The real issue is not about who is a Muslim, but it is about the role of a majority in a diverse society.
Should the bad decisions of a few in the name of Islam, reflect on the Muslim community at large? Now, Indonesia is planning to ban the “heretical” Muslim sect, should that reflect on Islam? The least we can do is to speak up against the tyranny of one brand of Islam against the other.
The easy option is to do nothing and let the world believe that it is Islam, and then we lose our right to complain that it is not us, well it is us. The actions are not the work of a Looney brigade or some fringe groups; it is the government of Indonesia succumbing to please the few among them.
In the movie “A Bug’s life”, it just took one gutsy Flik to fend off the terrorizing grasshoppers, it takes two boys or two girls to stand up to the class room bully to end the tyranny. It would take a few passionate Muslims to speak out and persuade the establishment. I suggest every one to watch this movie to understand how our Neocons (extremist Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and others – Jews claim Zionists are not extremists, and I take their word for it) work and how us, the silent majority should act.
The real question that we need to address is should we let a majority determine what one believes, wears or eats? Can the Majority in the United States do that? Can the majority in Indonesia do that? Should that work in India? Can the Sunni Majority in Saudi Arabia harass the Shia? Can the Shia Majority in Iran harass the Sunnis? We have to catch up with our own integrity. Those who were a majority elsewhere are a minority somewhere else.
God is about justice and he wants us to live in peace and harmony, after all, each one of us is his creation, and he will not discriminate any one of us. Qur’aan – 49:13 “O men! Behold, we have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware.”
A majority of Muslims understand that Islam is a religion of peace, a religion of freedom and justice, and a religion that does not force people to behave. Indeed, if we start looking at ourselves, Alhamdu Lillah, Praise the Lord, the majority of us get along with all and live a life of peace and co-existence.
Every now and then, a “few” among us cross that line, when we let Governments, in the name of Islam start judging people’s faith; we are making a gross error defying the very God we purport to follow. Don’t practicing Muslims recite this at least 50 times a day? Qur’aan, Sura “1:4 Lord of the Day of Judgment!” And “1:5 you alone do we worship; and unto Thee alone do we turn for aid.”
Is it up to God or the Government of Indonesia? When we object the Neocons to pre-empt God and bring the Armageddon as soon as possible and justify their ruthlessness in the name of God, then we must object any one taking over God’s decisions in the name of Islam.
When Hazrat Bakr was agreed upon to be the Caliph, the consensus was with him and the few who disagreed dropped their opposition and followed the leader in the same manner as Republicans and democrats who fight within until a candidate is nominated, then every one rallies around the selected one.
The problem with us or any majority of people is we do not give our consensus; we do not exercise our rights and by default give others, the right to govern us.
Not the Pakistani people, but the dictator in-charge, to appease a few, enacted the laws declaring Ahmadiyya group of people as non-Muslims, but then the Pakistani people start believing and legitimizing it. Americans are no different, if the President thinks Russia is evil, we jump with him and when he turns around and befriends China, and in a heartbeat we change our minds too. If he declares Islam is the danger… thank God, Americans are getting away from blindly following government and exercising independent judgment.
It is time for Muslims to stand up and speak out.
Remember the Good Samaritan American women during 9/11? They wore Hijab to show solidarity with Muslim women, the time is coming, when a whole mass of population will declare themselves Muslim to show solidarity with the Ahmadiyya, what are you going to do?
What prevents one from incorporating their group with the name Muslim or Islam? There are a lot of websites with the words Muslim and Islam, but they are actually anti-Islam. What are you going to do about it?
It is time for Muslims to wake up and act righteous and speak out.
Would you join me in writing to the Indonesian government to consider this ill-adivised proposal?
Please respond in the comments section below.
Mike Ghouse is a writer and thinker based in Dallas. He runs several websites and blogs including MikeGhouse.Net [ www.MikeGhouse.net ), theFoundation for Pluralism [ www.FoundationforPluralism.com ] and the World Muslim Congress [www.WorldMuslimCongress.com] He is a frequent guest on talk radio, discussing interfaith, political, and civic issues. In this piece, Mike reflects on media blunders and their impact on the course of recent political history.
Indonesia is drafting a decree that will ban a Muslim sect that has been branded heretical by most Muslims.
The Ahmadiyya sect views itself as Muslim but it has been branded a heretical group by the Indonesian Ulema Council, the secular country’s highest Muslim authority, which has issued a fatwa against it.
A team with officials from two government ministries and the attorney general’s office has recommended the government ban the sect because its teachings deviate from the central tenets of Islam.
The team’s deputy head Wisnu Subroto says the religious affairs ministry, the home affairs ministry and the attorney general’s office are drafting a joint decree that will require Ahmadiyya followers to return to mainstream Islam.
He says the draft is expected to be completed later this month.
JAKARTA (Reuters) – More than 1,000 Indonesian Muslims gathered in front of the presidential palace on Sunday to press the government to ban a Muslim sect that has been branded heretical by most Muslims.
An Indonesian government team is drafting a decree that will ban the Ahmadiyya sect, which views itself as Muslim but has been branded a heretical group by the Indonesian Ulema Council, the secular country’s highest Muslim authority.
Chanting “Allahu Akbar (God is Great)” and “Disband Ahmadiyya”, the members of the Indonesian Muslim Forum (FUI), a group of about 50 Muslim organisations, urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to issue the decree.
“We are pushing the president to immediately issue a presidential decree disbanding Ahmadiyya,” FUI Secretary General Muhammad Al Khaththath told Reuters.
The FUI also asked the government to capture Ahmadiyya’s leaders and seize all its assets.
Thank you brother Mike Ghouse for your work and brothers and sisters we have work to do. How can we claim and fight for minority rights, yet not respect them for others?