and founder. Lives in Batam, Riau islands.