Bahai

Nov 1st, 2007, in IM Posts, by

Muslims converting to Bahai.

Thirty-one Muslims in the Donggala area of Central Sulawesi have become apostates and converted to the Bahá'í religion, it is said, inviting the anger of their neighbours who are sticking firm to Islam, and the displeasure of the local bureaucracy.

The head of the Religious Affairs Office in Palolo sub-district said that the Bahai faith, led by one Mulahi, a former marriage counsellor, entered Banpers village in the 1990s, and Mulahi had persuaded 31 local people to convert.

But some Muslims in the village are not taking it lying down:

The homes of the Bahai followers in Banpers are often pelted with stones.

Nor is the local government, which held a meeting between concerned Muslims and the Bahaists in September, 2007, wherein the Bahai adherents were warned to have a think about which religion they wanted to belong to, either Islam, like before, or another religion which was recognised by the government, because Bahai is not. Another meeting will be held soon, to find out whether the Bahaists have had enough thinking time. [1]

The Department of Religion (Depag) has also sent down an investigative team, says Muhammad Ramli in Palu, and they will have to decide whether Bahai is a sect within Islam. If so, then the converts, or their leaders, can likely be prosecuted for blasphemy. Depag also wants to find out how Bahai has been spread in the area, because if it is being preached at people who already hold a religion, then that may also constitute a crime, he said. [2]

November 8th. Two out of the seven households that converted to Bahai are said to have returned to Islam, after the two heads of the households, Mulahi (70) and Muslimin (40), met with local leaders. Four others refused to change back to Islam, while the seventh did not turn up. [3]


396 Comments on “Bahai”

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  1. avatar Phil Hicker says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 10:32 am

    This is so typical Indonesia… fake democracy….fake tolerance….easily provoked…..extremist!! Of course, it is every person’s human right to choose her or his own faith. You cannot limit it to just 5 religions. What is the point of being a Moslem if you don’t believe in it. You know, our system is totally wrong, cos it rapes people. It assume that only five religions are the most truthful religions in Indonesia and the rest is infidels, worse, and do not deserve to be there. Can’t you people just think properly as human beings who have tolerance to your own brothers and sisters? For God sake, it is not your damn right to condemn other people’s belief and judge them whether they are sinful or not, infidels or not, true or not.

    Do you think God is blind and stupid so that He needs His people to kill each other just to judge each other?? Come on! Think smarter! Is that what your religion tells you? Does it teach you to hate people who are different from you? Cos if it is, I dunno what to say, yet I still respect it… probably it is right in your religion, but according to my religion, which is humanism (please ask Indonesian government to arrest me cos it is not in the list of five top religions), the most important thing is to love your fellow human beings, no matter different you are from him or her. Be multicultural, be tolerant.

    In conclusion, I think it is in each person’s right to convert from whatever religion to another religion if she or he wants to. Religion is about you and your personal belief (God/GOds/etc), and no one should force you to do what you do not want to do, as long as you don’t create harm to other people.

  2. avatar Indcoup says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    perhaps the biggest Muslim “sect” – according to the Saudis – are Shia Muslims as opposed to Sunni Muslims. I wonder what Indonesia’s opinion on that is.

  3. avatar Janma says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    You cannot limit it to just 5 religions.

    They can, They do and they will continue to do so. Indonesia Jaya!

  4. avatar Daniel says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Nicely said Phil.

    I have an idea… let’s copy and paste all of the anti-religious hatred from every other comment on this blog into this post and repeat the same arguments.

  5. avatar ddmt says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    Janma Says:

    You cannot limit it to just 5 religions.

    They can, They do and they will continue to do so. Indonesia Jaya!

    I think you’re wrong, you missed “Konghucu”, it has been since 2000 (Keppres No. 6/2000) gov. of Indonesia acknowledge 6 religions in Indonesia.

  6. avatar Phil Hicker says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    Nicely said Phil.

    I have an idea”¦ let’s copy and paste all of the anti-religious hatred from every other comment on this blog into this post and repeat the same arguments.

    –> I would not say my comment as an anti-religious hatred but instead it is a critique to people who always think they are the rightest people on earth and always claim that they possess the heaven exclusively. I mean being good people do not necessarily have to be religious and vice versa religious people are not always kind, correct, and better than atheists. So please, don’t judge the book from its cover (what is the relationship anyway?)

  7. avatar Marco Oliveira says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 7:19 pm

    And what is so special about 31 people becoming baha’is? In a country where there is religious freedom this would be no news!

    Why are Muslims so afraid of Baha’i Faith?

    Because it promotes the equal rights for men and women?
    Because it supports a obligatory education for every children?
    Because it promotes a sense of world unity by stating that the world is but one country and mankind it’s citizens?
    Because it supports the need of a world auxiliary language?
    Because it wants to abolish the extremes of richness and poverty?
    Because it supports the end of all kinds of prejudices?

    If you are so worried about baha’is, you would better inform your readers about their principles and teachings. That would be a good service to Indonesia!

  8. avatar Tinkerbell says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 8:17 pm

    Easy entrance, hard exit…….. :D

  9. avatar Tuan says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 10:50 pm

    Why are Muslims so afraid of Baha’i Faith?

    Because it promotes the equal rights for men and women?
    Because it supports a obligatory education for every children?
    Because it promotes a sense of world unity by stating that the world is but one country and mankind it’s citizens?
    Because it supports the need of a world auxiliary language?
    Because it wants to abolish the extremes of richness and poverty?
    Because it supports the end of all kinds of prejudices?

    Huh? A lot of what you described is what Islam teaches.. oh wait.. Bahai Faith is derived from true Islamic values.

    “Because it promotes the equal rights for men and women?”

    In Islam, men and women are equal before God. But there is recognition that there are differences amongst the sexes and both men and women have obligations toward each other.

    “Because it supports a obligatory education for every children?”

    In Islam, seeking knowledge is encouraged. There’s a famous saying during the times of Prophet Muhammad SAW where a man wanted to learn more about China and the Prophet SAW replied, “Then go to China”. Another saying: “”Seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave”" – Muhammad

    “Because it promotes a sense of world unity by stating that the world is but one country and mankind it’s citizens?”

    Two words: Muslim ummah. You won’t find solidarity or unity in another religion except in Islam. When Israel attacked a predominately Christian country of Lebanon, many of the Western countries took the side of Israel. When the US invaded Iraq, a lot of Muslims vehemently opposed US action.

    “Because it supports the need of a world auxiliary language?”

    Huh?

    “Because it wants to abolish the extremes of richness and poverty?”

    One word: zakat. Let’s be realistic..there are always will be social-economic classes.

    “Because it supports the end of all kinds of prejudices?”

    “O people! Your God is one and your forefather (Adam) is one. An Arab is not better than a non-Arab and a non-Arab is not better than an Arab, and a red (i.e. white tinged with red) person is not better than a black person and a black person is not better than a red person, except in piety. ” – Prophet Muhammad SAW

    ~Tuan Indonesian-American Muslim

  10. avatar Marco Oliveira says:
    November 1st, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Tuan,

    AUXILIARY LANGUAGE: we are communicating in English; not Bahasa or Portuguese. What I say is that the world needs an auxiliary language to help all peoples communicating between each other just like we are doing here.

    EXTREMES OF RICHNESS AND POVERTY: yes there will always be different social-economic classes; but how many people in the world have to live with less than a dollar a day? How many parents don’t how they will manage to feed their children the next day? (check statistics for countries like India, Brazil, or Indonesia) And how many millionaires live with such luxuries that not even Pharaohs or Roman Emperors would ever dream of? These are unacceptable extremes of poverty and richness.

    Does all these sounds Islamic? Of course! True religions should all sound similar.

    What I don’t understand is that if we are so similar why do some fundamentalist insist on persecuting the Baha’is…

  11. avatar Tuan says:
    November 2nd, 2007 at 12:39 am

    AUXILIARY LANGUAGE: we are communicating in English; not Bahasa or Portuguese. What I say is that the world needs an auxiliary language to help all peoples communicating between each other just like we are doing here.

    Why are you fussing over this? What’s wrong with multiple languages? This is something you can’t change. Obviously English will always be language of business since the US Stock Market runs the world, maybe in the future it will Chinese. For Muslims, our spiritual tongue is Arabic regardless of what part of the world we are from.

    EXTREMES OF RICHNESS AND POVERTY: yes there will always be different social-economic classes; but how many people in the world have to live with less than a dollar a day? How many parents don’t how they will manage to feed their children the next day? (check statistics for countries like India, Brazil, or Indonesia) And how many millionaires live with such luxuries that not even Pharaohs or Roman Emperors would ever dream of? These are unacceptable extremes of poverty and richness.

    You just have to grin and bear it and do what you can either a little or a lot to make others lives better.

    What I don’t understand is that if we are so similar why do some fundamentalist insist on persecuting the Baha’is”¦

    Bahai folks are not the only people being persecuted for their beliefs. In Germany, Scientology (whether you believe it as a faith or not is irrelevant since some don’t consider Bahai to be a faith either) is not accepted as a form of religion in that country. As far why do right wing conservative Muslims maybe because they consider Bahai, which is no doubt an offshoot of Islam, as blasphemy since the founder appears to claim some divinity in him.

    No offense but why practice something that is not authentic especially since its core values are exactly the same, if not pulled over from Islam?

    ~Tuan – Indonesian-American Muslim

  12. avatar Andrew says:
    November 2nd, 2007 at 4:10 am

    These people make Islam sound like a black hole: once you get in, there’s no recourse.
    While every religion wants to attract and retain its followers, the decision should be left to the individual. It’s simple: “I don’t give a sh*t what and who you believe in… and I don’t want you to stick your nose in what I believe either”

    Maybe Tinkerbell meant the same by saying “Easy entrance, hard exit”.

  13. avatar Marco Oliveira says:
    November 2nd, 2007 at 5:33 am

    Tuan,

    What’s wrong with multiple languages?
    There is nothing wrong with multiple languages or multiple cultures. Diversity is a wonderful thing. But consider this: how much money is being spent in International Organizations on translation services? Why don’t we choose a language to be used as a work language in those Organizations? Why don’t we choose a language to be taught in every school of the world as a secondary language? This would allow us to travel everywhere in the planet without communication problems.

    In Islam, men and women are equal before God.
    The practice in Islamic societies shows that women have fewer rights than men.

    In Islam, seeking knowledge is encouraged.
    Cities like Baghdad and Damascus were once the highest centres of knowledge and civilization. But what is the state of science and knowledge in Muslim countries today? Why do we only find only two universities from Muslim countries amongst the top 5000 world universities? (http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2007/ARWU2007TOP500list.htm)

    Muslim ummah.
    I believe you are mixing sporadic political solidarity amongst Islamic countries with Ummah. What is so special about criticizing non-Muslim countries (even if you are right to do it)? Where was Ummah during the Iran-Iraq war? Where is Ummah whem the Algerian Government discriminates and persecutes berbers? Where is Ummah when immigrant workers from Pakistan and Bangladesh are being explored in Saudi Arabia or the Gulf States? Where is Ummah now that Turkey is attacking the Kurds?

    No offense but why practice something that is not authentic especially since its core values are exactly the same, if not pulled over from Islam?

    Christians say the same thing about Islam. They also don’t take Islam as authentic. And the similarities between Islam and Baha’i you will also find it between Christianity and Islam. In fact you will find the core of spiritual teaching of every world religion to be the same.

    What is there in the Baha’i religion that proves it is not authentic? (Please check the official web site http://www.bahai.org/ ) Do you, just like Christians and Jews in the time of Muhammad, believe that God has His hands tied up! (Qur’án 5:64)?

  14. avatar Ihaknt says:
    November 2nd, 2007 at 5:50 am

    Haha…scientology…now that’s a whole lot of different story all together. It shows, it’s quite easy to form your own religion if you have influential people in it.

    Back to Bahai topic, what makes the muslims thing that these people will convert back after being pelted by rocks?

  15. avatar Teng says:
    November 2nd, 2007 at 5:58 am

    Why is it that muslims get all worried and violent when 31 people (which is really not a lot compared to 180 million muslims) convert to something else than islam.

    Get a job or something

  16. avatar Tuan says:
    November 2nd, 2007 at 9:15 am

    These people make Islam sound like a black hole: once you get in, there’s no recourse.
    While every religion wants to attract and retain its followers, the decision should be left to the individual. It’s simple: “I don’t give a sh*t what and who you believe in”¦ and I don’t want you to stick your nose in what I believe either”

    Maybe Tinkerbell meant the same by saying “Easy entrance, hard exit”.

    Why is it that muslims get all worried and violent when 31 people (which is really not a lot compared to 180 million muslims) convert to something else than islam.

    Get a job or something

    Don’t why we have to focus on the attitudes of ignorant Muslims. During the Prophet SAW’s time, people left Islam (one of his wives was married to man who left Islam while living in ancient Ethiopia) and people pretended to be Muslim (munafiq). It isn’t a big deal

    ~Tuan Indonesian-American Muslim

  17. avatar Tinkerbell says:
    November 2nd, 2007 at 5:45 pm

    These people make Islam sound like a black hole: once you get in, there’s no recourse.

    I believe that it is an individual rights to choose their own faith. So, just let them (the Baha’is) believe their faith, coz it’s their rights !!

    Regarding what the moslems have done in the sulawesi, well, it was done by narrow-minded people. So, we cannot generalized that every moslem (or Islam) will act the same thing.

    It’s very easy for people to welcome new believers that’s converting to the same faith as theirs, but when some of them converts to another, the reaction usually will be very unpleasant. (this applied not only to Islam, but also to Christian, Hindu, Buddha, etc.). So, are these religions supports violence ? I don’t think so……….

    Once again, it’s the people who’s done it, not the teachings

    The basic point is: mind your own bussiness :D

  18. avatar heavenlysword says:
    November 2nd, 2007 at 11:40 pm

    i thought bahai was an instant noodle..

    no I’m serious.

  19. avatar Andrew says:
    November 3rd, 2007 at 12:51 am

    I believe that it is an individual rights to choose their own faith. So, just let them (the Baha’is) believe their faith, coz it’s their rights !!

    Actually I was referring to Muslims who judge the Bahai’s

  20. avatar Idam H. says:
    November 4th, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    To Tuan Indonesian-American Muslim

    Huh? A lot of what you described is what Islam teaches.. oh wait.. Bahai Faith is derived from true Islamic values.

    If so, why Moslem are so afraid if they are converted to Bahai Faith. Unless Bahai Faith is worse than Islam, let them choose their faith. So show me that there is something wrong With Bahai Faith (not something right with Islam please)?

  21. avatar Tuan says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 2:52 am

    If so, why Moslem are so afraid if they are converted to Bahai Faith. Unless Bahai Faith is worse than Islam, let them choose their faith. So show me that there is something wrong With Bahai Faith (not something right with Islam please)?

    Show me that all Muslims are afraid. I am not. All the government is doing is investigating the situation. The common village folk will act they want to act because that is how poor and uneducated people will respond. Just as how poor and/or uneducated Christians in America will respond if they see a mosque bulit in their small hometown, or if one of their relatives converts to Islam.

    ~Tuan Indonesian-American Muslim

  22. avatar Tuan says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 3:17 am

    “What’s wrong with multiple languages?”
    There is nothing wrong with multiple languages or multiple cultures. Diversity is a wonderful thing. But consider this: how much money is being spent in International Organizations on translation services? Why don’t we choose a language to be used as a work language in those Organizations? Why don’t we choose a language to be taught in every school of the world as a secondary language? This would allow us to travel everywhere in the planet without communication problems.

    Seriously, I do not know why we are making a big deal of this.

    “In Islam, men and women are equal before God.”
    The practice in Islamic societies shows that women have fewer rights than men.

    Ask yourself, are they truly islamic societies, if they disregard some areas of our faith to suit theirs own political needs?

    “In Islam, seeking knowledge is encouraged.”
    Cities like Baghdad and Damascus were once the highest centres of knowledge and civilization. But what is the state of science and knowledge in Muslim countries today? Why do we only find only two universities from Muslim countries amongst the top 5000 world universities? (http://ed.sjtu.edu.cn/rank/2007/ARWU2007TOP500list.htm)

    You need to ask yourself, how did cities like Baghad and Damascus go from being a “mecca” for higher learning during Islamic rule to two only two universities of today. You just alluded it is not religion responsible for the current state but something else.

    “Muslim ummah.”
    I believe you are mixing sporadic political solidarity amongst Islamic countries with Ummah. What is so special about criticizing non-Muslim countries (even if you are right to do it)? Where was Ummah during the Iran-Iraq war? Where is Ummah whem the Algerian Government discriminates and persecutes berbers? Where is Ummah when immigrant workers from Pakistan and Bangladesh are being explored in Saudi Arabia or the Gulf States? Where is Ummah now that Turkey is attacking the Kurds?

    You raised some good points. Relatives within a family will always fight over something, that is a given. But when a member of the family is threatened by someone outside, you can guarantee that the family will come to its aid.

    “No offense but why practice something that is not authentic especially since its core values are exactly the same, if not pulled over from Islam?”

    Christians say the same thing about Islam. They also don’t take Islam as authentic. And the similarities between Islam and Baha’i you will also find it between Christianity and Islam. In fact you will find the core of spiritual teaching of every world religion to be the same.

    What is there in the Baha’i religion that proves it is not authentic? (Please check the official web site http://www.bahai.org/ ) Do you, just like Christians and Jews in the time of Muhammad, believe that God has His hands tied up! (Qur’án 5:64)?

    LOL. What does that quote in the quran have to do with the Bahai faith????

    ~Tuan – Indonesian American Muslim

  23. avatar Stefan says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 5:57 am

    Show me that all Muslims are afraid. I am not. All the government is doing is investigating the situation. The common village folk will act they want to act because that is how poor and uneducated people will respond. Just as how poor and/or uneducated Christians in America will respond if they see a mosque bulit in their small hometown, or if one of their relatives converts to Islam.

    Tuan, I don’t think that Isam has meant every single moslem. I think he has meant Islam as a whole. But I don’t think it’s just a problem of islam. It’s not uncommon that a religion an a country where it is the main religion has problems with its self-esteem. The organtzations which represent the main religion are often somewhat fat and lazy and if they feel competition they call the state authorities or lawmakers to “protect” them. This happens to christianity in Europe but not christianity in Indonesia and it happens to islam in Indonesia but not to islam in the US. A community belonging to a religion develops self-esteem through making experience in a diaspora. European moslems make a sicnificant number of christians proselyze to Islam ans so do beleivers of bahai proselyze moslems.

  24. avatar Idam H. says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 6:17 am

    To Tuan Indonesian-American Muslim

    Show me that all Muslims are afraid.

    Read carefully, I don’t say all Muslims, I say Muslims, it could be you or it could be a bunch of uneducated and poor people. If you feel you are not like that. Good to you. Welcome to the civilized society.

    Good thing is I get the answer from you. It is because most of them are poor and uneducated. I hope you don’t blame others for their poorness and stupidity. I also hope you will not mad if any Moslems would leave Islam since I infer you are an educated and not-poor Moslem.

  25. avatar Tuan says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 7:48 am

    Read carefully, I don’t say all Muslims, I say Muslims, it could be you or it could be a bunch of uneducated and poor people. If you feel you are not like that. Good to you. Welcome to the civilized society.

    Good thing is I get the answer from you. It is because most of them are poor and uneducated. I hope you don’t blame others for their poorness and stupidity. I also hope you will not mad if any Moslems would leave Islam since I infer you are an educated and not-poor Moslem.

    LOL. Whoa there! No need to make personal attacks here (Re: Welcome to civilized society). A civilized man does not need to resort those statements, my friend. English is my first language so when you don’t associate an adjective to a noun (Muslims) you are unclear who are you referring to.

    And no, I would not be mad if Muslims leave Islam for another religion. Its been happening since the days of Prophet Muhammad SAW. There were also people who pretended to be Muslims called “munafiq” (hypocrites) which I think is the worse. It does not bother me. If they leave it’s their choice, but at the same time for those that leave, there are those that embrace Islam. My girlfriend, a Caucasian American (“bule”), is a convert to Islam. Her parents have disowned her because she’s this all-American beautiful blonde blue eyed girl who abandoned Catholicism for Islam (an “Ayrab” religion). Everyone has their own choices and we have to respect that.

    And yes poverty and economics is the woe of some Muslim communities in the world including the woe of any community. If you don’t have the resources, you will not have access to quality education (religious or secular). Some of the folks preaching Islam in these communities are not qualified to teach it as they make so many errors. Even the US military/intelligence recognizes this and has made an effort to get more moderate voices to preach.

    Peace be with you, Idam!

    ~Tuan – Indonesian American Muslim

  26. avatar Idam H. says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 8:37 am

    To Tuan,

    Shalom Alechem,

    Definitely it seems that the end is about English. I am not as clever as you in this skill since English is my second language.

    English is my first language so when you don’t associate an adjective to a noun (Muslims) you are unclear who are you referring to.

    That is also what I am referring. I, myself, am unclear with your position since you seemed to undermine a statement about Bahai that I brought in my first comment. You try to counter an argument about Bahai but your argument only brings a par position to the Bahai statement. No position stated. That’s why I am asking you the question and also grateful that your position is the same as mine.

    My friend, not many people are civilized. What I experience is that many Moslems I know are willing to do harm and even kill their relatives for the reason of leaving their faith. In my point of view, it is understandable for people to be sad and to do things to show their uneasiness as long as they are not physically hurting people.

    To give you a little bit of information. Those violent acts are not only done by poor and uneducated people. Some of my Moslem friends here in Jakarta, who are middle class people and graduated from respected universities here, also behave the same way. From what I see, religions, any kind of religions, can blind people if they are not living in a civilized society, a society where violence is not the tool to show their feelings.

    Allah bless to you too.

  27. avatar Tuan says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 9:55 am

    My friend, not many people are civilized. What I experience is that many Moslems I know are willing to do harm and even kill their relatives for the reason of leaving their faith. In my point of view, it is understandable for people to be sad and to do things to show their uneasiness as long as they are not physically hurting people.

    To give you a little bit of information. Those violent acts are not only done by poor and uneducated people. Some of my Moslem friends here in Jakarta, who are middle class people and graduated from respected universities here, also behave the same way. From what I see, religions, any kind of religions, can blind people if they are not living in a civilized society, a society where violence is not the tool to show their feelings.

    I appreciate your civilized response. Anyhow, in regards to what you have said, you have to ask yourself WHO is teaching Islam to the your middle class folk? And there is also the case that some of these folks migrate from the rural to the urban area for school or job, etc. where there are uninformed individuals teaching non-Islamic teachings when they are young.

    I admit I have never been to Indonesia or SE Asia as I was born and raised in America and grew up in a very upper-middle class devout educated Muslim community. Much less have any exposure to my heritage since my parents were more concerned about raising successful educated Muslims instead of Indonesian Muslims. My exposure to Indonesia is based on friendships with folks from that region throughout my undergrad studies and graduate studies when some of them come to USA for higher education. My family has a tradition of inviting Indonesian and Malaysian students over for Eid dinner as they are away from their immediate family and like to have a bit of home style cooking. I’d be hard pressed to know that some of the folks in Jakarta that you mention are devout Muslims much less following the correct teachings of Muhammad SAW. A few Indonesians (from Jakarta)I know drink and are drug users yet label themselves Muslims, and a few are a bit sexually loose (men and women). This is their business, not mine, all I can do is maybe inform them and hope they realize error of their ways. Based on my observation and conversations with some Indonesian students, the middle and upper middle class do not have a sense of right or wrong as their is some ambiguity of morals there. Most people know that corruption is rampant in that country and think this is normal. Here in the USA as some Indonesians have mentioned there is a clear distinction of right or wrong. Also, a close friend of mine is a divorcee and told me that there is a stigma attached to Indonesian women who are divocrced. This raised an eyebrow to me cause I said this is not Islamic. So what I am trying to say is the Islam that is that is preached or practiced by some of the folks in Indonesia is not reflective of proper Islamic teachings.

    ~Tuan – Indonesian American Muslim

  28. avatar Rambutan says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Why is it that muslims get all worried and violent when 31 people (which is really not a lot compared to 180 million muslims) convert to something else than islam.

    Inferiority complex??

  29. avatar Idam H. says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 10:46 am

    To Tuan,

    I come from a family with mix religions: Islam, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhism. We are raised to respect other people’s belief no matter how strange it is. It is also my concern for me to respect my fellow Moslem friends and to respect their teachings as far as I could understand about them.

    However, since I started my study in a university around 20 years ago, I saw a disappointing trends. More Moslem friends are becoming self-oriented and develop violent attitudes towards other religions, especially some who are branded by the other fellow Moslem as ‘fanatics’. Even, in other to ‘convert’ other fellow Moslems to their ‘true’ Islam, they were willing to psychologically ‘forced’ them. I don’t point the the type of Moslem in your comment, as we term them “Moslem only in Identity”

    This trend makes me hard to understand what are the proper Islam teachings so if I have a Moslem friend, I can treat them properly. This is a small example, I understand that Moslems should to 5 prayers everyday and some of them cannot be postponed so I always offer a good and clean room at my home for them to do the prayer. But one day, I was bewildered to receive a very reactive rejection that states Moslem should not pray in a room of a Kafir. In later years, people with this kind of teaching are growing larger and larger and now I have to learn ‘probably’ this is the right teaching.

    Another disturbing phenomenon is that it is hard for non-Moslem people to have their own worship place. As you know, the populations are growing and I find out some worship places are unable to accommodate all of their worshippers so it is natural for them to build or use a new place. They eventually could use the place peacefully but after a long time of episodes of people sieges that threatened to burn down the place and heated negotiations helped by other well-known Moslem figures. A growing number of Christian people in Jakarta have to rent cinemas or public buildings every Sunday morning as they are not allowed to have churches. I also ever visited Malaysia a couple times, the trends are similar over there.

    My studies in two Western countries (in the US for 3 years and in New Zealand for 3 another years) open my eyes on how to have a civilized living (at least in my point of view). I dream of seeing Indonesia as a civilized country but seeing those trends I don’t think I could see it in my lifetime. The only thing I can do is to educate many people in my country on how to develop a civilized society by providing good examples from the two countries. But again, some of them have seen me as someone who is trying to challenge their religion.

  30. avatar Tuan says:
    November 5th, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    Idam,

    This trend makes me hard to understand what are the proper Islam teachings so if I have a Moslem friend, I can treat them properly. This is a small example, I understand that Moslems should to 5 prayers everyday and some of them cannot be postponed so I always offer a good and clean room at my home for them to do the prayer. But one day, I was bewildered to receive a very reactive rejection that states Moslem should not pray in a room of a Kafir. In later years, people with this kind of teaching are growing larger and larger and now I have to learn ‘probably’ this is the right teaching.

    Another disturbing phenomenon is that it is hard for non-Moslem people to have their own worship place. As you know, the populations are growing and I find out some worship places are unable to accommodate all of their worshippers so it is natural for them to build or use a new place. They eventually could use the place peacefully but after a long time of episodes of people sieges that threatened to burn down the place and heated negotiations helped by other well-known Moslem figures. A growing number of Christian people in Jakarta have to rent cinemas or public buildings every Sunday morning as they are not allowed to have churches. I also ever visited Malaysia a couple times, the trends are similar over there.

    Again, I would ask you to investigate how are they learning these attitudes? and who is teaching them. Because like I said before none of these folks are learning Islam correctly. Burning down places of worship, for example, is against Islam teachings. What you did in offering a place to pray for them is a nice gesture, though I think what the guy said was not entirely true. Non-Muslim places of worship were allowed in ancient Muslim countries, except in Saudi.Again, none of what these folks are praticiing Islam correctly.

    Though I understand your disorientation, the same thing happens in the civilized US as well amongst the more conservative Christians who are openly intolerant (or secretly intolerant). Here’s one example:

    Quran_oath_controversy_of_the_110th_United_States_Congress

    In mid-November 2006 it was reported that Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to the United States Congress (for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district), “will take his oath of office with his hand upon the Koran, the Islamic holy book.” ….The Controversy became more heated when Rep. Virgil Goode (R – VA) issued a letter to his constituents stating his view that Ellison’s decision to use the Qur’an is a threat to “the values and beliefs traditional to the United States of America…[and] if American citizens don’t wake up and adopt the Virgil Goode position on immigration there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.”…On January 3, 2007, The Washington Post reported that Ellison would use the Qur’an owned by Thomas Jefferson.

    My advice to you, if you want to understand Islam is try to seek out resources that will help you understand, preferabley by Muslims who know the faith inside out. If you have a question try http://www.sunnipath.com and http://www.islamonline.net, as they are very reputed.

    ~Tuan – Indonesian-American Muslim

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