Friends Of Indonesia

Posted on July 26th, 2009 at 9:21 am by Akhyari


Losing a friend is hard to do, but losing a friend at the hand of fanatics and plain murderers is hard to comprehend and deal with. In The Jakarta Post’s article on July 21, Endy M. Bayuni pays homage to foreigners that made a difference in embracing and promoting Indonesia as a country that, for a decade now, has made enormous progression in an effort to place itself on par with countries where living safe comes natural and where democratization is good for all who work and live there.

As a foreigner, only when you work and live here, are you able to grasp the significance of what Indonesians have achieved in such a short period of time and in a perpetuating struggle that actually started more than sixty years ago, and only after they were freed from Portuguese, British and Dutch colonial rule.

Indonesia is the world’s largest Islamic country. Indonesia is also the world’s most moderate, modern and peaceful Islamic nation. Its bright minds come from the ranks of all five major faiths that exists in this country.

If there is an (Islamic) country that could stand as a role model and representative for a faith that is considered tolerant and inward looking and that is considered to be one of the five great faiths in the world, then Indonesia is the country where anyone, regardless of faith, race or color, would want to work and live.

In the twenty years that I am back in the country where I was born, I have experienced many changes for the better. Having spent the majority of my adult live during the sixties, the seventies and the eighties in Europe, I know that most countries in the western world have struggled many, many more decades to achieve same. True, Indonesia still has a long way to go.

But one thing is sure; in a bid to become a nation in which all layers of society will find happiness and a secure environment to safely bring up its next generation, it surely will walk that road, head up high.

Indonesians are warm-hearted, friendly and above all resilient people. It would be unfair only to judge Indonesia based on what has happened at the hands of a fanatic disenfranchised minority that that is worshiped by a handful and that has no consideration for the goals as set by ninety-nine-point-nine percent of the Indonesian people.

Except from in the dark caves and black holes and tiny communities in which they thrive, the world over, terrorists are not known for being heroic individuals.

Given the fact that terrorists truly have their own agenda and the fact that they severely lack a sense of belonging, their names, in comparison to the names of the people that perished on July 17, will rapidly be forgotten and will forever fade into the dust created by their devious acts of terrorism. Unfortunately, and for some time to come, Indonesians will still find their own worse enemy close at home, be it in Indonesia, or in its neighboring country Malaysia from which the foreign and rather barbaric mastermind behind the bombings apparently hails.

It is unfortunate, that the masterminds behind all suicide bombings, here and elsewhere, are not the ones that carry out the bombings themselves. For that, the cowards will always prey on rather young and often naive people that could do the dirty job for them and that are willing to sacrifice their lives for a cause that is pretty dubious and questionable, to say the least. Catching the man behind the recent bombings is a tall order. Therefore, we have to lift each and every stone under which he cowardly is hiding until his rather sick mind tells him to come out in a bid to prove to himself that he is the God-sent hero he thinks he is. The real and unsung hero is the person that makes a difference in this country, Indonesian or foreigner. Unlike the mastermind and terrorist, he or she is not adored by a handful, but by a land-full.

Losing a friend is hard to do, and sadly, on July 17, Indonesia has lost some of its best friends, Indonesian and foreigner. Now, more than any time in its sometime troubled past, Indonesia is in dire need of real friends. Rest assured that it still has many!

Dennis G. Kloeth

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