Blogger Indonesia of the Week (49): Tanty Blatind

A Mosaic of Moderate Muslim

I wrote here on the various kind of moderation as far as Muslim goes particularly Indonesian Muslim. A term which is often misunderstood by western analysts or pseudo-analysts if you will in which I said that a moderate Muslim is not what, entirely or partially, many westerners think equally like moderate Christian, secular christian or leftist where ignorant and indifferent from the basic teaching of their religion being regarded as a sign of moderation.

And therefore a departure from this kind of “moderation” could be regarded as fundamentalist.

I reiterated in the same piece that the silverline between a moderate Muslim and the fundamentalist ones are only this: while the former regards Islam as a simple moral guidance the latter regards it more or less as political means.

Thus, like fundamentalist Muslims, moderate Muslims are a mosaic, instead of a monolith. Many moderate Muslims are indeed like their co-religious counterparts in Christianity or Judaism with little care to practice their religious teaching. But to say that this kind of groups are the only entity which can be called “moderate” Muslim is indeed misleading or a sign of ignorant to say the least.

I’ll give you a vivid example of one type of moderate Muslim that respects diversity and multiculturalism and enjoy living side by side with anyone from other faiths and yet at the same time are practicing their religious teaching in full gear.

Tanty Blatind who’s been in Norway with his Norwegian husband is a good example.

Have a look at her interesting statement about what she likes and dislikes and take your own conclusions:

I am a religious person. I wear hijab but it doesn’t mean that I am too fanatic. I go to the party sometimes mostly like a birthday party or wedding or just few friends gather together.

I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke but I don’t mind being around drinkers and smokers. Though sometimes they’re really bother me.

I used to work in office and the best time I’ve ever had was when I work at RCTI, the biggest TV station in Indonesia. I love how we, the crew, stick together day and night. It’s like having a new big family. I miss those guys.

Tanty Blatind symbolizes a mosaic of moderate Muslims, and you’d see many variations of those.

It’s important for any non-Muslim, particularly the westerners to know and understand these facts if the Islam-West dialogue initiative are to be built with strong foundation and by those who have a true honest feeling to bridge the gap from the both sides.

I see many good people in the West who are really knowledgeable on the reality of Muslim and Islam and very self-critical as well like Prof Juan Cole who speaks fluent Arabic and Parsi. His understanding on Quran is so amazing. His sympathetic approach towards others simply exemplary.

If politics tears us apart, why not building our trust through people to people dialogue?
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