Diversity is The Fact
In the case of religion, religious diversity is the fact that there are significant differences in religious belief and practice, roughly, pluralistic approaches to religious diversity say that, within bounds, one religion is as good as any other.
“In my religion, the mention of God is not the same in various countries even I do not dare to guarantee all Balinese Hindus call their God as Sang Hyang Widhi.”
This statement is from one Hindu in Bali.
When I feel a significant difference that occurs between me and other people starting from different opinions, needs, languages, abilities, ethnic origins, etc.
I feel that is when diversity occurs.
Diversity is a Good Result of Freedom of Choice
I stand on exclusivist approaches that say only one religion is uniquely valuable.
My view of each religion is different and has its own uniqueness does not make me hate or avoid a religion that I do not profess.
In fact, I feel that diversity is a good result of freedom of choice that feels right for each individual.
Although my religion requires the followers to convey their teachings, my religion still forbids imposing the will of others to become Muslims, so it must be in accordance with their wishes and conscience.
I also will not oppose other religions because there is a suggestion that “if your religion does not want to be insulted or opposed, then you do not start insulting other people’s religions”.
We really need to respect others, so we will be respected.
The main point of the problem of religious diversity that often occurs is the lack of respect for differences from one another.
Many religious practices that impose the will of others that what they hold is wrong, as if these practitioners are not convinced that the beliefs they hold are right so they have to blame the beliefs of others and cause a commotion between followers of the faith or religion.
Then, the lack of respect for religious differences is triggered because people are lazy to discuss and feel sensitive when discussing different religions.
Thus, the religious community feels reluctant to discuss matters of faith and makes the available information confusing.
Islamophobia and Social Conflict
As in the case of the bombing in the United States that caused Muslims to be considered a religion that teaches violence even though it was only a few unscrupulous individuals.
At the time, the term Islamophobia emerged and many of its followers because there was very little discussion that the teachings of Islam were not like that.
Our path in the future will only lead to social conflict without respect.
It is only natural that we disagree with the ideas, opinions, or beliefs of others who are different from us and we feel ourselves right.
However, we must maintain an attitude of tolerance and respect for differences of opinion.
Then, keep in mind a tendency to focus on differences compared to similarities possessed is a negative trend, which will continue to test the tolerance value that all adherents of religion or belief have.
This can actually be prevented if everyone is open to each other and does not discredit or blame the differences in beliefs and religions.
We can celebrate this difference by visiting each other occasionally, while eating snacks and chatting, for example about religious news or beliefs that we ourselves are not sure of.
Another thing to celebrate differences is that we can give appreciation to someone who should be determined by the abilities possessed by each individual, not by the beliefs or religions held.
Furthermore, the majority and minority have an equal role to encourage the values of mutual respect.
If this method feels complicated, we should at least not make or spread the news that can spark disunity.
From the point of view and opinion that I have stated above, I feel in the end that differences should indeed be celebrated.
In the sense given to humans, human qualities are respected with respect, and where special gifts from every human are verified by conscious recognition, humans can develop.
A world living system in which humans are social beings dependent on one another makes a difference a force in collaborative endeavors.
Collaboration is the path to peace wherefrom the collaboration I could get the knowledge of diversity, and that is a key to tolerance.
Through each other’s diversity also, I become more aware of my own.
Penulis: Siti Khusnul Khotimah
(Mahasiswi Sampoerna University)