ID :
Sat, 08/02/2008 - 09:47
Auther :


By Eliswan AzlyJakarta, Aug 2 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian government pushes for Islamic world solidarity to improve the life of moslems in the world and to prevent conflicts.

"Some Islamic countries are really enjoying extraordinary windfall profits and accumulation of wealth following the increasing prices of world oil. Accordingly, the windfall profit enjoyed could be shared with other less fortunate Moslem countries under an investment scheme," Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said when closing the third International Conference of Islamic Scholars here on Friday.

The minister said a small portion of the wealth could be channeled not only through tithe or charity, but could be materialized in the form of efforts to encourage their investment in predominantly Moslem countries. By doing so, the lucky Islamic countries enjoying the windfall profits could help other less fortunate Moslem countries improve their economic life.

"We have to be realistic that in the end, economy plays a crucial role in helping the life of people in the developing and underdeveloped countries eradicate poverty," he said adding that the developing and underdeveloped countries were urged to be well-prepared for the flow of foreign capital from rich countries in the Middle East under an investment scheme into their regions.

Therefore, the competitive edge should be improved as the rich countries will not immediately invest in developing and underdeveloped countries, if there is no profit to be gained from investment, he said.

In addition to promote solidarity among Moslem countries, Wirajuda said that each country should prioritize their economic development.

While the economic factor was often the cause of conflicts, Wirajuda admitted that a conflict could also be provoked by outsiders as what had happened in Palestine as well as Islamophobia in countries where Moslems formed a minority.

The conflict caused by Islamophobia could be reduced through interfaith dialogues as a way out to prevent the outbreak of violence.

It is this aspect , Dr. Ameer Ali, a lecturer on economics at Murdoch University in Western Australia who got a chance to deliver an address during the ICIS conference, said that after the September 11 tragedy in the United States, there was a surge in Islamophobia in Australia which caused tension and conflicts between non-Moslem and Moslem communities.

Fortunately, he said, there were efforts to reduce the tensions through interfaith dialogues which would attract other religious people to take part such as Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Bahais.

"Through the dialogues, mutual nunderstanding between the different communities was restored," the economist said, adding that the climate of inter-communal relations in Australia had improved significantly over the last six years.

"Nevertheless, it must be pointed out that what really prompted the process of inter-community dialogues was the deliberate demonization of Islam and Moslems by the western media," said the president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC).

In the meantime, Bashy Quraishy, an Islamic scholar from Denmark, also said the media had an important role to play in giving the world a better perception of Islam.

He said the ICIS III's recommendations must be translated into different languages, especially those used in the West. The recommendations could then be sent to the media and governments all over the world to deliver a message that Islam is a peaceful religion and would like to contribute to a more peaceful world.

Therefore, in relation with Islamophobia and the role of the media , ICIS III in its sixth message expressed its intention to have good relations with the media, and to encourage it to provide balanced and objective information on issues involving Moslem communities to reduce or even eradicate Islamophobia and demonization of Islam.

According to Wirayudha, all the participants were expected to implement the recommendations produced in the 3th ICIS into concrete action in stages so that the causes of conflicts could be solved.

"We hope after they (the delegates) are back from the 3rd ICIS, they can encourage their own people to make efforts to settle conflicts and problems as well as to help solve international issues," he said.

"The Jakarta Message that has been adopted today (August 1) reflects measures that the government of Indonesia is taking and supporting. It incorporates the fundamental principles of Islam as Rahmatan lil Alamin (blessings to the universe) which is very much attuned to the needs of society in today's world," Hasan said.

The third ICIS was held to find solutions to conflicts in Islamic countries using religious approaches by bringing together ulemas and Islamic scholars from around the world to discuss problems in the Islamic world and their solution.

(T. E002/A/HNG/A/E002)