ASIA/INDONESIA - Young people: key to counter radical Islam, especially on the web

Friday, 4 August 2017 youth   evangelization   islam   media   the internet  

Yoyakarta (Agenzia Fides) - Young people are the key to countering radical Islam in Indonesia and its massive propaganda on the web: is what Savic Ali said, Muslim leader who heads the "Nahdlatul Ulama’s web page" (NU), one of the two major organizations (along with" Muahmmadiya") of Indonesian Islam, which supports pluralism, inter-religious dialogue and human rights.
During an inter-religious meeting within the Asean Youth Day, the Catholic kermesse which will gather more than two thousand young Catholics from 22 Asian nations until August 6 in Yogyakarta (Central Java), Savi Ali recalled that 100 million Indonesians use the Internet regularly and that social media network today has the power to influence public opinion: "Social media is the new battlefield to counter radical Islam. A counter-narrative and joint action on social networks by organizations, institutions and individuals who support dialogue, democracy, Pancasila (composed of principles) is necessary", he explains to Fides.
"Among the 22 most popular Islamic websites in Indonesia - he adds - the top four are conservative and promote a narrow and non inclusive view of Islam. Today the challenge is to take action and promote coordinated actions on web platforms in order to promote tolerance, dialogue, inclusion, mutual respect, social and religious harmony". This, he concluded, is a task entrusted essentially to young people, who are the most active on social media and on the web.
Bishop Yohannes Harun Yuwono, President of the Commission for Inter-religious Affairs in the Indonesian Bishops' Conference explained: "God listens and understands prayers in all the languages in the world. Christians and Muslims believe in one God, creator and father of all men, peoples and religions. On these basis we can build coexistence and brotherhood".
The Jesuit Heru Prakosa, a professor at the Catholic "Sanata Dharma University" in Yogyakarta, told Fides that, in the context of modern Indonesia, marked by the growth of Islamic extremism and the political instrumentalization of religion, "it is urgent to reflect and act together, in view of the common good. Young Catholics cannot remain silent: they are called to be agents of dialogue, reconciliation, harmony, and witness the gospel of fraternity and hope". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 4/8/2017)