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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Going Beyond Pluralism

Is it possible to create a country where there is no prejudice among people who adhere various different religions?

Two days ago I visited a book fair held in my hometown. I bought a book entitled “Melampaui Pluralisme, Etika Alquran tentang Keragaman Agama” (Going Beyond Pluralism: Ethics in Alquran on Varieties of Religion) by a young writer, Hendar Riyadi. The main goal of Hendar Riyadi to write such a book is to offer a new interpretation of Alquran in viewing relationships among religions in Indonesia to reach a more conducive situation in Indonesia.

He realizes that some clashes that have happened among religious communities in Indonesia are mostly caused by shallow interpretation of some verses in Alquran. He also realizes that as the majority in Indonesia, many Muslims arrogantly accuse other religions as wrong religions because they believe that Islam is the only right religion, the only gate to go to heaven. (They have been indoctrinated such a way since they were very young. And their being ignorant or not enough reading other kinds of books has made them believe in such indoctrination without being critical after they grow up.)

The question is: is such an arrogant treatment toward other religions only done by Muslims? People with other religions do not show such a childish treatment to Islam or any other religions?

The answer is of course NOT. We know that in many other parts of the world, people with other religions also do discriminative things to other people with different religions. However, it seems that there is a kind of natural law that the majority controls the minority. In Indonesia, with more than 80% of Indonesian people as Muslim, Muslim people take control.

When women (viewed as the weaker sex) struggle to create a more equalitarian world, it is very understandable if then the minority groups in Indonesia start to show their guts to oppose the arrogance shown by Muslim as the majority: to create a more conducive situation.

In this case I really appreciate Hendar Riyadi’s effort to create a bridge between the majority and the minority. He offered a new way to interpret some verses in Alquran that will create a more conducive atmosphere among people with different religions: there is no absolute truth of one religion.

If you are curious to know what theories Hendar Riyadi used in interpreting Alquran, buy the book and read it by yourself.

(NOTE: Believe me, I don’t know Hendar Riyadi personally, he doesn’t know me either. LOL.)

I am hoping that with Muslim people softening their hostility to people adhering other religions, this latter party will welcome it whole-heartedly and peacefully.

Let us create a better Indonesia in the future hand in hand, no matter what ethnic groups, religions, social classes, etc we have.

PT56 13.20 190507


johnorford said...

i like this post, if i could read indonesian i'd get the book! i will just have to wait for an english translation.

btw, do you mean "egalitarian" when u say "equalitarian"?

johnorford said...

ok my bad - equalitarian is a synonym for eqalitarian. my bad -- must be "American" :P

A Feminist Blog said...

Hi John, thanks for the "correction". Although I speak English everyday here in Indonesia, in fact for me, English is still considered as a foreign language. So, I must admit that sometimes I choose a wrong diction. :)

johnorford said...

no equalitarian seems to be a perfectly good word - have check it up on mw. u taught me something new :)

A Feminist Blog said...

John, I even haven't checked the dictionary yet. hehehe ...
Thanks :)