Thursday, September 15, 2005

Stand up and be counted

I was happy to read that Muslim militants in Indonesia has forcibly closed more than a dozen Churches in west Java this year. I am happy not about the militants' destructive and intolerant behaviour which I believe Islam does not teach. Rather, I am happy because 1500 people of the Nadlatul Ulema (NU) gathered in central Jakarta to protest these forcible closures by Muslim hardliners. Among those gathered was the former President of Indonesia, Mr Abdurrahman Wahid.

At last, a major Muslim organisation is willing to stand up and be counted against the violence that people perpetrate in the name of religion. While such violent acts are not a new phenomena in themselve - its has been happening throughout human history. It has been amplified in the last couple of years through the terrorist acts of Muslim extremists.

Let us hope that more moderate and sensible Muslims are willing to make a clear, unambiguous statement that Islam is not about violence, that jihad is not the only word in the Koran.

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