Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 will be noted as a sad day in the history of Indonesia. On that day, a group of people on their way home from attending an Islamic New Year parade attacked the Santo Albertus church under construction in Bekasi.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the incident, but the church was damaged severely, just a week before Christmas.
We, the Muslims from around the world, appeal to the Indonesian Muslims, who follow the word of God and example of the Prophet to help those few who are momentarily lost, and bring them back on the path of justice and fairness that the Prophet taught us. The Koran asserts in 49:13, “The noblest of you in sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah Knows and is Aware.” Had God willed, he would have made all of us the same.
We look up to you, the Indonesian Muslims, for following Islam as taught by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). You are proud owners of the Pancasila document which re-affirms the freedom of all faiths.
Indeed, it is this model of freedom that builds trust, respect and goodwill among all of God’s creations.
Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) life was an example for us to follow, he did not return violence with violence, instead he prayed for those who pelted stones and bloodied him, asking God to give them goodwill.
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) respected the Christians, Jews and others to the point of inviting them to dialogue; he was one of the first humans to initiate interfaith dialogue. Historians note that Byzantine Christians, led by their bishop, had come to discuss a number of issues with the Prophet, and when it was time for their prayer, he offered that they “conduct their service in his mosque”. He taught us that respecting other faiths is part of our conduct. Indeed, he earned the trust of his community by being truthful, honest and trustworthy; he was called Amin by the people around him.
The Prophet set another example of mitigating conflicts and nurturing goodwill when the Aswad stone fell off the wall of Kaaba. Each tribe was laying claim to their right to set the fallen Aswad stone back into the wall, Muhammad (pbuh) was approached, he could have done it himself, but being the ultimate peacemaker he was, he got the parties together, mitigated their conflict and had them all share in lifting the stone back into its place, thus nurturing goodwill.
We appeal to you to earn the respect of society and be good and just to one and all and rebuild the church for the Christians that was desecrated. Please set an example of Indonesian Muslim conduct for others to follow. To be a Muslim is to mitigate conflicts and nurture goodwill, and strive to build societies of justice and peace for every human being.
I can be reached at [email protected] and the websites and the blogs are listed at www.mikeghouse.net
Muslim Interfaith Activist