Persecuted Church

Jan 21st, 2008, in News, by

Why there are so many attacks on churches in western Java.

Persecuted Churches Nationally

On 14th January members of the Himpunan Warga Gereja Indonesia (HAGAI), Indonesian Churchgoers Association, visited the offices of the National Human Rights Commission, (Komnas HAM) in Jakarta to complain about attacks against churches and Christian congregations around the country.

Pastor Alma Shepard Supit of HAGAI said:

We're asking that Komnas make very clear its position on religious freedom, that preventing people from performing their religious obligations is a violation of human rights.

The pastor said that in 2007 there were 18 cases of churches being attacked, or forced to close, or vandalised.

Greater Jakarta

He also cited data from the Jakarta Christian Communication Forum that between September 1969 and March 2006 950 churches had been vandalised or burned down, while between March 2006 and August 2007 67 church congregations had suffered intimidation or disturbances from outsiders.

Presently Supit said dozens of churches in the greater Jakarta area found themselves in a "tense" situation.

Another pastor, Novi Suratinoyo, blamed the government for not enforcing the law, and the police for often standing by while church attacks took place.

Idfal Kasim of Komnas HAM said his group often received reports of this nature but regretted that their recommendations rarely carried any force with the authorities. antara

Solo/Surakarta

In Central Java at Christmas 2007 Surakarta police chief Yotce Mende said that 85 out of the 500 churches in the city were considered by the police to be under threat of attack or had problems with local Muslim residents. detik

Why West Java (& Solo)?

Indonesianist Sidney Jones wondered on 3rd January 2008 why West Java was the scene of so many anti-Christian disturbances (and not, presumably, East Java):

It is not clear why religious vigilantism has been such a problem in West Java.

Sidney Jones

And offered one possible explanation:

one theory is that aggressive Protestant evangelicalism there has made inroads in strongly Muslim communities, creating fears of "Christianization".

However she noted that deviant Islamic communities such as Ahmadiyah often suffer a worse fate in West Java (and perhaps are not seen as proselytizing like the evangelicals). crisisgroup

This article in Indonesian - Pengrusakan Terhadap Gereja.


59 Comments on “Persecuted Church”

  1. […] suffers from genocide-amnesia.  Western Javanese participate in the national pass-time of persecuting Christians.  But the governmental department of Overseeing the Peoples’ Beliefs decided not to ban the […]

  2. avatar Janma says:

    Why there are so many attacks on churches in western Java?

    You know…. after reading the article, I came to the same conclusion I always come to.
    Because they can.
    what’s needed is to make it so they can’t.

  3. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Why are churches persecuted?

    I agree with Janma, the main problems is that the persecutors are allowed to break the law and not suffer any consequences, it almost appears that they are above the law?

    There are also two particularly Islamic problems as well;

    1, The fundamentalists carrying out these actions are not following Al Quran, either they are of such low intelligence that they have not read and understood Al Quran or they are lazy and have just followed somebody elses misinterpretations.

    2, The tolerant among the Mainstream Muslims are not standing up against these outrages, again are they following Al Quran?

    I realise that I have posted this information before, but I think it is worth showing again.
    The example of The Prophet in this case, should be of the way he treated the Monastery of St Catherines in Sinai, Egypt. The Monastery asked for the Prophets help and protection, and what follows is a translation of a treaty he draughted for the monks, this document was signed by The Prophet himself, and a copy is still held in the monastery, there is also attached a second treaty to the Najran Christians, again from The Prophet.

    When such clear examples of The Prophets attitude to Christians are available, why are these not shown as examples to the Mainstream Muslims?

    This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them.
    Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them.
    No compulsion is to be on them.
    Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.
    No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses.
    Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
    No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.
    The Muslims are to fight for them.
    If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval. She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.
    Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
    No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).

    This document still exists in the monastery to this day.

    Another example is to the Najran code of Conduct which The Prophet issued to his followers.

    In the year 10 A.H. (631 CE), Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) received a delegation of sixty Christians from Najran in Medinah. The territory of Najran was located south of Bani Khath’am near Yemen, about 450 miles south of Medinah. They were received in the Prophet’s mosque, and the Prophet allowed them to pray in the mosque, which they did facing East. This group of Christians followed Byzantine rite.

    In spite of doctrinal disagreements, the Prophet concluded a treaty with the people of Najran. The Prophet dictated the terms of the treaty to Abdullah b. Abu Bakr, who served as one of his scribes, and it was witnessed by five companions whose names are: Abu Sufyan b. Harb, Ghilan b. Amr, Malik b. Auf, Aqra’ b. Habis, and Mughira b. Shu’ba. The treaty provided religious and administrative autonomy for non-Muslim citizens of the Islamic State. All sincere Muslim rulers have adhered to the founding principles of this treaty in managing the affairs of non-Muslim subjects throughout the centuries.

    The text of the Code of Conduct:

    To the Christians of Najran and its neighbouring territories, the security of God and the pledge of Mohammed the Prophet, the Messenger of God, are extended for their lives, their religion, their land, their property “” to those thereof who are absent as well as to those who are present “” to their caravans, their messengers and their images. The status quo shall be maintained: none of their rights [religious observances] and images shall be changed. No bishop shall be removed from his bishopric, nor a monk from his monastery, nor a sexton from his church “¦ For what in this instrument is contained they have the security of God, and the pledge of Mohammed, the Prophet forever, until doomsday, so long as they give right counsel [to Moslems] and duly perform their obligations, provided they are not unjustly charged therewith.”

    As can be seen even the Defenders of the Islamic Faith in Saudi Arabia do not appear to uphold the Spirit of these documents! What hope is there for their brainwashed followers to be able to do it?

    Peace

  4. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    ‘ Bu Janma,

    C’mon. Don’t you think there’s more to it than that ?

    Maybe not.

  5. avatar Pena Budaya says:

    Well, muslim’s groups attacked churches were not only happened in Indonesia. It was happening in Egypt, Turkey, India..huaa..it is countless. This is not about the Indonesians who committed intolerance towards certain religious groups, this is about how a religion that has brainwashed its followers to became intolerance towards other religions and ignorance to the plurality within society. I am tired with never ending discussion to seek the reasons why these people could end into committed such destructive actions towards certain group of people. Trial the actors especially their leaders who spread the hatred and make sure the accusation reach to life sentence.

    I am surprise that Indonesian’s authorities nor any human right activists not claimed this destructive action as genocide yet. I believe that these destructive actions towards non muslims as committed by the muslims fanatic groups could be considered as genocide. The legal definition of genocide is found in the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). Article 2 of the CPPCG defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”

    This is ruled by Act (UU) No. 26 Year 2000 article 7, 8, 9. We have the law already now it is time to implement it. Only law enforcement can stop such action. No Action Talk Only would not stop genocide.

  6. avatar St.Samparono Alam says:

    Respectfully, I concur with our brothers of both religions, that poor education and wrong interpretations of the Holy Qur’an bring wrong (fanatic/jehadic) responses to a minority who is faithfully obeying the Kitab Suci… to be witnesses of Isa Al Masih salamahualaina.

    As a resident of SUMBAR, I challenge every one of Tanah Air yg tercinta to condemn the practices of violating Religious Freedom, in this very province, who is being led by the honorable (?) Gamawan (“Taliban”) Fauzi. The many small groups of believers in that province have litte access to “established” church buildings for Sunday prayers and ceremonies. It is a travesty for the “Taliban” of W.Sumatera who pretend that Syariah Law is supreme over our national Constitution.

    May someone kindly send to the honorable governor of SUMBAR these treaties that Prophet Muhammad saw made with the Nasrani communities. Maybe the poorly educated of SUMBAR will wake up… and not face the wrath of ALLAH swt (tsunami/flood/earthquakes) that is currently happening.

    Honorable G.T.Fauzi, please focus – as Holy Qur’an al Karim – exhorts us believers on what your people have in their hearts before trying to legislate Syariah Law.

    My respects to all my readers. Servant of Isa Al Masih

  7. avatar Lairedion says:

    Why there are so many attacks on churches in western Java

    A possible reason could be:

    Western Java has always been more “Islamic” than Central and East Java. The Sundanese have stronger ties to Islam compared to their Javanese counterparts. The history of Darul Islam/NII and now the introduction of Sharia-based bylaws in several regencies in Banten and West Java are clear signs of this. I don’t want to state the average urang Sunda is basically more intolerant than the average Javanese but due to their stronger Islamic beliefs they are perhaps more vulnerable to get provoked by fundamentalists and subsequently to carry out such attacks not only towards Christians but also towards Muslims not following mainstream Islam.

    Again this is a possible reason. I dare not to say the Sundanese are intolerant bigots (otherwise my wife will get mad at me ;-)) but we must not also turn a blind eye to the facts. There are quite some articles on IM addressing the problems of intolerance in West Java.

    Bandung Church Attack
    Bigotry in Bandung
    West Java’s Tolerance Problem
    Bethel Church, Bandung
    Preaching in Tasikmalaya
    Bogor Church Closed
    Two Churches “Sealed” In Bogor

    As for Solo the only reason possible I can think of is the Al-Mukmin pesantren of AAB, located in Ngruki near Solo. Perhaps they have much influence on the local Muslim populace with their extremist teachings.

    To conclude. Again it is sad to see the Indonesian authorities are not willing to enforce the law and to protect their minorities. The issue of churches not having permissions to operate is just crap as many mosques are doing the same. Non-Muslims will face more and more difficulties, especially in the regencies in Sumbar, Jabar and Sulsel where Sharia-based bylaws have been imposed.

  8. avatar Rambutan says:

    In addition to Lairedion’s excellent post I would say that a lot of conservative Middle Eastern Islamic teachings are introduced to Indonesia via university networks. Bandung has many universities and the decidedly Islamic background of West Java would make this area more attractive for conservative teachings rather than, say, Yogyakarta. PKS for example grew out of student movements in Bandung.
    Solo is an interesting phenomena, the city is very prone to violent outbreaks. I remember in 1998 there were anti-Chinese riots in Solo while Yogya just one hour away was calm. Partly, because the Sultan intervened.

  9. avatar Cukurungan says:

    Again this is a possible reason. I dare not to say the Sundanese are intolerant bigots (otherwise my wife will get mad at me ;-)) but we must not also turn a blind eye to the facts. There are quite some articles on IM addressing the problems of intolerance in West Java.

    Bandung Church Attack
    Bigotry in Bandung
    West Java’s Tolerance Problem
    Bethel Church, Bandung
    Preaching in Tasikmalaya
    Bogor Church Closed
    Two Churches “Sealed” In Bogor

    It is only a matter with what you want to see the matters, if you see it with a naked eye that is all about “Muslim Bigotry” but depth inside the matters there is a big contradiction why the non-muslim/christian charity love to spend their money in playing trick to convert the poor Muslim while there are plenty non-Muslim who live in miserable condition such as in Timor, Timor-East, Ambon, Papuan are barely neglected by them.

  10. avatar Agusto says:

    Man, you kuffar still don’t understand what islam is all about huh? You listen to the so-called moderate/taqiyya tactician and the quran only or half quran only muslimos too much. islam is all about:

    “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.” Quran 8:39

    Investigate the quran kuffar.

  11. avatar John Smith says:

    Michel Chossudovsky has an excellent article entitled Al Qaeda and the “War on Terrorism” (Global Research, January 20, 2008)

    Extract: “Washington continues to support “” through CIA covert operations “” the development of Islamic fundamentalism, throughout the Middle East, in the former Soviet Union as well in China and India.

    “Throughout the developing world, the growth of sectarian, fundamentalist and other such organizations tends to serve U.S. interests. These various organizations and armed insurgents have been developed, particularly in countries where state institutions have collapsed under the brunt of the IMF-sponsored economic reforms.

    “These fundamentalist organizations contribute by destroying and displacing secular institutions.

    “Islamic fundamentalism creates social and ethnic divisions. It undermines the capacity of people to organize against the American Empire. These organizations or movements, such as the Taliban, often foment “opposition to Uncle Sam” in a way which does not constitute any real threat to America’s broader geopolitical and economic interests.”

    The CIA also promotes Christian fundamentalism.

  12. avatar Bogalakon says:

    Dear Augusto,

    Where did you get all the words in parenthesis?
    Are these also quoted from Al-qur’an, or from your mind?

  13. avatar Lairedion says:

    @Rambutan

    Thanks for your appreciation. Interesting view on the Bandung universities. Many Bandung residents are having students “indekos” so there’s a lot of exchange between them. I am not quite sure if that counts for the whole of western Java but maybe Mrs. Sidney Jones can investigate this further.

    @Cukurungan

    Obviously the truth is hard to swallow for you. Just stick to the subject of this thread, identify the real problem and don’t go to other issues.

  14. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Augusto,

    Bigoted and ignorant!

    The translations are:

    YUSUFALI: And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.

    PICKTHAL: And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do.

    SHAKIR: And fight with them until there is no more persecution and religion should be only for Allah; but if they desist, then surely Allah sees what they do.

    The verse was revealed after the Battle of Badr, when the followers of The Prophet, fought against the Kufr of the Quraish, to stop their persecution and oppression of the followers of The Prophet.

    The additions by the translator of the verse you gave twist the meaning completely from the original arabic.

    The word fitnah:

    Ibn Faaris said: “Fa-ta-na is a sound root which indicates testing or trial.” (Maqaayees al-Lughah, 4/472). This is the basic meaning of the word fitnah in Arabic. In this verse it should be translated as oppression or persecution, The Quraish, were persecuting and opressing the followers of The Prophet, the followers of The Prophet were being tested and tried in their belief.

    It is not a command for Muslims to attack Christians! It is clear to anybody who can read and understand Al Quran, that Christians as People of the Book have to be respected and left to their religion as given to them by Allah.

    The Christians and the Jews whether you like it or not are followers of Allah’s Scripture and the translator of the verse you gave would be well advised to read the following verses:

    And We gave Moses the Book, in order that they might receive guidance.
    And We made the son of Mary and his mother as a Sign: We gave them both shelter on high ground, affording rest and security and furnished with springs.
    O ye messengers! enjoy (all) things good and pure, and work righteousness: for I am well-acquainted with (all) that ye do.
    And verily this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other).
    But people have cut off their affair (of unity), between them, into sects: each party rejoices in that which is with itself.
    23:49-53

    I would suggest it is you who needs to investigate Al Quran, as you obviously don’t understand it at the moment.

  15. avatar dewaratugedeanom says:

    Mohammed Khafi said

    It is not a command for Muslims to attack Christians! It is clear to anybody who can read and understand Al Quran, that Christians as People of the Book have to be respected and left to their religion as given to them by Allah.

    And what has been said about so-called polytheists and pantheists (Hindus), atheist Buddhists and Taoists? Do they also share the same respect, not being ‘People of the Book’?

  16. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    dewaratugedeanom,

    Al Quran clearly states that Allah has sent messengers to all people:

    For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messenger, (with the Command), “Serve Allah, and eschew Evil”: of the People were some whom Allah guided, and some on whom error became inevitably (established). So travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who denied (the Truth). 16:36

    Just bear in mind that the word Allah is being used because this is from an arabic Quran.

    Because Allah does not explain to us who he sent these messengers to, it is simple logic that we cannot reject anybody as having received Divine Revelation, we after all are only human and do not know. What we do know from Al Quran is that Allah, wants us to accept that He is our only creator.

    I am certainly no expert on Hindu Veda’s but have gleaned this information from Rig Veda, which I am lead to believe is the oldest Veda:

    “O friends, do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One. Praise Him alone.” [RV. 8:1:1]

    “Verily, great is the glory of the Divine Creator.” [RV. 5:1:81]

    and

    He is one only without a second.” [Chandogya Upanishad 6:2:1]

    There is only one God, not the second; not at all, not at all, not in the least bit.”[Brahma Sutra]

    Sounds like One God to me! Maybe the Hindus are not following their divine scriptures?

    Certainly the majortiy of the Jews don’t, as they substituted Torah with Talmud, the majority of Christians don’t, they substituted Injeel (The words of Nabi Isa) with the Gospels, and Mainstream Muslims have allowed themselves to be distracted from Al Quran by sunnah and hadith, why should the majority of Hindu’s be any different?

    The Gita says:

    “Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires surrender unto demigods and follow the particular rules and regulations of worship according to their own natures.”[Bhagavad Gita 7:20]

    These were just the problems that Nabi Isa was sent to correct with the Jews and which Nabi Mohammed, was sent to correct with the Arabs!

    As to Buddhists being atheist, is this correct? I have never heard or read a Buddhist making the statement that God does not exist. I think it would be better to describe them as Agnostic?

    As The Buddha said:

    “Do not believe in what you have heard. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything because it is rumored & spoken of by many. Do not believe merely because the written statement of some old sage is produced. Do not believe in conjectures. Do not believe in that as truth to which you have become attached by habit. Do not believe merely on the authority of your teachers & elders. After observation & analysis, when it agrees with reason and is conducive to the benefit of one and all, then accept it & live up to it.” Kalama Sutta

    It seems to me that this is wonderful advice, which could be of great benefit to all mainstream religious beleivers, perhaps then we would find the tolerance, caring and loving which is missing from many of their behaviours.

    I am afraid I know absolutely nothing about Taoism at all, but if their religious beliefs prevent them from attacking others beliefs, then I can see no reason for them to not be respected either.

    Surely this is all that God wants from us isn’t it? Acceptance of Him, peace, tolerance, respect, equality and love for all of our brothers and sisters.

    Right, I am ready for the haters to start their tirades against me! but for me this is Islam.

    Peace

  17. avatar Lairedion says:

    Hello Mas Khafi and Mas dewaratugedeanom yth,

    Interesting discussion over here.

    Sounds like One God to me! Maybe the Hindus are not following their divine scriptures?

    Hinduism is a little bit tricky. In the Rig Veda, the Divine One/Creator probably refers to Brahman, the Supreme Being in Hinduism. I would not say that Brahman is the same as God in Judaism, Christianity and Islam however the concept of a personal God as a universal, omnipotent Supreme Being who is both immanent and transcendent, is prevalent in Hinduism. But then again in absolute monotheism there is no such thing as immanence, only transcedence.

    As to Buddhists being atheist, is this correct? I have never heard or read a Buddhist making the statement that God does not exist. I think it would be better to describe them as Agnostic?

    No, Buddhists generally won’t make such statements and the Buddha himself has stated deities do exist but Buddhism is crystal clear that it does not consider God as the Creator of the World and/or the human race as in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It’s better than to describe Buddhism as non-theistic in stead of atheistic or agnostic. This is totally opposed to the Quran who says that Allah wants us to accept that He is our only Creator.

    but if their religious beliefs prevent them from attacking others beliefs, then I can see no reason for them to not be respected either.

    Couldn’t agree more. This must be the basis. Unfortunately a lot of people don’t think likewise which brings us more or less back to the subject of this thread.

  18. avatar Teng says:

    Hinduism is a little bit tricky. In the Rig Veda, the Divine One/Creator probably refers to Brahman, the Supreme Being in Hinduism.

    Brahman is the creator, but he is not the Supreme Being in Hinduism… in fact strangely enough he is the ‘lesser’ of the big three. Vishnu the Keeper has more support… and to my surprise Shiva the Destroyer even has a bigger fanbase.

    Fact remains that Hinduism is by no means a monotheistic believe. There are hundreds of Gods and three of them are the most important. Therefor I dont agree with Mohammed Kafi’s description of Hinduism.

    Nor do I agree his intepretation of Judaism and Christianity. For me it is to much Qu’ran based. The believes I have, the Book I consider true, and the Prophet I want to follow are not dependend on a scripture that came after that.

    Yet I really respect Pak Kafi for explaining his believes and trying to build bridges between followers of other believes. I will praise him for that. I hope to learn a lot more about Islam from him. But my Christianity is not ‘justified’ by his Islam (and vice versa ofcourse)

  19. avatar Cukurungan says:

    And what has been said about so-called polytheists and pantheists (Hindus), atheist Buddhists and Taoists? Do they also share the same respect, not being ‘People of the Book’?

    In now days, the people of the book as mentioned in Quran have been extinct in this world because almost 99.99% of all Christian and Judaism follower do not follow anymore God commandments written in the holy scripture sent down to them.

    Everyone know that more than 300 years Muslim in here had been live side by side in harmony with Dewi KwanIm worshipers but everything had been changed after the fake Jesus followers plundering our country.

  20. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Teng,

    I was not trying to describe Hinduism, I am to my shame sorely lacking in knowledge of the subject! I was simply stating that there are verses in Hindu scripture which appear to describe a supreme being, a creator. I was suggesting that maybe like most other religions, the original intent of this supreme being was covered by later manmade additions to the scriptures.

    My views are certainly Quran based as you say, that is where my belief’s come from, that is not to say that I cannot and will not take knowledge from for example, Torah and Injeel, or indeed the other divine scriptures, I think it is necessary to search for God’s wisdom where ever we can. Al Quran clearly states that it is not a replacement for earlier scriptures, but a confirmation, a clarification and a warning.

    Whilst you say that your Christianity is not justified by Al Quran. It is not correct the other way around. My Islam is certainly strengthened by the example of Nabi Isa. A caring and compassionate man, who strived for justice for the poor and oppressed in society, and who spread a message of brotherly love, who advocated a return to Gods Law. Al Quran tells me to treat all of the prophets equally, and Nabi Isa’s teachings are just as relevant in modern society as they were in his day. I just don’t accept the concepts of Nabi Isa as God or Trinity.

    —————————————————————————————————–

    Cuk you said:

    there is a big contradiction why the non-muslim/christian charity love to spend their money in playing trick to convert the poor Muslim while there are plenty non-Muslim who live in miserable condition such as in Timor, Timor-East, Ambon, Papuan are barely neglected by them.

    Just remember this verse:
    To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) Towards all that is good. Wheresoever ye are, Allah will bring you Together. For Allah Hath power over all things. 2:148

    Maybe the Christians do win converts with their charitable deeds, maybe not. But just take Allahs advice, compete with them in all that is good, giving charity is good, if you want to win the race, do more good, and forget about trying to create animosity. Direct your obvious energy from the bad, creating animosity, to the good, giving charity and helping the poor.

    “O ye who believe! Remain steadfast for Allah, bearing witness to justice. Do not allow your hatred for others make you swerve to wrongdoing and turn you away from justice. Be just; that is closer to true piety.” 5:8

    Peace

  21. avatar Janma says:

    Mohammad Khafi, you are right. In hinduism there is a supreme God. The Brahman is not him however, but only his ‘effulgence’. It is the impersonalists belief that there is no personal god, but that god is an all pervading energy in the universe. This is known as Brahman.
    In india shiva probably has the most followers, but not really because he is considered supreme, (although many do consider him the most powerful for this world) au contraire, because he is the lower… he can give boons to those who worship him, mystic siddhi’s or powers and so on…. he is neccesary for black magic. Brahma is hardly ever worshipped by hindus’ although he is the ‘creator’ he just works under the supreme lord, and was cursed to never have an earthly temple…. at least in india there are no temples to Brahma, (in bali there are though) the supreme godhead is considered to be visnu… even in the vedas. Creating and destroying are easy….. but Visnu does the maintaining….
    NOt all hindu’s will agree 100% to this though…. there are many different sects.

    As for Buddhists, I don’t know about china tibet etc, but my husbands family is buddhist and they always start everything with praying to ‘Tien’ who they say is God. I sometimes think that was an especially indonesian buddhist thing to do, brought on by fear from soeharto days, when it would have been dangerous to not have a God. I don’t know… I’m pretty sure the buddhists in India also believe that the brahman (though they call it another name…) the impersonal all pervading spiritual light, or energy is the divinity in this world, but they don’t worship it like monotheists do, as a person.
    I don’t understand monotheisim (middle eastern versions) at all….. I would never follow blindly some book that told me to crush, hate or look down on anyone else. I see muhammad khafi bending over backwards to try and fit the quran into his humanist framework, it’s admirable…. but for me, just too much work…. for not enough result.

  22. avatar Cukurungan says:

    Khafi wrote :
    Maybe the Christians do win converts with their charitable deeds, maybe not.

    me:
    How can muslim consider them as a True Christian while they worship to a man instead of God

  23. avatar Cukurungan says:

    Pena Budaya wrote :
    The legal definition of genocide is found in the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (CPPCG). Article 2 of the CPPCG defines genocide as “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”This is ruled by Act (UU) No. 26 Year 2000 article 7, 8, 9. We have the law already now it is time to implement it. Only law enforcement can stop such action. No Action Talk Only would not stop genocide.

    Me :

    It is much better for you to change your nickname to becomes “Pena Infidels” or “Pena Crusader” rather than Pena Budaya.

    Because you always try to impress others that muslim are major havoc originator while the real life say that almost all human great tragedy were caused by western christian deeds.

    In now day’s, there’s no other leaders quite fit to be nominated as the genocide champion except Bush, Blair and Howard becoz those leaders deliberately twisted intelligent information in orders to get an economic gain at cost of death more than 150 thousand Iraqis and poor US citizens.

    I tell you that Infidels has no moral ground at all to talk the genocide issue in front of the muslim.

  24. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Cuk asked:

    How can muslim consider them as a True Christian while they worship to a man instead of God

    But are they worshipping the man rather than God? Al Quran says:

    Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve. 2:62

    There must be believing Christians, otherwise Allah would never have made this statement. As to who they are, we have to leave that decision to God, He clearly states:

    Those to whom We have sent the Book study it as it should be studied: They are the ones that believe therein: Those who reject faith therein,- the loss is their own.2:121

    To thee We sent the Scripture in truth, confirming the scripture that came before it, and guarding it in safety: so judge between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging from the Truth that hath come to thee. To each among you have we prescribed a law and an open way. If Allah had so willed, He would have made you a single people, but (His plan is) to test you in what He hath given you: so strive as in a race in all virtues. The goal of you all is to Allah; it is He that will show you the truth of the matters in which ye dispute;
    And this (He commands): Judge thou between them by what Allah hath revealed, and follow not their vain desires, but beware of them lest they beguile thee from any of that (teaching) which Allah hath sent down to thee. And if they turn away, be assured that for some of their crime it is Allah’s purpose to punish them. And truly most men are rebellious.
    Do they then seek after a judgment of (the days of) ignorance? But who, for a people whose faith is assured, can give better judgment than Allah?
    5:48-50

    Peace
    —————————————————————————————————-

    Janma,

    Thank you for the insight into Hinduism and Buddhism, my exposure to both religions is somewhat limited!

    You said:

    but they don’t worship it like monotheists do, as a person.

    I think I have to disagree with you there, certainly the Jewish faith consider God to be beyond any human comprehension, Islam also considers God in this way. What you have said may of course apply to Christianity which has the concept of trinity and many depictions in art of God as a white bearded old man sitting around in the clouds.

    And please don’t make jokes about me bending over backwards, at my age I am starting to have enough problems bending over forwards! 😉

    Peace

  25. avatar Agusto says:

    Dear Bogalakon,

    That verse Verse 8:39 I quoted is from Hilali & Khan transl and all parenthetical and bracketed insertions are in Hilali & Khan, not from my mind, you should read more quran. Check it out for yourself. Now are you satisfied?

  26. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    For those who wish to read translations of Al Quran, here is a guide to Assessing English Translations of Quran.

    What do they have to say about Hilali and Khan’s translation: here are a few excerpts:

    Whereas most other translators have tried to render the Qur’an applicable to a modern readership, this Saudi-financed venture tries to impose the commentaries of Tabari (d. 923 C.E.), Qurtubi (d. 1273 C.E.), and Ibn Kathir (d. 1372 C.E.), medievalists who knew nothing of modern concepts of pluralism.

    The numerous interpolations make this translation particularly problematic….

    From the beginning, the Hilali and Muhsin Khan translation reads more like a supremacist Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian polemic than a rendition of the Islamic scripture.

    Contemporary political disputes also pollute the translation, marring what should be a reflection of timeless religion.

    Although this Saudi-sponsored effort, undertaken before 9-11, is a serious liability for American Muslims in particular, it still remains present in Sunni mosques, probably because of its free distribution by the Saudi government.

    Augusto, perhaps you should read an alternative Quran, one more strictly adhereing to the original arabic text, and less influenced by mediaeval theological thinking and modern political corruption.

  27. avatar Agusto says:

    Moh Kaffi,

    You call me bigoted and ignorant? I was just quoting the quran. Kaffi, I know you would do anything just to defend islam. You prefer to live in denial and play taqqiya with the kuffar. You are more dangerous than Osama, he is honest, he tells kuffar what islam is all about. But you prefer to lie, white wash and sugar coat islam to fool the gullibles kaffir and stab them from the back.

    You said “The verse was revealed after the Battle of Badr, when the followers of The Prophet, fought against the Kufr of the Quraish, to stop their persecution and oppression of the followers of The Prophet.” Where did you get all these idea? Please give me the source. Add to that the quran is valid throughout times, so all the verses in the quran are still valid today and not abrogated by any later verses.
    You said “The additions by the translator of the verse you gave twist the meaning completely from the original arabic.” The verse I quoted was translated by hilali and khan and it has the same meaning as the verse you gave me from usc-msa. Now tell me who is twisting meaning here?
    You said the quraish were persecuting the followers of pedomoh? Give me the source. You try to explain the meaning of fitnah by taking it from an Islamic website design to fool the gullibles. Why don’t you just google the word “fitnah” and see what they say about it.
    I wonder why muslims always like to mention love people of the book and also kill them? Is it not a problem with that? If you love them so much there won’t be that killing spree for kaffir today, not to mention how you muslimos should treat those kaffir pagans, their only option is either convert to islam or be killed. So much for “religion of peace” huh?
    I don’t understand what you are babbling in your last paragraph. Are you try to relate the bible with islam again? I thought the bible are all corrupted.

    ____________________

    Kaffi,

    You will soon gang up with “no sharia” version of quran. Good luck.

  28. avatar Lairedion says:

    Teng said:

    Brahman is the creator, but he is not the Supreme Being in Hinduism”¦ in fact strangely enough he is the ‘lesser’ of the big three. Vishnu the Keeper has more support”¦ and to my surprise Shiva the Destroyer even has a bigger fanbase

    As I said Hinduism is a little bit tricky. You must not confuse Brahman with Brahma, who is one of the trimurti, next to Shiva and Vishnu.

    Mohammad Khafi, you are right. In hinduism there is a supreme God. The Brahman is not him however, but only his ‘effulgence’. It is the impersonalists belief that there is no personal god, but that god is an all pervading energy in the universe. This is known as Brahman.

    The concept of the Divine One/Creator as described in the Rig Veda is probably monism. Monism is the metaphysical and theological view that All is One and this is exactly what Janma is saying here. Correct me if I’m wrong, Mbak Janma. We can see some kind of concept also in Kebatinan, wich says that God is inside you and God is everywhere.

    If we look at the first principle of the Pancasila, Belief in the one and only God (Ketuhanan yang Maha Esa), how should we read this? Did the founding fathers actually meant monotheism but did they include the monism of Hinduism and subsequently accepted polytheism for the sake of the country’s unity? It is a political compromise par excellence but it still shuts out Buddhism, which is non-theistic and of course animists and atheists.

    I think it’s very difficult to find some similarities between the Abrahamic religions (especially Islam) and Hinduism, let alone Buddhism. Siddharta Gautama could have been a messenger of God? I don’t think so when the Quran states: For We assuredly sent amongst every People a messenger, (with the Command), “Serve Allah, and eschew Evil”. Buddhism does not serve Allah or any other god.

    Mohammed Khafi, I admire your tolerance but I can understand dewaratugedeanom’s question or perhaps uneasiness about the Islamic or Quranic view towards Hinduism (monism and polytheism) and Buddhism (non-theism). I just don’t believe Hindus, Buddhists and Taoists (which I don’t know anything of) share the same respect as People from the Book. The Quran also states that the religion is not compulsory and for me there is my religion and for you there’s your religion. From a monotheistic point of view I don’t think these also applies to Hinduism, Buddhism or other non-Abrahamic religions or philosophies. But if I’m wrong I’d like to hear from you.

    To get back to the subject the law must be enforced by the Indonesian authorities to protect its people from attacks and violence! If Christians are attacking mosques the same rules must apply.

  29. avatar Teng says:

    You must not confuse Brahman with Brahma, who is one of the trimurti, next to Shiva and Vishnu

    My bad hehe

    I indeed meant Brahma, not Brahman

  30. avatar Mohammed Khafi says:

    Agusto,

    You said:

    lie, white wash and sugar coat islam to fool the gullibles kaffir and stab them from the back.

    I don’t think that using translations of Al Quran that show tolerance, can be described in those terms, I have no wish to stab anybody in the back, I only wish to see, all peoples of all faiths at peace with one another and tolerant of their differences, it seems to me that you are the one spreading the hatred and intolerance, and creating suspicion and mistrust.

    You also said:

    You said “The verse was revealed after the Battle of Badr, when the followers of The Prophet, fought against the Kufr of the Quraish, to stop their persecution and oppression of the followers of The Prophet.” Where did you get all these idea? Please give me the source. Add to that the quran is valid throughout times, so all the verses in the quran are still valid today and not abrogated by any later verses.

    The history of the early days of Arab conversion to Islam under Nabi Mohammed is well documented in Sira, Ibn Ishaq’s Life of the Prophet for example, once stripped of the fanciful embellishments, normal for works of its type in the middle ages gives a timeline and events. There are numerous other sources which can be quoted for cross reference, but I will not waste my time in giving them to you because, I don’t really think you are interested in increasing you knowledge or tolerance.

    Your lack of knowledge is shown in your statement that all verses of Quran are still valid today. They are only valid when understood in historical context, something which you clearly know nothing about.

    You said:

    “The additions by the translator of the verse you gave twist the meaning completely from the original arabic.” The verse I quoted was translated by hilali and khan and it has the same meaning as the verse you gave me from usc-msa. Now tell me who is twisting meaning here?

    Your verse read:

    “And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism: i.e. worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]. But if they cease (worshipping others besides Allah), then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do.” Quran 8:39

    One of my verses said:

    And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. But if they cease, then lo! Allah is Seer of what they do.

    I think the difference is clear, Your choosen translation is urging violence against disbeleivers and polytheists in the whole world, urging that the fight must go on until they are all converted to whatever twisted version of Islam is being promoted by your translation.

    The translation I have selected which is more representative of the commonly accepted translations, is urging The Prophets followers to fight persecution, but only until that persecution stops.

    Yes just who is twisting the meaning? The verse which represents the most commonly available translation which I quoted or your quoted verse which is sponsored by the Wahabbi influenced Petrodollars of Saudi Arabia?

    You said:

    You try to explain the meaning of fitnah by taking it from an Islamic website design to fool the gullibles.

    Classical Arabic is Classical Arabic. I gave you the root of the word! Some other examples:

    Al-Azhari said: “The Arabic word fitnah includes meanings of testing and trial. The root is taken from the phrase fatantu al-fiddah wa’l-dhahab (I assayed (tested the quality of) the silver and gold), meaning I melted the metals to separate the bad from the good. Similarly, Allaah says in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning): ‘(It will be) a Day when they will be tried [yuftanoona] (punished, i.e. burnt) over the Fire!’ [al-Dhaariyaat 51:13], meaning, burning them with fire.” (Tahdheeb al-Lughah, 14/196).

    Ibn Faaris said: “Fa-ta-na is a sound root which indicates testing or trial.” (Maqaayees al-Lughah, 4/472). This is the basic meaning of the word fitnah in Arabic.

    Ibn al-Atheer said: “Fitnah: trial or test”¦ The word is often used to describe tests in which something disliked is eliminated.

    Later it was also often used in the sense of sin, kufr (disbelief), fighting, burning, removing and diverting.” (al-Nihaayah, 3/410. Ibn Hajar said something similar in al-Fath, 13/3).

    Note the last sentence, the meaning has been changed to suit somebody interpretation and twist the teachings of Al Quran.

    Your last statement was:

    I wonder why muslims always like to mention love people of the book and also kill them? Is it not a problem with that? If you love them so much there won’t be that killing spree for kaffir today, not to mention how you muslimos should treat those kaffir pagans, their only option is either convert to islam or be killed. So much for “religion of peace” huh?
    I don’t understand what you are babbling in your last paragraph. Are you try to relate the bible with islam again? I thought the bible are all corrupted.

    I will answer that with the same answer I gave you in August 31st 2006 on another thread here:

    Anybody can go to any of the holy books and twist them to suit their needs. These people need educating and correcting but making inflammatory statements such as yours above only fan the flames of mistrust. If you want to argue a point there are plenty of ways of doing it without resorting to insults, try a little intellect and intelligent reasoning.

    “And the good deed and the evil deed will never be equal; O listener! Repel the evil deed with a good one, thereupon the one between whom and you was enmity, will become like a close friend.” 41:34

    You were also describe I believe as a right wing, muslim-bashing, conservative nutjob.

    I see you haven’t learnt very much in the last eighteen months!

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