Thursday, January 3, 2013

Where should minority children be involved in the battle of freedom for religions?

Three months ago, I had change to meet some women from GKI Yasmin in Bogor to know their progress as well as to seek possibility to have joint program. My visiting was so fruitful because it was attended by core team of women of GKI Yasmin, where most of them are so powerful and ready to move forwards to help other minority women. this fantastic to hear about fresh energy, who are ready to assist other women minority to take up and fight for justice. 

There was one interesting story from our discussion that i would like to pick and highlight in this writing, was about the position of children. "Are your children aware of this case?" I asked Ibu Ning, the leader, about the situation of children in responding the discrimination against faith minority. " I even dont think about it," said Bu Ning. 

According to Bu Ning, there is almost no space for children or youth belonging to GKI Yasmin shared about their feeling during the church facing confrontation from unknowed mass that cause sealing of church. Since 2006, the follower of GKI Yasmin has been fighting to get their rights. Though they won in the state court, and The President has been urged the major city to take follow up action to open the seal from the church, but nothing happen. Last Christmas, the rejection was still strong. 

Go back to the situation of GKI Yasmin's children, it is obvious that children or youth are not involved much in the situation. Moreover, the parents tend to avoid children from the discourse of rejection of church. In fact, children and youth are often witnessing the clash between violent mass and their parents almost every Sunday. Children and youth are actively involving in the rally and regular worship in front of the President Palace. 

They have leant something, but they may not be able to express their desparation, confusion, doubt, hatred to "Islam" because this group which obviously have been making distraction during Sunday worship using "Islamic symbol". I am afraid that children are having negative thinking about Islam and generalize that all muslim are bad. They may also hold hatred to all muslim and closed their friendship to Muslim children. 

We, adult people must pay attention of this since early stage. Children of minority need a space where they can express their feeling and voice. The adult must hear their thought over the case and dig up possible solution from the persepctive of children and youth, so perhaps some innovative solution can be formulated. Children from minority need to be met with children from majority. Hence, they can get different persepctive of diverse muslim and still find friendship to other muslim who believe on tolerance and non violence action. So, open space for children and youth, let them be free to speak up. ***

No comments:

Post a Comment