Issues: Letter: What has happened to Islam?
April 27, p. 8: Reading “Misperception among Muslims” by Fazal-E-Mujeeb is a relief, (The Jakarta Post, P. 26). I think that Islam is a beautiful religion, with people bowing down to God the Almighty when they pray and observing the fasting month diligently to clean their hearts and souls, even though they have to cook meals for other people, as my helper does. What has happened to beautiful Islam?
When I was a student at Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta (I was Jeanne then), I used to go to free English conversation classes and take part in line dance gatherings at Russel Perry’s home.
We had a good time with students from other faculties who observed different religious beliefs. On the way home on our bikes we discussed our religions and found a lot of similarities in our beliefs, from our forefathers to the angels, between the teachings in Koran and those in the Bible.
A friend even explained why being licked by a dog is najis (because dogs usually eat trash and dirty things) and why they are not allowed to eat pork (for fear of food poisoning when the meat is not properly cooked). So the Prophet Muhammad was educating his followers on hygiene. Isn’t it amazing? (By Rosiana Budiman, Bogor, West Java)
Indonesia has lost its credibility in the world. If the government and the police do nothing, Indonesia will become a second Iran: isolated and poor. “Unity in diversity” are merely words. I am ashamed and fear things will only get worse. Indonesians, raise your voice.
Many like Islam, but what hurts it is the fanatics, who I don’t even call Islamic as they are in their own world, brought up with violence and just want to control you.
But no regime, no ideology and no power can maintain absolute physical control of all the people all of the time.
To rule, they need to control not their bodies, but their minds and their souls. Tyranny wants loyalty, but it will settle for fear. And fear, once internalized, destroys moral courage and replaces it with moral cowardice, eroding the strength of beliefs and ideas with the poisonous liquid of dread.
The individual becomes an agent for the forces of tyranny, protecting himself against any action that could get him into trouble. And then he finally is a slave.
I come from Central Java and have been a Muslim since I was born. Maybe everyone should learn and get to know all about Islam. Don’t judge Islam before you know the core of Islam.
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