Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Proclamation of Indonesian Independence

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pope in Regensburg

The following comments of mine onthe Pope's speech in the Jakarta Post:

Image source: google search

Bush on the 11th of September

Transcript: Bush's address
The New York TimesPublished: September 11, 2006

Following is text of President Bush's address to the nation on Sept. 11, 2006, the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as recorded by The New York Times:

Good evening. Five years ago, this date - September the 11th - was seared into America's memory. Nineteen men attacked us with a barbarity unequaled in our history. They murdered people of all colors, creeds, and nationalities - and made war upon the entire free world. Since that day, America and her allies have taken the offensive in a war unlike any we have fought before. Today, we are safer, but we are not yet safe. On this solemn night, I have asked for some of your time to discuss the nature of the threat still before us, what we are doing to protect our nation, and the building of a more hopeful Middle East that holds the key to peace for America and the world.

On 9/11, our nation saw the face of evil. Yet on that awful day, we also witnessed something distinctly American: ordinary citizens rising to the occasion, and responding with extraordinary acts of courage. We saw courage in office workers who were trapped on the high floors of burning skyscrapers, and called home so that their last words to their families would be of comfort and love. We saw courage in passengers aboard Flight 93, who recited the 23rd Psalm, and then charged the cockpit. And we saw courage in the Pentagon staff who made it out of the flames and smoke, and ran back in to answer cries for help. On this day, we remember the innocent who lost their lives, and we pay tribute to those who gave their lives so that others might live.

For many of our citizens, the wounds of that morning are still fresh. I've met firefighters and police officers who choke up at the memory of fallen comrades. I've stood with families gathered on a grassy field in Pennsylvania, who take bittersweet pride in loved ones who refused to be victims - and gave America our first victory in the war on terror. And I've sat beside young mothers with children who are now 5 years old, and still long for the daddies who will never cradle them in their arms. Out of this suffering, we resolve to honor every man and woman lost. And we seek their lasting memorial in a safer and more hopeful world.

Since the horror of 9/11, we've learned a great deal about the enemy. We have learned that they are evil and kill without mercy, but not without purpose. We have learned that they form a global network of extremists who are driven by a perverted vision of Islam - a totalitarian ideology that hates freedom, rejects tolerance and despises all dissent. And we have learned that their goal is to build a radical Islamic empire where women are prisoners in their homes, men are beaten for missing prayer meetings, and terrorists have a safe haven to plan and launch attacks on America and other civilized nations. The war against this enemy is more than a military conflict. It is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century, and the calling of our generation.

Our nation is being tested in a way that we have not been since the start of the cold war. We saw what a handful of our enemies can do with box-cutters and plane tickets. We hear their threats to launch even more terrible attacks on our people. And we know that if they were able to get their hands on weapons of mass destruction, they would use them against us. We face an enemy determined to bring death and suffering into our homes. America did not ask for this war, and every American wishes it were over. So do I. But the war is not over, and it will not be over until either we or the extremists emerge victorious. If we do not defeat these enemies now, we will leave our children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons. We are in a war that will set the course for this new century, and determine the destiny of millions across the world.

For America, 9/11 was more than a tragedy, it changed the way we look at the world. On September the 11th, we resolved that we would go on the offense against our enemies, and we would not distinguish between the terrorists and those who harbor or support them. So we helped drive the Taliban from power in Afghanistan. We put al Qaeda on the run, and killed or captured most of those who planned the 9/11 attacks - including the man believed to be the mastermind, Khalid Sheik Mohammed. He and other suspected terrorists have been questioned by the Central Intelligence Agency, and they've provided valuable information that has helped stop attacks in America and across the world. Now these men have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay, so they can be held to account for their actions. Osama Bin Laden and other terrorists are still in hiding. Our message to them is clear: No matter how long it takes, America will find you, and we will bring you to justice.

On September the 11th, we learned that America must confront threats before they reach our shores, whether those threats come from terrorist networks or terrorist states. I'm often asked why we're in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was not responsible for the 9/11 attacks. The answer is that the regime of Saddam Hussein was a clear threat. My administration, the Congress and the United Nations saw the threat. And after 9/11, Saddam's regime posed a risk that the world could not afford to take. The world is safer because Saddam Hussein is no longer in power. And now the challenge is to help the Iraqi people build a democracy that fulfills the dreams of the nearly 12 million Iraqis who came out to vote in free elections last December.

Al Qaeda and other extremists from across the world have come to Iraq to stop the rise of a free society in the heart of the Middle East. They have joined the remnants of Saddam's regime and other armed groups to foment sectarian violence and drive us out. Our enemies in Iraq are tough and they are committed, but so are Iraqi and coalition forces. We are adapting to stay ahead of the enemy, and we are carrying out a clear plan to ensure that a democratic Iraq succeeds.

We are training Iraqi troops so they can defend their nation. We're helping Iraq's unity government grow in strength and serve its people. We will not leave until this work is done. Whatever mistakes have been made in Iraq, the worst mistake would be to think that if we pulled out, the terrorists would leave us alone. They will not leave us alone. They will follow us. The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad. Osama Bin Laden calls this fight "the Third World War," and he says that victory for the terrorists in Iraq will mean America's "defeat and disgrace forever." If we yield Iraq to men like Bin Laden, our enemies will be emboldened; they will gain a new safe haven; and they will use Iraq's resources to fuel their extremist movement. We will not allow this to happen. America will stay in the fight. Iraq will be a free nation, and a strong ally in the war on terror.

We can be confident that our coalition will succeed, because the Iraqi people have been steadfast in the face of unspeakable violence. And we can be confident in victory, because of the skill and resolve of America's Armed Forces. Every one of our troops is a volunteer, and since the attacks of September the 11th more than 1.6 million Americans have stepped forward to put on our nation's uniform. In Iraq, Afghanistan and other fronts in the war on terror, the men and women of our military are making great sacrifices to keep us safe. Some have suffered terrible injuries, and nearly 3,000 have given their lives. America cherishes their memory. We pray for their families. And we will never back down from the work they have begun.

We also honor those who toil day and night to keep our homeland safe, and we are giving them the tools they need to protect our people. We've created the Department of Homeland Security; we have torn down the wall that kept law enforcement and intelligence from sharing information; we've tightened security at our airports, seaports, and borders; and we've created new programs to monitor enemy bank records and phone calls. Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement and intelligence professionals, we have broken up terrorist cells in our midst and saved American lives.

Five years after 9/11, our enemies have not succeeded in launching another attack on our soil. But they've not been idle. Al Qaeda and those inspired by its hateful ideology have carried out terrorist attacks in more than two dozen nations. And just last month, they were foiled in a plot to blow up passenger planes headed for the United States. They remain determined to attack America and kill our citizens. And we are determined to stop them. We will continue to give the men and women who protect us every resource and legal authority they need to do their jobs.

In the first days after the 9/11 attacks, I promised to use every element of national power to fight the terrorists wherever we find them. One of the strongest weapons in our arsenal is the power of freedom. The terrorists fear freedom as much as they do our firepower. They are thrown into panic at the sight of an old man pulling the election lever, girls enrolling in school, or families worshiping God in their own traditions. They know that given a choice, people will choose freedom over their extremist ideology. So their answer is to deny people this choice by raging against the forces of freedom and moderation. This struggle has been called a clash of civilizations. In truth, it is a struggle for civilization. We are fighting to maintain the way of life enjoyed by free nations. And we're fighting for the possibility that good and decent people across the Middle East can raise up societies based on freedom, and tolerance, and personal dignity.

We are now in the early hours of this struggle between tyranny and freedom. Amid the violence, some question whether the people of the Middle East want their freedom, and whether the forces of moderation can prevail. For 60 years, these doubts guided our policies in the Middle East. And then, on a bright September morning, it became clear that the calm we saw in the Middle East was only a mirage. Years of pursuing stability to promote peace had left us with neither. So we changed our policies, and committed America's influence in the world to advancing freedom and democracy as the great alternatives to repression and radicalism.

With our help, the people of the Middle East are now stepping forward to claim their freedom. From Kabul to Baghdad to Beirut, there are brave men and women risking their lives each day for the same freedoms that we enjoy. And they have one question for us: Do we have the confidence to do in the Middle East what our fathers and grandfathers accomplished in Europe and Asia? By standing with democratic leaders and reformers, by giving voice to the hopes of decent men and women, we are offering a path away from radicalism. And we are enlisting the most powerful force for peace and moderation in the Middle East: The desire of millions to be free.

Across the broader Middle East, the extremists are fighting to prevent such a future. Yet America has confronted evil before, and we have defeated it - sometimes at the cost of thousands of good men in a single battle. When Franklin Roosevelt vowed to defeat two enemies across two oceans, he could not have foreseen D-Day and Iwo Jima - but he would not have been surprised at the outcome. When Harry Truman promised American support for free peoples resisting Soviet aggression, he could not have foreseen the rise of the Berlin Wall - but he would not have been surprised to see it brought down. Throughout our history, America has seen liberty challenged. And every time, we have seen liberty triumph with sacrifice and determination.

At the start of this young century, America looks to the day when the people of the Middle East leave the desert of despotism for the fertile gardens of liberty, and resume their rightful place in a world of peace and prosperity. We look to the day when the nations of that region recognize that their greatest resource is not the oil in the ground, but the talent and creativity of their people. We look to the day when moms and dads throughout the Middle East see a future of hope and opportunity for their children. And when that good day comes, the clouds of war will part, the appeal of radicalism will decline, and we will leave our children with a better and safer world. On this solemn anniversary, we rededicate ourselves to this cause. Our nation has endured trials, and we face a difficult road ahead. Winning this war will require the determined efforts of a unified country. And we must put aside our differences and work together to meet the test that history has given us. We will defeat our enemies, we will protect our people, and we will lead the 21st century into a shining age of human liberty.

Earlier this year, I traveled to the United States Military Academy. I was there to deliver the commencement address to the first class to arrive at West Point after the attacks of September the 11th. That day I met a proud mom named RoseEllen Dowdell. She was there to watch her son Patrick accept his commission in the finest Army the world has ever known. A few weeks earlier, RoseEllen had watched her other son, James, graduate from the Fire Academy in New York City. On both these days, her thoughts turned to someone who was not there to share the moment: her husband, Kevin Dowdell. Kevin was one of the 343 firefighters who rushed to the burning towers of the World Trade Center on September the 11th - and never came home. His sons lost their father that day, but not the passion for service he instilled in them. Here is what RoseEllen says about her boys, "As a mother, I cross my fingers and pray all the time for their safety. But as worried as I am, I'm also proud. And I know their dad would be too."

Our nation is blessed to have young Americans like these. And we will need them. Dangerous enemies have declared their intention to destroy our way of life. They are not the first to try, and their fate will be the same as those who tried before. Nine-Eleven showed us why. The attacks were meant to bring us to our knees, and they did. But not in the way the terrorists intended. Americans united in prayer, came to the aid of neighbors in need, and resolved that our enemies would not have the last word. The spirit of our people is the source of America's strength. And we go forward with trust in that spirit, confidence in our purpose and faith in a loving God who made us to be free.

Thank you, and may God bless you.

Source: International Herald Tribune

Ahmadinedjad to Bush

Mr George Bush,

President of the United States of America
For sometime now I have been thinking, how one can justify the undeniable contradictions
that exist in the international arena -- which are being constantly debated, specially in political
forums and amongst university students. Many questions remain unanswered. These have
prompted me to discuss some of the contradictions and questions, in the hopes that it might
bring about an opportunity to redress them.
Can one be a follower of Jesus Christ (PBUH), the great Messenger of God,
Feel obliged to respect human rights,
Present liberalism as a civilization model,
Announce one’s opposition to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and WMDs,
Make "War and Terror" his slogan,
And finally,
Work towards the establishment of a unified international community – a community which
Christ and the virtuous of the Earth will one day govern,
But at the same time,
Have countries attacked; The lives, reputations and possessions of people destroyed and on
the slight chance of the … of a … criminals in a village city, or convoy for example the entire
village, city or convey set ablaze.
Or because of the possibility of the existence of WMDs in one country, it is occupied, around
one hundred thousand people killed, its water sources, agriculture and industry destroyed,
close to 180,000 foreign troops put on the ground, sanctity of private homes of citizens
broken, and the country pushed back perhaps fifty years. At what price? Hundreds of billions
of dollars spent from the treasury of one country and certain other countries and tens of
thousands of young men and women – as occupation troops – put in harms way, taken away
from family and love ones, their hands stained with the blood of others, subjected to so much
psychological pressure that everyday some commit suicide ant those returning home suffer
depression, become sickly and grapple with all sorts of aliments; while some are killed and
their bodies handed of their families.
On the pretext of the existence of WMDs, this great tragedy came to engulf both the peoples
of the occupied and the occupying country. Later it was revealed that no WMDs existed to
begin with.
Of course Saddam was a murderous dictator. But the war was not waged to topple him, the
announced goal of the war was to find and destroy weapons of mass destruction. He was
toppled along the way towards another goal, nevertheless the people of the region are happy
about it. I point out that throughout the many years of the … war on Iran Saddam was
supported by the West.
Mr President,
You might know that I am a teacher. My students ask me how can theses actions be
reconciled with the values outlined at the beginning of this letter and duty to the tradition of
Jesus Christ (PBUH), the Messenger of peace and forgiveness.
There are prisoners in Guantanamo Bay that have not been tried, have no legal representation,
their families cannot see them and are obviously kept in a strange land outside their own
country. There is no international monitoring of their conditions and fate. No one knows
whether they are prisoners, POWs, accused or criminals.
European investigators have confirmed the existence of secret prisons in Europe too. I could
not correlate the abduction of a person, and him or her being kept in secret prisons, with the
provisions of any judicial system. For that matter, I fail to understand how such actions
correspond to the values outlined in the beginning of this letter, i.e. the teachings of Jesus
Christ (PBUH), human rights and liberal values.
Young people, university students and ordinary people have many questions about the
phenomenon of Israel. I am sure you are familiar with some of them.
Throughout history many countries have been occupied, but I think the establishment of a
new country with a new people, is a new phenomenon that is exclusive to our times.
Students are saying that sixty years ago such a country did no exist. The show old documents
and globes and say try as we have, we have not been able to find a country named Israel.
I tell them to study the history of WWI and II. One of my students told me that during WWII,
which more than tens of millions of people perished in, news about the war, was quickly
disseminated by the warring parties. Each touted their victories and the most recent battlefront
defeat of the other party. After the war, they claimed that six million Jews had been killed. Six
million people that were surely related to at least two million families.
Again let us assume that these events are true. Does that logically translate into the
establishment of the state of Israel in the Middle East or support for such a state? How can
this phenomenon be rationalised or explained?
Mr President,
I am sure you know how – and at what cost – Israel was established:
- Many thousands were killed in the process.
- Millions of indigenous people were made refugees.
- Hundred of thousands of hectares of farmland, olive plantations, towns and villages
were destroyed.
This tragedy is not exclusive to the time of establishment; unfortunately it has been ongoing
for sixty years now.
A regime has been established which does not show mercy even to kids, destroys houses
while the occupants are still in them, announces beforehand its list and plans to assassinate
Palestinian figures and keeps thousands of Palestinians in prison. Such a phenomenon is
unique – or at the very least extremely rare – in recent memory.
Another big question asked by people is why is this regime being supported?
Is support for this regime in line with the teachings of Jesus Christ (PBUH) or Moses (PBUH)
or liberal values?
Or are we to understand that allowing the original inhabitants of these lands – inside and
outside Palestine – whether they are Christian, Muslim or Jew, to determine their fate, runs
contrary to principles of democracy, human rights and the teachings of prophets? If not, why
is there so much opposition to a referendum?
The newly elected Palestinian administration recently took office. All independent observes
have confirmed that this government represents the electorate. Unbelievingly, they have put
the elected government under pressure and have advised it to recognise the Israeli regime,
abandon the struggle and follow the programs of the previous government.
If the current Palestinian government had run on the above platform, would the Palestinian
people have voted for it? Again, can such position taken in opposition to the Palestinian
government be reconciled with the values outlined earlier? The people are also saying "why
are all UNSC resolutions in condemnation of Israel vetoed?"
Mr President,
As you are well aware, I live amongst the people and am in constant contact with them --
many people from around the Middle East manage to contact me as well. They dot not have
faith in these dubious policies either. There is evidence that the people of the region are
becoming increasingly angry with such policies.
It is not my intention to pose to many questions, but I need to refer to other points as well.
Why is it that any technological and scientific achievement reached in the Middle East
regions is translated into and portrayed as a threat to the Zionist regime? Is not scientific
R&D one of the basic rights of nations.
You are familiar with history. Aside from the Middle Ages, in what other point in history has
scientific and technical progress been a crime? Can the possibility of scientific achievements
being utilised for military purposes be reason enough to oppose science and technology
altogether? If such a supposition is true, then all scientific disciplines, including physics,
chemistry, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. must be opposed.
Lies were told in the Iraqi matter. What was the result? I have no doubt that telling lies is
reprehensible in any culture, and you do not like to be lied to.
Mr President,
Don’t Latin Americans have the right to ask, why their elected governments are being
opposed and coup leaders supported? Or, why must they constantly be threatened and live in
The people of Africa are hardworking, creative and talented. They can play an important and
valuable role in providing for the needs of humanity and contribute to its material and
spiritual progress. Poverty and hardship in large parts of Africa are preventing this from
happening. Don’t they have the right to ask why their enormous wealth – including minerals –
is being looted, despite the fact that they need it more than others?
Again, do such actions correspond to the teachings of Christ and the tenets of human rights?
The brave and faithful people of Iran too have many questions and grievances, including: the
coup d’etat of 1953 and the subsequent toppling of the legal government of the day,
opposition to the Islamic revolution, transformation of an Embassy into a headquarters
supporting, the activities of those opposing the Islamic Republic (many thousands of pages of
documents corroborates this claim), support for Saddam in the war waged against Iran, the
shooting down of the Iranian passenger plane, freezing the assets of the Iranian nation,
increasing threats, anger and displeasure vis-à-vis the scientific and nuclear progress of the
Iranian nation (just when all Iranians are jubilant and collaborating their country’s progress),
and many other grievances that I will not refer to in this letter.
Mr President,
September Eleven was a horrendous incident. The killing of innocents is deplorable and
appalling in any part of the world. Our government immediately declared its disgust with the
perpetrators and offered its condolences to the bereaved and expressed its sympathies.
All governments have a duty to protect the lives, property and good standing of their citizens.
Reportedly your government employs extensive security, protection and intelligence systems
– and even hunts its opponents abroad. September eleven was not a simple operation. Could it
be planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services – or
their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated guess. Why have the various
aspects of the attacks been kept secret? Why are we not told who botched their
responsibilities? And, why aren’t those responsible and the guilty parties identified and put
on trial?
All governments have a duty to provide security and peace of mind for their citizens. For
some years now, the people of your country and neighbours of world trouble spots do not
have peace of mind. After 9.11, instead of healing and tending to the emotional wounds of the
survivors and the American people – who had been immensely traumatised by the attacks –
some Western media only intensified the climates of fear and insecurity – some constantly
talked about the possibility of new terror attacks and kept the people in fear. Is that service to
the American people? Is it possible to calculate the damages incurred from fear and panic?
American citizen lived in constant fear of fresh attacks that could come at any moment and in
any place. They felt insecure in the streets, in their place of work and at home. Who would be
happy with this situation? Why was the media, instead of conveying a feeling of security and
providing peace of mind, giving rise to a feeling of insecurity?
Some believe that the hype paved the way – and was the justification – for an attack on
Afghanistan. Again I need to refer to the role of media.
In media charters, correct dissemination of information and honest reporting of a story are
established tenets. I express my deep regret about the disregard shown by certain Western
media for these principles. The main pretext for an attack on Iraq was the existence of
WMDs. This was repeated incessantly – for the public to, finally, believe – and the ground
set for an attack on Iraq.
Will the truth not be lost in a contrive and deceptive climate?
Again, if the truth is allowed to be lost, how can that be reconciled with the earlier mentioned
Is the truth known to the Almighty lost as well?
Mr President,
In countries around the world, citizens provide for the expenses of governments so that their
governments in turn are able to serve them.
The question here is "what has the hundreds of billions of dollars, spent every year to pay for
the Iraqi campaign, produced for the citizens?"
As your Excellency is aware, in some states of your country, people are living in poverty.
Many thousands are homeless and unemployment is a huge problem. Of course these
problems exist – to a larger or lesser extent – in other countries as well. With these conditions
in mind, can the gargantuan expenses of the campaign – paid from the public treasury – be
explained and be consistent with the aforementioned principles?
What has been said, are some of the grievances of the people around the world, in our region
and in your country. But my main contention – which I am hoping you will agree to some of
it – is:
Those in power have specific time in office, and do not rule indefinitely, but their names will
be recorded in history and will be constantly judged in the immediate and distant futures.
The people will scrutinize our presidencies.
Did we manage to bring peace, security and prosperity for the people or insecurity and
Did we intend to establish justice, or just supported especial interest groups, and by forcing
many people to live in poverty and hardship, made a few people rich and powerful – thus
trading the approval of the people and the Almighty with theirs’?
Did we defend the rights of the underprivileged or ignore them?
Did we defend the rights of all people around the world or imposed wars on them, interfered
illegally in their affairs, established hellish prisons and incarcerated some of them?
Did we bring the world peace and security or raised the specter of intimidation and threats?
Did we tell the truth to our nation and others around the world or presented an inverted
version of it?
Were we on the side of people or the occupiers and oppressors?
Did our administration set out to promote rational behaviour, logic, ethics, peace, fulfilling
obligations, justice, service to the people, prosperity, progress and respect for human dignity
or the force of guns.
Intimidation, insecurity, disregard for the people, delaying the progress and excellence of
other nations, and trample on people’s rights?
And finally, they will judge us on whether we remained true to our oath of office – to serve
the people, which is our main task, and the traditions of the prophets – or not?
Mr President,
How much longer can the world tolerate this situation?
Where will this trend lead the world to?
How long must the people of the world pay for the incorrect decisions of some rulers?
How much longer will the specter of insecurity – raised from the stockpiles of weapons of
mass destruction – hunt the people of the world?
How much longer will the blood of the innocent men, women and children be spilled on the
streets, and people’s houses destroyed over their heads?
Are you pleased with the current condition of the world?
Do you think present policies can continue?
If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movement were instead
spent on investment and assistance for poor countries, promotion of health, combating
different diseases, education and improvement of mental and physical fitness, assistance to
the victims of natural disasters, creation of employment opportunities and production,
development projects and poverty alleviation, establishment of peace, mediation between
disputing states and distinguishing the flames of racial, ethnic and other conflicts were would
the world be today? Would not your government, and people be justifiably proud?
Would not your administration’s political and economic standing have been stronger?
And I am most sorry to say, would there have been an ever increasing global hatred of the
American governments?
Mr President, it is not my intention to distress anyone.
If prophet Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ishmael, Joseph or Jesus Christ (PBUH) were with us
today, how would they have judged such behaviour? Will we be given a role to play in the
promised world, where justice will become universal and Jesus Christ (PBUH) will be
present? Will they even accept us?
My basic question is this: Is there no better way to interact with the rest of the world? Today
there are hundreds of millions of Christians, hundreds of millions of Moslems and millions of
people who follow the teachings of Moses (PBUH). All divine religions share and respect on
word and that is "monotheism" or belief in a single God and no other in the world.
The holy Koran stresses this common word and calls on an followers of divine religions and
says: [3.64] Say: O followers of the Book! Come to an equitable proposition between us and
you that we shall not serve any but Allah and (that) we shall not associate aught. With Him
and (that) some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah, but if they turn back, then
say: Bear witness that we are Muslims. (The Family of Imran).
Mr President,
According to divine verses, we have all been called upon to worship one God and follow the
teachings of divine prophets.
"To worship a God which is above all powers in the world and can do all He pleases." "The
Lord which knows that which is hidden and visible, the past and the future, knows what goes
on in the Hearts of His servants and records their deeds."
"The Lord who is the possessor of the heavens and the earth and all universe is His court"
"planning for the universe is done by His hands, and gives His servants the glad tidings of
mercy and forgiveness of sins". "He is the companion of the oppressed and the enemy of
oppressors". "He is the Compassionate, the Merciful". "He is the recourse of the faithful and
guides them towards the light from darkness". "He is witness to the actions of His servants",
"He calls on servants to be faithful and do good deeds, and asks them to stay on the path of
righteousness and remain steadfast". "Calls on servants to heed His prophets and He is a
witness to their deeds." "A bad ending belongs only to those who have chosen the life of this
world and disobey Him and oppress His servants". And "A good and eternal paradise belong
to those servants who fear His majesty and do not follow their lascivious selves."
We believe a return to the teachings of the divine prophets is the only road leading to
salvations. I have been told that Your Excellency follows the teachings of Jesus (PBUH), and
believes in the divine promise of the rule of the righteous on Earth.
We also believe that Jesus Christ (PBUH) was one of the great prophets of the Almighty. He
has been repeatedly praised in the Koran. Jesus (PBUH) has been quoted in Koran as well;
[19,36] And surely Allah is my Lord and your Lord, therefore serves Him; this is the right
path, Marium.
Service to and obedience of the Almighty is the credo of all divine messengers.
The God of all people in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, the Pacific and the rest of the world
is one. He is the Almighty who wants to guide and give dignity to all His servants. He has
given greatness to Humans.
We again read in the Holy Book: "The Almighty God sent His prophets with miracles and
clear signs to guide the people and show them divine signs and purity them from sins and
pollutions. And He sent the Book and the balance so that the people display justice and avoid
the rebellious."
All of the above verses can be seen, one way or the other, in the Good Book as well.
Divine prophets have promised:
The day will come when all humans will congregate before the court of the Almighty, so that
their deeds are examined. The good will be directed towards Haven and evildoers will meet
divine retribution. I trust both of us believe in such a day, but it will not be easy to calculate
the actions of rulers, because we must be answerable to our nations and all others whose lives
have been directly or indirectly effected by our actions.
All prophets, speak of peace and tranquillity for man – based on monotheism, justice and
respect for human dignity.
Do you not think that if all of us come to believe in and abide by these principles, that is,
monotheism, worship of God, justice, respect for the dignity of man, belief in the Last Day,
we can overcome the present problems of the world – that are the result of disobedience to the
Almighty and the teachings of prophets – and improve our performance?
Do you not think that belief in these principles promotes and guarantees peace, friendship and
Do you not think that the aforementioned written or unwritten principles are universally
Will you not accept this invitation? That is, a genuine return to the teachings of prophets, to
monotheism and justice, to preserve human dignity and obedience to the Almighty and His
Mr President,
History tells us that repressive and cruel governments do not survive. God has entrusted
The fate of man to them. The Almighty has not left the universe and humanity to their own
devices. Many things have happened contrary to the wishes and plans of governments. These
tell us that there is a higher power at work and all events are determined by Him.
Can one deny the signs of change in the world today?
Is this situation of the world today comparable to that of ten years ago? Changes happen fast
and come at a furious pace.
The people of the world are not happy with the status quo and pay little heed to the promises
and comments made by a number of influential world leaders. Many people around the wolrd
feel insecure and oppose the spreading of insecurity and war and do not approve of and accept
dubious policies.
The people are protesting the increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots and the rich
and poor countries.
The people are disgusted with increasing corruption.
The people of many countries are angry about the attacks on their cultural foundations and the
disintegration of families. They are equally dismayed with the fading of care and compassion.
The people of the world have no faith in international organisations, because their rights are
not advocated by these organisations.
Liberalism and Western style democracy have not been able to help realize the ideals of
humanity. Today these two concepts have failed. Those with insight can already hear the
sounds of the shattering and fall of the ideology and thoughts of the liberal democratic
We increasingly see that people around the world are flocking towards a main focal point –
that is the Almighty God. Undoubtedly through faith in God and the teachings of the
prophets, the people will conquer their problems. My question for you is: "Do you not want to
join them?"
Mr President,
Whether we like it or not, the world is gravitating towards faith in the Almighty and justice
and the will of God will prevail over all things.
Vasalam Ala Man Ataba’al hoda
Mahmood Ahmadi-Najad
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Source: International Herald Tribune

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Nabi Palsu/False Prophet

This essay is my attempt to freely combine many point of views ranging from literary, fiction, philosophy, history, and mythology.

The story goes that someone called "Ego," convinced that his destiny is to be a prophet, has pursued his dream of prophethood. In his journey, many obstacles faced him. He often casts doubt on his own belief in prophethood. Equally, people around seem not to care of his claim to be a prophet.

Ego's doubt on his own prophethood grows rather stronger. This was caused by his bitter experiences during his long journey and also due to his readings of some mythologies and histories. He now realizes that he is not the only prophet, but everybody else is also potential to be a prophet like himself. He now sees that nothing is special about him, and claim to be a prophet.

He learns, nonetheless, that the status of being prophet is not gained through claims made several times, but the status is often designated later by the people whom the prophets had guided. The prophethood, as testified by history, is not a special status, nor is it privilege to be a prophet. Bitterness may it sound, the prophethood came after the prophets passed suffered by rejections and humiliations.

Ego is now convinced that earning common life, and finding a good job, is as noble as what the previous prophets struggled for--in voicing the truth against their people. At the end, Ego was hopeless, having no job, sitting in the corner of a village market, and observing someone who fixed shoes for living. He thinks that he can apply a position as an assistant of this shoe-reparatuer, which can perhaps be a destiny of the prophet.

For the rest of the story please open Nabi Palsu, Membuka Kembali Pintu Kenabian (A False Prophet, Opening the Gate of Prophethood) Yogyakarta/Indonesia: Ar-Ruzz, 2003.


This is my first Indonesian work, published in Yogyakarta Indonesia (Pustaka Pelajar, 2002). Its title reads Anti-Kesempurnaan: Membaca, Melihat dan Bertutur tentang Islam/Unfinished: Reading, Observing and Telling about Islam.

This book essentially deals with the daily life of Muslims in Indonesia, although a glimpse history of Islam is also presented. What the book mostly concerns is the relation between methodologies, theories, and practices found in the field of Islamic studies and particularly in Indonesia.

For example, the issues on the gap between the living tradition in the contemporary Indonesian Muslims and the text that the Muslims themselves have produced were examined. Does the text represent the practice? Which one came first?

This book, however, uniquely positions the Muslims as creators of their own traditions, cultures, and texts, whereas the students of Islamic studies have so far tried to find certain theories in analyzing the relationship among these three components. Can the latter finds the answer and how far this relationship among the three is formulated, the book tries to exhibit this matter.

Why the title of this work is "Unfinished"?
This is due to the above theory that the Muslims are viewed as the creators of their own tradition, cultures, and text. All of these elements have define what Islam is. Thus, it can perhaps be said that "Islam" with these elements are always created and renewed by the Muslims. This is certainly a unique position of being Muslims who actively make their Islam more perfect and more complete from time to time. This stance also differs from the observers or writers of Islam who position themselves outside the cultures, traditions, and texts of Islam. These scholars, indeed, have contributed in finding theories and methodologies of Islam as field of study, but they do not participate in creating "Islam". Creating Islam therefore belongs exclusively to Muslims. The observers have so far performerd the task of explaining what the Muslims have done with regard to the act of "creation" of Islam.

Given this fact, it can perhaps be said that Islam is always dynamic act of creation by Muslims. Islam as tradition, culture, and text can be regarded as never "finished" or unfinished. It is Muslims who finish and complete the task. Islam in this sense is nothing but creation of Muslims themselves through their prayers (ibadah) and acts (mu'amalah).

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bunuh Sang Nabi/Kill the Prophet

This book is my newest bahasa Indonesia language work, entitled Bunuh Sang Nabi: Kebenaran di Balik Pertarungan Setan Melawan Malaikat (Kill the Prophet: Truth behind the Struggle between Satan and Angel)." Jakarta, Hikmah, Mizan 2006.

The idea of this work basically continues the story told in the previous book Nabi Palsu (False Prophet). The story goes that someone, convinced himself to be a prophet, is now questioning his own belief again. This man is described to have fought against himself, possessed by both evil and virtuous spirit.

Opining the books of history and mythology, he realizes that the border between true prophethood and false-prophethood is obscure, even so is the border between good and evil. Having discovered the stories in the sacred books of prophethood, such as what the Scriptures and mythologies said, he questions every character in every narration contained by the books--which one is the true prophets and which one is the enemies of the truth.

For the true seeker of the truth, however, even those who have been been claimed in these books as the enemies of prophethood, or evil characters, cannot be labeled merely as "evil." They also have the equal right to claim their own prophethood.

Thus, the struggle between truth and evil in every narration contained in mythologies and sacred books is endless, not merely due to the powerful undefeated evil, but rather due to the unclear definition of evil and truth themselves.