Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Voice of the Minority

“Of all our precious freedoms, the most important may be the freedom to worship as we wish… I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetime – as important a test – and it is critically important that we get it right.”

“The simple fact is this building is private property, and the owners have a right to use the building as a house of worship. The government has no right whatsoever to deny that right… lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question – should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.”

“As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable.”

When I head Obama speech I was so envy with American people. They have a leader who bravely stand up and speak for the minority religion in America, even though his speech could decrease his popularity among the Americans.

I can not imagine the same situation will happen in Indonesia, where our President stand up and speak for the minority religion in Indonesia – in this case not Moslem but Christian, Budha, Hindu and the non-believers.

But when I read the protest of the American people regarding Obama endorsed allowing a mosque near ground zero, suddenly I felt pity to moslem people in America.

Live in a country where the majority is Islam and experienced the difficulties as Moslem people in America when it comes to space for pray, I can imagine their feeling, their frustration.

As a Catholic in Indonesia, we can not build the church if the neighborhood did not give us the permission even though we own the land. After the church bombing several years before, our Christmas and Easter mass always guarded with “Pemuda Ansor” – Nahdlatul Ulama “, where they give us protection from other Islam fanatical do their protest.

I know how it feels when every eye stares at me just because I am wearing a short and tank top for my jogging. Not to mention the cocktail gown, I feel like I am a bitch.

Therefore, when I read the news of the protesters in NY City, I said to myself, so this it, wherever you go, if you are minority, you will get the same treatment.

That kind of attitude will end only if every human being realizes that there is a lot of religion out there and it is the right of every human being to choose their religion which fit with their needs.


johnorford said...

I live and work in manhattan - but used to live v close to where the mosque is being built.

So for me this is personal.

Trust me, most people in New York are right behind the mosque. It's just the people in other parts of the country with very very loud voices that don't want it.

It makes me so angry that you have these stupids talking about my old neighbourhood like that! Cos at the end of the day they haven't got a clue about the place - whereas I know it inside out!

tere616 said...

@Johnorford .. you have the right to angry, but this is how other people especially people in other part of the world "see" the protest.

How do we see it ? Ask your media I am a catholic and I am proud with Obama's speech. I'm expect that people in America will proud too, but by looking into the pool of the president - from the media -the reactions reflected the opposite.

Anyway, thank you for giving me new information about that :-)

Maureen @Tatter Scoops said...

I think it's the right thing to do for Obama to shows the world that it is okay to build that mosque and I hope more Americans will embrace it, it's their freedom too to build a place of worship. Maybe if some people are aware of how Christians are being treated in our country that will change their minds. Kudos to Obama for speaking up, unlike our President who kept silence.

Anonymous said...

If it's okay to build churches and synagogues almost anywhere, why not this mosque? It's close to the Ground Zero, not right on it.
BUT, as a former Moslem who is now an atheist born and raised in Indonesia, it is really unfair the way the majority (Moslems) are treating the 'minority' (non Moslems). Like you said, when you're out jogging and wearing the appropriate outfit for it, you got this animalistic whistling from them. Don't even try to wear a sexy elegant evening dress. These people are afraid to women's breasts than to common sense.
It's mind blowing...