When reading one article in Jurnal Perempuan number 54, I remember one friction I had with a very good friend of mine. It was not about gender equality though; it was more on religious pluralism.
I was born in a very strict religious Muslim family, raised by religious parents who happen to have conventional beliefs (such as only Muslim will go to heaven, believe strongly that heaven was created by God only for Muslim, and hell was created for human beings who don’t get ‘enlightenment’ by adhering in Islam.), parents who undergo different spiritual journey from me, either because they intentionally let themselves “closed” from any other possibility (let’s say that God is not a SEVERE CREATOR THAT WILL BLOODY PUNISH GOD’S CREATURES IN A PLACE CALLED HELL AFTER THE JUDGMENT DAY, or God did plan that human beings live adhering different religions/beliefs, God indeed LETS it happen), or because my parents live in a “limited sphere” so that they never come to the ‘enlightenment’ I got.
My spiritual journey eventually made me “convert” to be a secular Muslim. However, my background—used to be in those rigidly conventional Muslim’s shoes—made me easy to understand why those people think that way. I also understand if those people need to do something “important” (according to their way of thinking) in order to “save” me from secularism. And since I am the minority in my family, my struggle is really not easy, is it? (To convince them that I don’t need to be ‘saved’ in their way.)
My good friend said that he would never understand those people—that he said like “frogs in a coconut shell”—who are strongly convinced that only Islam is their ticket to enter heaven. “They let themselves blinded by their strong belief in their religion that they worship as they worship God.” He argued. It is just like he did not understand why I relented to an “imbecile” (quoting one term used by Laksmi in her article “Addicted to Religion” somewhere at www.superkoran.info to call a religion addict) that happens to be my very own sister.
My good friend does not have the same background as me. Is that why he would never understand why I relented?
Oh, how I often feel painful and broken hearted when talking about religiosity versus secularism.
PT56 22.05 091207