AMBON, Indonesia (BP)–Many Muslims in Indonesia do not support nor condone the forced conversions that jihad warriors are enacting on Christians in the Malukus, a young Muslim woman wrote to her Christian friend.
Marian Abdulah expressed her horror and sorrow upon learning that her friend, Christina Sagat, had been subjected to a forced circumcision. A Muslim religious leader conducted the procedure on Sagat after she converted to Islam under threat of death.
“I feel very remorseful, and most Muslims feel the same way,” she wrote. “Up to now we have not voiced our regret, but this does not mean we agree to these practices. We just feel sad and ashamed.”
Abdulah, like many Muslims, was hesitant to believe horrific stories of Muslim crimes against Christians.
“I simply did not believe [the rumors], for my mind, like many other Muslims’ minds, had been indoctrinated with the allegation that it is the Christians who always carry out [forced conversions], whereas we, Muslims, never do,” Abdulah said.
She expressed her hope that the leading Muslim board of Indonesia would issue an apology on behalf of the Muslim community to the Christians who had been traumatized.
“However, this letter of mine will hardly influence them to take such a step,” she wrote. “Faced with this situation we do not know what to say, especially what to say to you. We feel so utterly sorry that this had to befall you and your friends and your relatives.”
Abdulah explained that the jihad was enforcing conversions and circumcisions in the hopes of transforming Indonesia into an Islamic nation.
“Apparently there are among us those who close their eyes to what was and is happening in countries like Iran and Afghanistan,” she said. “Instead of peace there is chaos and despotism there.”
She further explained that Islam is not to blame for the violence. Instead, the fighting is the result of people who misuse the Islamic religion to gain power.
Abdulah ended her letter by encouraging Sagat in her Christian faith.
“I am sure that Allah in whom we believe as the all merciful, who is full of love, will forgive you your renouncement which you did under pressure,” she said. “The sin is not on you but on those who forced you to do this and who threatened your life.”
Southern Baptists should pray for the Muslim people of Indonesia who do not realize the atrocities being committed in the name of their religion, said Charles Cole, a Southern Baptist representative who serves in Indonesia.
“If most Muslims understood what is being done, these horrible things would be stopped immediately,” he said. “Ask God for a growing awareness among Muslims of what has been and is being done in the name of Islam.”