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Islamic leaders criticise attack against Carmelite centre

ICC Note: Moderate Muslims in Indonesia condemn the recent move by radical Muslims to shut down a conference at a Christian conference center earlier this week.

by Benteng Reges

7/27/08 Indonesia Jakarta (AsiaNews) – Police must protect everyone’s right to express their religious faith. It should have moved against the radical Muslims and stop their hostile actions against the Lembah Karmel Cikanyere, the Carmelite Prayer Centre in Cikanyere Hill, Cianjur Regency (West Java), this according to Syafi’i Maarif’s, who heads the Muhammadiyah (Indonesia’s second largest Muslim organisation). In no uncertain terms he condemned the recent protests by Muslim radicals.

“The [radicals’] rally has tarnished the good image of Islam. As Muslims, we know that Islam is a good, peaceful and loving religion,” he said.

There is no good “reason to use and abuse (Islam) in an effort to legitimate harmful actions against other religious beliefs, to express dislike about them or conduct any unfriendly gestures” to scare them (Catholics), said the eminent Muslim scholar.

Siti Musdah Mulia, who is the secretary of the Indonesian Conference for Religion and Peace, was equally critical. She chastised police for not nipping in the bud such “hostile actions”, but also other religious leaders for doing nothing to stop the violence…

“There is something definitely wrong with these clerics,” she said, but then she is no stranger to criticising radical Muslim views. For instance, she came out against polygamy saying that it was “absolutely no good.”

Fadly Al Asady, from the Indonesian Muslim Student Organisation, slammed the stupidity of certain Muslim hard-liners.

“Using Islamic religious symbols to attack Christian home-churches will only harm Islam” he said….

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