Saturday, October 08, 2005


Via Washington Post, ex-Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid tells us about Indonesia's Songs Against Terrorism

Mr. Wahid is prominently featured in V. S. Naipaul's brilliant Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey

He writes:

One of the people watching this tragedy unfold was a brilliant young musician named Ahmad Dhani. Leader of the immensely popular rock band Dewa, Dhani began to use his musical platform to influence millions of fans in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia to resist the tide of religious extremism.

In response to Laskar Jihad's atrocities, and to discredit the appeal of fundamentalist ideology, Dhani composed the best-selling album "Laskar Cinta" ("Warriors of Love"). Released in November 2004, it quickly rose to the top of the charts as millions of young Indonesians embraced its message of love, peace and tolerance.

Dhani and the other members of Dewa have presented Indonesia's youth with a stark choice, and one easy for the vast majority to answer: Do they want to join the army of jihad, or the army of love? In response, numerous radical Muslim groups have accused Dhani -- who is a devout Sufi, or mystically inclined Muslim -- of being an infidel, an apostate (code words inciting violence) and a Zionist agent. They have hauled him into court on charges of defaming Islam and seek to ban his use of rock music to promote a spiritual and progressive interpretation of Islam that threatens the appeal of their own Wahhabi-inspired extremism.

Dhani and his group are on the front lines of a global conflict, defending Islam from its fanatical hijackers. In a world all too often marred by hatred and violence committed in the name of religion, they seek to rescue an entire generation from Wahhabi-financed extremists whose goal is to transform Muslim youth into holy warriors and suicide bombers. For every young Indonesian seduced by the ideology of hatred and fanaticism -- including those responsible for the recent, awful attacks in Bali -- countless others see through the extremists' web of lies and hatred, in no small part thanks to the visionary courage of people like Ahmad Dhani. For as they listen to Dewa's music, the hearts of millions of young Indonesians have been inspired to declare: "No to the warriors of jihad! Yes to the warriors of love

1 comment:

Dewi Sri said...

I am not sure that Dhani is defending Islam per se from the Wahabbi onslought. He is defending the traditional Indonesian spirit of live and let live. This is broader than religion and I would call it humanism.


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