With Love from Indonesia to the World

Disowning Muslim radicals

I salute Din Syamsuddin, chairperson of Muhammadiyah, for his statement in The Jakarta Post’s article on June 20 titled “FPI attacks damage RI Muslims’ image”. Such a statement from the chairperson of the second largest Muslim group in this country represents the silent majority of moderate Muslims.

Of course, the silent majority of Muslims has not been helping much in building a peaceful Islam. It is also our fault that there has been a rise in radical Islamic groups.

The violent Monas incident should be condemned and not in any way be justified. I, as a Muslim, have seen a scary phenomenon where moderates are easily lured by radicals to support and justify their acts of violence.

When the media focused on the brutal attack led by Munarman, leader of the Islamic Troop Command (which includes not only FPI members but other Muslim organizations as well), the moderates condemned their act. However, when the Islam Defenders Team (Tim Pembela Islam) shifted the subject to Ahmadiyah, the moderates suddenly supported and justified the acts of violence. This shows that there are also traces of insecurity in some moderate Muslims’ beliefs.

As a Muslim, I am tired of our bad reputation. I am insulted by the acts of radicals, who do not reflect Islam as the Rahmatan lil Alamin, the blessing for the entire universe.

If I were Din Syamsuddin or chairperson of the Nahdlatul Ulama, I would act as a parent or father who has been humiliated by his son. If a son has brought shame and disrespect to the family’s name, a father would disown him.

We have to acknowledge that radicals’ points of view would never meet the moderates’. I remember a statement made by a radical on national television, saying that Islam is a peaceful religion, but the Prophet himself taught us to wage war against those who oppose Islam.

Muslim moderates should have the courage to voice the opinion that radicals are not part of Islam and do not belong to Islam.

Din is right about one thing — violence has no root in Islam. The word “Islam” comes from the same root of the word “assalam”, which means peace.

Let the radicals believe what they want to believe, but they should be forbidden from trying to convince others to believe what they do.

We moderates should refuse to believe what the radicals want us to believe. It is time for Muslim moderates to do something about these radicals from Islam. Evil rises when good people stay silent.


Sat, 06/21/2008 12:21 PM  |  Opinion

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