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Monday, 27 September 2010

Europe: Indonesian cleric comes to Europe to give voice to "great silent majority" of peace-loving Muslims

A prestigious Indonesian Islamic theologian is traveling to Europe to promote the country's tolerant, pluralist interpretation of Islam and counter the violent ideology of radical extremists. The tour is organized by groups that promote pluralism and is part of a plan to develop a network of Muslim leaders to give voice to what they call the "great silent majority" of peace-loving Muslims.
Kyai Haji Achmad Mustofa Bisri, an influential Islamic cleric and member of the supreme council of Nahdlatul Ulama, an Indonesian Muslim organization with 40 million members, has preached tolerance and moderation for over 30 years. Now he has agreed to travel to Europe to help reconcile what he describes as growing animosity between Muslims and Christians there.
He says his perception of the world that we live in is that it is like very dry grass that is easy to catch fire and burn.
Islam, the cleric says, is a religion that promotes love, peace and tolerance.
He says if one misreads the message of love to give rise to hatred, then clearly there is a failure to understand.
And Bisri says that both Islamic extremists and those who hate Muslims share the misguided view that Islam sanctions violence.
I wonder where people have learned that "misunderstanding" from... And, wouldn't it be more practical if they would just convince violent Islamic guys of this "loving and peaceful nature of Islam"?

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