Feting pluralism in Ramadhan

The Jakarta Post | Editorial

There is no better theme to celebrate during this year’s Ramadhan than pluralism. The fact that Muslims in Indonesia are widely divided about when the holy fasting month begins is both a symbol and a reminder of the pluralism that exists among the millions of adherents to Islam in this country…………..

 Celebrating pluralism this Ramadhan would be particularly timely since there have been signs of late of rising intolerance among people of different religions.

 Followers of Ahmadiyah and Shia have been the targets of violent attacks because of their faith. Christians, the largest religious minority group, have felt the heat also, with many being prevented from building houses of worship. In almost all instances of religious intolerance, Muslims or those professing to act for Islam are the culprits.

This year’s Ramadhan would therefore be a good time for Muslims, who make up about 88 percent of the Indonesian population, to reflect on the events of the past year. Religious intolerance does not define Islam, and every decent Muslim must fight this.

With Ramadhan beginning, everyone — Muslims and non-Muslims alike — need to recommit themselves to the values of pluralism, for it defines Indonesia and it defines Islam.

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