Indonesian perspective on Islamofascism

[Imported from Whale Oil Beef Hooked on Blogger]

In the Washington Post is an article by Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid and C. Holland Taylor. Wahid you may remember was President of Indonesia from 1999-2001. Check his Wikipedia entry for some interesting reading. You know the guy, blind and doddery….read this and you won’t think so anymore.

Wahid makes some interesting comments about the ideology of hatredand suggests ways to destroy Islamofascism.

The latest suicide bombings on the resort island of Bali appear to have been carried out by young Indonesian Muslims indoctrinated in an ideology of hatred. Once again the cult of death has proved its ability to recruit misguided fanatics and incite them to violate Islam’s most sacred teachings in the very name of God. The only way to break this vicious cycle is by discrediting the perverse ideology that underlies and motivates such brutal acts of terrorism.

Wahid then gives a history of Islamic terrorism in Indonesia and it’s origins and main instigators.

The largest such group was Laskar Jihad (“Warriors of Jihad”), led by an Indonesian of Arab descent whose ancestors came from the same province in Yemen as those of Osama bin Laden. Jafar Umar Thalib is a veteran of the Afghan jihad and knows bin Laden personally. Backed by spiteful generals close to the disgraced Suharto regime, Thalib sounded the call to jihad, and thousands of young Muslims flocked to his green banner to slaughter Indonesian Christians in the name of God.

Despite his orders, the Generals at the time ignored them, these fanatics embarked on a 3 year reign of terror killing over 10,000.

An unholy alliance of fundamentalist jihadists, Islamist generals and people close to the Suharto family ensured that thousands of Laskar Jihadists poured into Ambon and the Malukus.

Once there, they spread out in the Muslim communities and launched devastating raids on neighboring Christian enclaves, burning and desecrating churches; destroying homes; and slaughtering thousands of men, women and children.

Wahid then goes on to suggest ways of defeating the ideology of the terrorists.

One of the people watching this tragedy unfold was a brilliant young musician named Ahmad Dhani. Leader of the immensely popular rock band Dewa, Dhani began to use his musical platform to influence millions of fans in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia to resist the tide of religious extremism.

In response to Laskar Jihad’s atrocities, and to discredit the appeal of fundamentalist ideology, Dhani composed the best-selling album “Laskar Cinta” (“Warriors of Love”). Released in November 2004, it quickly rose to the top of the charts as millions of young Indonesians embraced its message of love, peace and tolerance.

Dhani and the other members of Dewa have presented Indonesia’s youth with a stark choice, and one easy for the vast majority to answer: Do they want to join the army of jihad, or the army of love?

What do the radical Muslim clerics have to say about all this?

In response, numerous radical Muslim groups have accused Dhani — who is a devout Sufi, or mystically inclined Muslim — of being an infidel, an apostate (code words inciting violence) and a Zionist agent. They have hauled him into court on charges of defaming Islam and seek to ban his use of rock music to promote a spiritual and progressive interpretation of Islam that threatens the appeal of their own Wahhabi-inspired extremism.

Undeterred Dhani is announcing his lates project to launch another “ideological smart bomb”

in the form of a song that uses the revelatory tone of the Koran to declare: “Truth dwells in the hearts of those who love and are free of hatred; the hearts of those who hate . . . are possessed by Satan.”

Wahid concludes;

Dhani and his group are on the front lines of a global conflict, defending Islam from its fanatical hijackers. In a world all too often marred by hatred and violence committed in the name of religion, they seek to rescue an entire generation from Wahhabi-financed extremists whose goal is to transform Muslim youth into holy warriors and suicide bombers. For every young Indonesian seduced by the ideology of hatred and fanaticism — including those responsible for the recent, awful attacks in Bali — countless others see through the extremists’ web of lies and hatred, in no small part thanks to the visionary courage of people like Ahmad Dhani. For as they listen to Dewa’s music, the hearts of millions of young Indonesians have been inspired to declare: “No to the warriors of jihad! Yes to the warriors of love!”

And here was me thinking Wahid was a blind old fool. Clearly this guy still has his wits about him.

 


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