Diversity of Indonesia, The View of Islam

Posted: September 15, 2012 in Learning Islam
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Physically, Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 16,000 of large and small islands, whether inhabited or not, and the water almost 2 million square miles. In socio-cultural, Indonesia consists of various races, languages, customs, and religion. All of that shows how plural Indonesia is.

Official data from 2002-2003 said, 88 percent of Indonesia’s population is Muslim, 6 percent Protestant, 3 percent Catholic, 2 percent Hindu, 1 percent Buddhist, and the rest is other faiths. “Unofficial” data mentions that 80 percent of population is Muslim and Protestant/Catholic is 15 percent. Meanwhile, annual growth of Protestants/Catholics in Indonesia is 2.5 percent and Muslim is 1.9 percent.

It is clear that the majority of Indonesia’s population is Muslim. But in the Muslim community there is a complex diversity. Shia-Sunni dichotomy in Indonesia is not as sharp as in other Muslim countries. Still, there are a variety of different streams, though essentially the same. Diversity is institutionalized in various organizations. Two of the largest are Muhammadiyah (composed of around 30 million followers) and NU (about 40 million followers).

In addition to religious diversity, ethnic variation has also become important in Indonesia. Although Indonesia’s ethnic majority are “native” (the top three are Java 42 percent, Sunda 15 percent and Malay 3.5 percent), but due to the dominance of economic, ethnic minorities, Chinese, became very important in the mosaic of Indonesia. Although there were only about 3 percent, 80 percent ethnic Chinese dominate the personal assets of the Indonesian economy.

Islam considers diversity

The concept of plurality or diversity is sunnatullah. God created man and nature with different conditions so that we can know and complement each other.

1. Islam: religion of equality.

The essence of Islam is monotheism, in which all human beings are created by one God, that all men are equal and honored, regardless of skin color, social class, ethnicity, and race.

“And indeed We have honored the children of Adam …” (17:70)

“O mankind, We created you from a male and a female and made you peoples nation and tribes that you may know each other. Verily the noblest among you in the sight of God is the most righteous of you. Surely Allah is Knower, Aware. “(49:13)

2. Islam considers human life sacred.

“Therefore, we set (a law) for the Children of Israel that whoever kills a human being, not because people (kill) someone else, or for spreading mischief in the land, would be as if he slew the man entirely. And if any one saved a life, it is as if he saved the life of the whole people … ” (5:32)

3. Justice and legal equality.

Islam teaches Muslims to resolve all issues fairly, regardless of the consequences. In the eyes of the law and justice there is no difference between Muslims and non-Muslims.

“Verily, Allah tells you to deliver the message to those who deserve it, and (telling you) if the laws set among men so that you establish a fair …” (4:58)

“Verily, Allah tells (you) to be fair and do good, giving to kinsfolk, and God forbid of indecency, munkar and hostility. He teaches you that ye may take heed. ” (16:90)

“O you who believe, be ye really upholders of justice, bearing witness for Allah even as against yourselves, or your parents and relatives. If he is rich or poor, Allah knows better kemaslahatannya. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from the truth. And if ye distort (words) or decline to do justice, verily Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do. ” (4:135)

“O you who believe, let you become the people who always uphold the (truth) for Allah, bearing witness with justice. And do not ever something of the hatred towards, encouraging you to do injustice. Be fair, as fair it is closer to piety. And fear Allah, surely Allah is Aware of what you do. ” (5:8)

4. There is no compulsion in religion.

Islam insists that there is no compulsion in religion, and people of different faiths are forbidden to be forced to convert to Islam. The sharp sword of Islam is for the aggressor, those who want to destroy Islam and Muslims, and those who do mischief on earth.

“There is no compulsion to (enter) the religion (Islam); actually has clearly the right rather than the wrong path. Therefore whoever reneges to Evil and believes in Allah, then indeed he has adhered to a very strong rope knots that will never break. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. ” (2:256)

“Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, (but) do not transgress limits, for Allah loveth not transgressors.” (2:190)

“And fight them until there is no more fitnah and (thus) compliance is solely for Allah. If they desist (from hostile to you), then there is no enmity (again), except to people who do wrong. ” (2:193)

“And the people who defend themselves after abused, there is no sin on them. The blame is on those who act wrongfully towards humans and beyond the earth without right. They got a painful punishment. ” (42:41-42)

5. Good goal to be achieved in a good way

“And not equal good and evil. Repel (evil) with a better way, then all of a sudden people among you there was enmity between him and seems to have a very loyal friend. ” (41:34)

“Call upon (people) to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good lessons and deny them in a good way ….” (16:125)

“And do not curse the gods they worship besides Allah, lest they should abuse Allah exceeding the limits of knowledge. Thus have We made every people their deeds. Then they return to their Lord, and He told them what they were doing before. ” (6:108)

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