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Indonesia can show that Islam religion of peace: American cleric

A cleric of the United States, Mohamad Bashar Arafat, has said that Indonesia can carry the message to the global community about Islam being a religion of peace and non-violence.

“I see that Indonesia can convey the message of Islam as a religion of peace because the country has a plural society,” Mohamad Bashar Arafat said here on Monday.

According to Arafat, Indonesia should convey the message of cultural and religious diversity that exists in harmony. It is a country that has the ability to showcase this to the world community globally.

The Founder of Civilizations Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (CECF) said the terrorist attack which killed many people in Paris has tarnished the image of Islam in general, especially in Western countries.

“After the attacks, 63 percent of Americans agree with negative views about Islam. They think there is something wrong with us. We should change (such a perception),” Arafat said.

If the society of Middle East Countries did not act in accordance with the Holy book Quran, they did not represent Islam fully and completely.

“The speech of the former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2014 was very good. We must tell the people that Islam is not just in the Middle East. Islam also exists in Indonesia and other countries,” he said.

Therefore, he re-emphasized that Indonesia can be a model and a message carrier to represent Islam as a religion of peace.

On this occasion, Arafat also said the CECF will sign a memorandum of understanding with the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah to spread the message of Islam as a religion of peace in each country.

“We will call for the Islamic voice of NU and Muhammadiyah in the United States. Also, the two organizations will appeal the Islamic voice from the United States in Indonesia,” he said.

Source: ANTARA News