Editorial: A Divided Islam Will Threaten Indonesia
The global conflict between Shiites and Sunnis is being felt here in Indonesia.
The country has witnessed a series of clashes and deadly attacks across the archipelago, while its majority Sunni population continues to deliver public statements of condemnation.
Some preachers have even gone so far as to claim the Shiites are not part of Islam, and must therefore be expelled from the country — with violence if need be.
This growing animosity is unprecedented. Never before in the history of this nation have these two groups displayed so much aggression toward one another.
Indonesia has been a refuge for Sunnis and Shiites even before its independence from colonial rule. The two Muslim communities lived side by side in peace, and even fought together in pursuit of independence. In the 70 years since then, the conflict between the Sunnis and Shiites has been a very recent phenomenon.
It’s not a coincidence that tensions arose in Indonesia at almost the exact same time that clashes between the two groups peaked into a series of wars in the Middle East.
We fear that as fighting in the region escalates, so will the hostility in Indonesia. It is, therefore, crucial for the government to maintain a watchful eye on “hot spots” of violence between the two groups in order to successfully intervene and prevent further chaos. However, the state — including the police and military — must remember to remain neutral in the conflict.
Indonesia cannot tolerate even the slightest religious conflict within its borders, and must act swiftly against those spreading hatred. We call on both Shiites and Sunnis to live peacefully as Indonesian Muslim brothers and sisters.
The post Editorial: A Divided Islam Will Threaten Indonesia appeared first on The Jakarta Globe.
Source: The Jakarta Globe