Various parties declare commitment to peace in Indonesia

Various parties declare commitment to peace in Indonesia

(ANTARA News/Eric Ireng)

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Too many people think of "Peace" as some sort of will-o`-the-wisp thing that can be discovered through a constant and relentless search.

Acts of violence and the issue of peace in Indonesia are not just political and religious matters; they are moral and spiritual issues that have to be solved properly.

Accordingly, many parties in various parts of the country in the last couple of days have called for and declared their commitment to peace, following violence triggered by religious issues recently.

At the Bajra Sandi monument area in Denpasar, Bali, hundreds of Balinese women on Tuesday declared an "Indonesian Women`s Association for Global Peace (IWAG-Peace)."

"The declaration of IWAG-Peace is intended to neutralize violent conflicts in the name of religion in various areas across the country," event coordinator Putu Sri Puji Astuti said in Denpasar on Tuesday.

According to Putu Sri, the declaration of IWAG-Peace in Bali was one of four similar events, organized simultaneously in four Indonesian cities namely Denpasar, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, and Jakarta in conjunction with Valentine`s Day.

She also called on the government to act decisively to resolve conflicts that occur and to prevent them from becoming serious and complicated problems.

Putu Sri pointed out that if the government failed to neutralize emerging conflicts, the IWAG-Peace would unhesitatingly bring them to the United Nations.

"If the government fails to solve emerging problems, the Indonesian women will rise to bring the problem to the international community," she said.

Therefore President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday called on all Muslims in the country to solve any arising problem in a peaceful and dignified manner.

In his address at a so-called Dzikir Akbar, a mass religious gathering for joint prayers to observe the Prophet Muhammad`s birthday at the south square of the National Monument here on Tuesday, the president called on Muslims to emulate the prophet who used to overcome problems peacefully.

"The prophet set examples from which can conclude that to make great changes in the right direction and to solve problems, it should be done in a peaceful and dignified manner," the president said.

President Yudhoyono pointed out that if all Muslims in Indonesia seriously followed the examples of Prophet Muhammad, the country would be blessed and all its struggles would succeed.

"Let us make the prophet`s nature and personality as our model, his leadership, his wisdom, and his nurturing nature in our effort to march to a better future," the president said.

The head of state also called on all of his countrymen not to easily give up in facing severe tests and trials.

"Even in a difficult situations, we have to be more cohesive, stronger, and more united instead of making noise and blaming each other," the president said.

Meanwhile, Majelis Rasulullah (prophet-led council) leader Habib Munzir Bin Fuad Al Musawa in his sermon at the gathering also reminded the Muslims in Indonesia of religious tolerance.

The Muslims in Indonesia, according to Habib Munzir, have to get used to living in peace and harmony with the people of different faith.

In Bandung, West Java, religious leaders on Monday also declared peace following violent acts triggered by religious issues in the country.

The declaration was read out directly by the chairman of the West Java chapter of the Indonesian Council of Ulemas, KH Hafidz Utsman, before hundreds of community members from different religions attending the event.

In the declaration they expressed concern over the conflict between Ahmadiyah Islamic sect members and a mob in Cikeusik, Pandeglang, Banten, recently.

They also expressed determination to build inter-religious harmony especially in West Java and settle any inter-religious problem through a dialog.

Not only in West Java, but also in Gunung Kidul district, Yogyakarta, tens of people grouped in Gunung Kidul Interfaith Forum also staged a walking-backwards action and joint prayers recently to call for peace under the slogan of "Unity in Diversity."

"The walking-backwards action is the symbol of our concern over the emergence of various violent acts in the name of religion in this country," the interfaith forum`s coordinator Aminudin Azis said.

He said the bloody violence triggered by religious issues in the country and the burning of several houses of worship recently were truly heartbreaking.

According to him, the second precept of Just and Civilized Humanity in the state philosophy of Pancasila seemed to have no real sense of the words.

Then in the eastern Indonesian city of Ambon, young artists and men of letters of Maluku origin voiced "The Peaceful Sound from the East for Indonesia" recently as part of their solidarity against relentless violence in the country.

Such a humanitarian activity at the World Peace Gong monument area was initiated jointly by music groups Bengkel Seni Embun, Ambon Bergerak, Komunitas Manis Pait, and Kalesang Maluku social group.

Hundreds of Ambon residents from various corners of the city packed the monument area to participate in the event where the singers of Maluku origin sang their songs.

"The songs we sing can motivate all of us as the young people of Maluku and of Indonesia to continue to march forwards and maintain peace and security in our country," said a vocalist of Semang band group, Marioni Serhalawan.

"We oppose all kinds of violent acts in the name of any religion in this country," Rudi Fofid said.

After he read out the resolution, children`s choir from Amahusu village came to the stage and chanted the song, "Children of Maluku Love Peace."

Yet they realized that the real peace is not simply the absence of conflict, violence, or any artificial state the world has to offer. Rather it is the deep, abiding peace only the "Prince of Peace" can bring to the heart.