Indonesia is a “Muslim” country. It also has the largest Muslim population in the world. It’s constitution is not based on Islamic Laws but rather it is a secular based system of law. I spent a couple of weeks there as part of an exchange and the general consensus we reached as a group was that it was a “Muslim” country that could be setting the example and leading the way for Islam. Alhumdulilah there was much we found to admire. There is a strong move to practicing Islam according to Quran and Sunnah rather than following a version of Cultural Islam.
In it’s population of 240 million people, the spectrum of wealth ranged from the super rich to the starving poor. Some of what we saw was a dying shame. In my book, starving people is a human rights abuse and everyone colletively should be held responsible. It is an issue that the Government should be addressing.
Over the two weeks we had discussions at many universities and one thing we got asked alot about was what Australian Muslims thought about the Palestinian Israeli Conflict and what the reactions generally were here in Australia especially to recent events in Palestine.
It always brought up interesting discussions and on particular day led to a question by the aussies about why Palestinian lives were more important than say Muslims in other parts of the world. There was plenty of discussion. We talked about how Palestine has the musjid ul Aqsa and so it should be very important to all Muslims, we talked about the fact that the media kept Palestine alive in our minds. We talked about how it felt personal when Palestinians were being persecuted. The question though never really got answered
When the Palestine Israeli topic comes up we all get really emotional, we all seem to have an opinion and we can spit facts of the injustices before anyone can say Jack. And you know what, rightly so. It is an injustice, an atrocity, a breech human rights, an act of terror against the Palestinian people.
The thing is though, why is it that we don’t fight, protest, talk, debate, rage against the injustices committed against other Muslims.
Lets take China, India, Myanmar, Cambodia for examples. Muslims being persecuted and killed daily. Living in unbearable conditions, some worse than the Palestinian refugee camps. On that note, lets just take the conditions of south Asian workers in Dubai. Some Muslim, others not, living in conditions to rival any Palestinian refugee camp. Why don’t we care about them? Why don’t these people feature in our human rights abuse radar? How are we forgetting them?
It doesn’t take away from Palestine but I think we need to ask ourselves why the Palestinian lives are worth more.
One of the guys with us in Indonesia, had just been to Palestine last year and he visited some of the refugee camps and he found the poverty in which some Indonesians were living to be much worse than Palestinian refugee camps.
The point we were trying to make to the students is that it’s great to be aware and the suffering of any people is our collective responsibility but that we need to put things into perspective. I am a believer of charity begins at home and I think that’s what we need to put into perspective. Let’s start worrying about the human rights abuses on our doorstep and let’s start making an active effort to make a change for the better for all people. Let’s take all abuse as a personal abuse and let us always fight for justice, whoever the victim.