Islam is Europe, Europe is Islam

BLOKBERITA -- My title above was quoted from the speech of the European Union high officials for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Her name is Federica Mogherini. She delivered the speech at the conference 'Islam and Europe' in Brussels, Belgium, on last Wednesday, June 24. The Italian women were obtaining doctorates from universities in France in 1994. Her dissertation was on Islam and politics.

In front of the audience - politicians, academics, religious leaders, and civil society leaders of Europe – the responsible person for foreign policy and security policy of European Union explained a lot about the positive influence of Islam and Muslims in European societies. She said, Islam has become one of the characteristics of European identity.

According to Mogherini, pluralistic society was the future of Europe. And, Islam became one of the sources of that diversity. “Islam is Europe and Europe is Islam,” she asserted.

In Mogherini’s view, Islam and Muslims has been a great influence in the life of European society. She was confident that the effect will be even greater in the future and must be received together (as fact), and should not be a source of fear for Europe.

Therefore, she said, it was not strange when Islam became one of the factors whih were forming the face of Europe on this moment and on the future. Therefore, she continued, Islam must become a reality that could not be denied. '' We should not be afraid to present it to the public, even though many people do not want to hear it,”she was quoted by al Sharq al Awsat.

In a conference organized by a coalition of democratic socialist parties in the European Parliament, the speakers also highlighted the phenomenon of the rise of radical religious groups. There were too many young Europeans who joined the terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq as ISIS. They said the groups were a challenge for domestic and foreign politics of Europe.

In response, Federica Mogherini asked media persons not to exaggerate these radical groups. The more they grew up, she said, there will be more and more young Europeans were attracted to them. Mogherini sighted, terrorist groups such as ISIS was precisely the main enemy of Islam. '' People of Islam which is precisely a victim of ideology developed by ISIS. Not only the people of Europe, '' she said.

She indicated the interest in the youth of Europe at ISIS, among others, because they were looking for identity. They then became victims of social sphere, culture, and politics of Europe which were less friendly to them. Mogherini was also inviting European leaders to pay more attention to the young man, among others, by creating more jobs and rejecting the distorted thinking through educational programs and teaching.

Unfriendly statement of politicians to Islam, she said, were also contributes on the emergence of radical ideologies among young Europeans. For that she invited European leaders to engage young Muslims in European political programs that promote pluralistic society.

A few days before this conference, the European Union delegation has also held an annual meeting with religious leaders who engage leaders in Europe's three major religions: Christian, Islam, and Jewish. They were discussing the harmonization of the life of a plural society in the face of radical ideology. According to the chairman of the ulama of Europe, based in Brussels, Khalid Hajji, the dialog for creating a more peaceful life among religious followers was indispensable in the face of radical ideology.

According to Hajji, the participants of the meeting agreed to continue the dialogue among religious followers. The goal was to find a solution to the extreme attitudes in society caused by the radical ideologies of the religions. Hajji also regretted that the attitude and statements of politicians was often became a trigger of hatred against a religion. Although she did not name the politicians in Europe, but it was unpredictable that was meant the politicians and parties in Europe that has always spread hatred of Islam and Muslims such as Geert Wilders. This last name was Dutch politician who was known to be hostile to Islam.

We certainly welcomed the parties who kept trying to create harmony and peace in society, as well as Federica Mogherini. Moreover, with a high position in the EU, the impact would be enormous, not only in European countries, but also in the world. The presence of figures such as Mogherini increasingly necessary in a world that was always concerned by terror acts such as has happened in France, Kuwait, and Tunisia in the same time a few days ago.

As I wrote a couple of times in the rubric 'Resonance' was that radical groups, terrorists and their sympathizers could not only faced with the force of arms. Even though the international military coalition. Look, what happened with the Al Qaeda-Taliban in Afghanistan when it was attacked discharged by military coalition led by United States. People of al Qaida in Afghanistan was a mess, but they were precisely reproduce and spread to different countries with different names.

Likewise with ISIS. A year ago, US mobilized a coalition of 40 countries to eliminate terrorist state which led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. However, ISIS is now even more powerful and the power is wider in Syria and Iraq.

Radical attitude alias terrorism was born of an ideology. An ideology was not going to run out or die simply because the military coalition attack or faced with armed force. An ideology to be faced with a counter-ideology alias rival ideology.

Radical groups and extremists could not be faced with hatred, as Geert Wilders did and the managers of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris which were harassing Islam and the Prophet Muhammad. Or by making cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, or also committed by US pastor Terry Jones when burning the Quran.

The hatred will give birth to a similar hatred. Extreme attitude will also bring extreme attitude on the other. In the end the world will be filled with a variety of hate. At the end of mutual hate will bear an extreme measure and even terrorism.

Therefore, to prevent extremism, radicalism, and terrorism in the society, what is needed is a coalition of groups that promotes tolerance, moderation, and do not deny each other. We need figures like Federica Mogherini, Prince Charles of England, and others. They and a number of other figures in Europe were endlessly promoting tolerance attitudes in society, especially among the followers of different religions.

We certainly hope will appear more parties that promote tolerance in the midst of society. If parties were coalition or cooperate, on the one hand they will narrow the movement of those who spread hatred of Islam and on the other hand will prevent the emergence of extremist attitudes in society.
(Ikhwanul Kiram Mashuri / republika)



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