Tue, 31 Dec 2002

Islam and the need for consistency

Whereas most people can accept that Islam is a religion of peace, the problems seem to arise within its interpretation. Most outsiders are not interested in all the details as they only see that as confusing, apart from the fact that often too much information turns people off.

Since Osama bin Laden has been on the scene, the already tinted image of Islam that had been portrayed by earlier terrorism has grown to such an extent that the damage repair is now a major task. The more you travel the globe the more you realize that religion, let alone Islam, is rapidly becoming an unwanted burden on humanity, and that is deadly serious.

Some countries say that Islam is the fastest growing religion, but behind that, it could well be that the total non-believers are growing even more rapidly. The more you read about Islam the more diverse and confusing it becomes, with people led to believe that the Koran is a book that the reader can interpret how he likes. That on its own presents Islam with no end of problems, one of which would be virtually no control. If the only control that is established is on those who do not have the intelligence to interpret the words, then this resembles the image of sheep, which are led.

If the teachers themselves have different views (which they do) then they will teach according to how they see it, and that will only result in a religion of a thousand viewpoints. When such a situation exists then the people of no intelligence in one area will be told one thing and those elsewhere something else. Does that make a lot of sense?

It wouldn't be so bad if the divides were small, but some are enormous and perhaps so far removed from each other that building bridges is out the question. The range between moderates and extremists is sub divided into various categories and until the religion itself can come up with a "one message" voice, then chaos will continue to reign.

Indonesia is drifting yet again into what could become tomorrow's conflict with the implementation of sharia in various regions, most of which have adopted a variation to suit themselves. Is this really what Indonesia needs?