Many days after the church’s on fire, there were rumours on an anti-Christian group whose members had been accused of starting the selfish flame, and hence detained at a nearby police station for investigation. My dad told us that he had heard the news from the local tukang ojek — motorcycle taxi drivers — who always hang out near the entrance of the housing complex.
They said the group was irritated with the establishment of the church in the middle of Muslim-populated area, where majority of its inhabitants are of course practicing Muslims; not to mention the loud singing every Sunday communion. Hearing this argument, I honestly found it hard to understand why they needed to burn the church instead of making arrangement for its reallocation — to a Christian-populated area for example. (Diplomacy will definitely work among the sane individuals.)
Apparently complaints had been expressed by the neighbouring Muslims, who felt disturbed by the church’s weekly gatherings. I wonder why the church had been setup there despite the awkward location. Rumour has it that the establishment of a church there, at the centre of a Muslim community, was some sort of political play to break the Muslims apart and provide opportunities to defame the Muslims even worse. (Some said that not seldom the mastermind of such evil orchestra were the Muslims themselves — certainly the more liberal ones, who were not living nor practicing the Muslim’s way of life).
Well, whatever hidden agenda there was, it had obviously worked. Some thoughtless, unwise, and emotional personnel, claiming to be fundamentalist Muslims, had just made the whole deviant scheme proven effective, without much inhumane efforts done by the bigger players. Idiots!
My dad said once that everywhere in this world, the Muslims were disjointed by simply infiltrating disturbance and extreme ideology in communities who are considered prone or susceptible to such ideas. The less educated ones are usually easily provoked by the slightest gossips or campaigns, regardless of their flawed nature. The more educated ones — who claim to be “intellects” — fall into the trap of taking literal interpretations of divine revelations and prophetic examples, extracting the ideas out of context and condemning others of being misguided or even astray. “Too clever!” my dad tends to be more sarcastic towards the latter.
Idiots and self-proclaimed geniuses!
Shaykh Ja’far, being a Sufi teacher whose teachings revolve around peace, wisdom and humility, advised his students — my dad included — to always dig down into our deepest conscience to hear God’s voice within each and every one of us. He reminded us to not forget scrutinising all the voices shouting intentions and fueling emotions into our hearts: which one is our ego’s; which is the devil’s; and which is the Divine Whisper. Ultimately, he continued, all good things come from wisdom, and the voice of wisdom is always divine.
It’s true indeed. If Muslims do not react or respond with wisdom, dignified and graceful, how would anyone realise that Islam is in fact a peaceful religion? If the Muslim leaders are not wise, how could their followers be better? Hence the importance of ‘true guides’ to show us the correct way of living the religion. The question is, have we found one?
Anyway, today Shaykh Ja’far gathered us — his students and followers — at his place. He reminded us to avoid conflicts at all cause, unless of course on the course of evident live-or-dead self defense. “It is strongly advisable to move to another village, town, or even country, if our rights to live in peace are not met at the current place,” he said.
Yet, the most important thing, he reminded us to always remember this verse of the Qur’an as a basic rule to lead our life in this multicultural, multi-religious world:
“To you be your Way, and to me be mine.”
Al-Qur’an surah Al-Kafirun ayat 6 (109:6)