Forum: Where are the Protagonists of Peaceful Islam – And Where Are They Collectively?

Bishop Stefan Oster, SDB, of Passau, Germany Makes Appeal for Peace

Share this Entry

Below is the appeal issued by German Bishop Stefan Oster, SDB, of Passau, against terrorism, released on his website on July 15th:
Stunned by recent events, we mourn and pray for the victims of Nice. We ask ourselves: When, finally?
After this act of terror – and after those in Paris, after Brussels, after Istanbul, after Madrid, after, after, after… After the atrocities of IS, Boko Haram, Al-Quaeda and other terrorist groups on all continents of this world, after, after, after… When does the collective, the great joint outcry, finally come from all the peace-loving and truly God-devoted Muslims in which they will no longer accept the abuse of their faith in the name of terrorists? When will the religious and political leaders of the Islamic world unite in order to declare and demonstrate to the world that Islam and terrorism are not compatible? Furthermore, when will such a great collective demonstration of peacefulness happen here – from the vast numbers of Muslims who live in our country?
When will an honest commitment to freedom of religion in so many countries of the world in which Muslims are the majority finally occur? When will the persecution and oppression of religious minorities in these countries finally stop? Why do we persistently have to discuss whether Christians and people of non-Muslim faith are discriminated against by Muslims in refugee shelters if it has not been for a background of these incidents? Why is so little being or nothing at all being discussed by Muslims themselves here? Where are the associations of peace-loving Muslims; associations and initiatives, which are so much more important than many other things under consideration of the current international situation?
Why does it have to be us Christians or Western Democrats who always have to point out that there could, there should and there is an Islam which has nothing to do with the contempt of people of different faiths, the disregard of women, and with the contempt of liberal state-constitutions and a literal understanding of Sharia? One which is compatible with the basic respect for the dignity of every human being, no matter what race, gender, religion, skin-color, origin or sexual orientation? When finally will Muslims who live according to all this, believe in it, and demand it, dare to break cover – with all religious, political and social influence they can muster?
Are they so inaudible and invisible because they are afraid? Of the majority, of the violent, of the guardians of only a literal interpretation of the Koran? Is it because Islamic theology does not allow it after all? Is it because they are collectively badly organized? Or is because of another reason? For a long time, since much too long, in my opinion, such Muslims who are motivated by their faith and want to resist this are required, peacefully but intensively and collectively – against the evil which befalls humanity over and over again in the name of their religion. The less they do this, the more they permit the daily, hourly increase in suspicion that Islam is a religion which scares the world and which does not bring peace.
As a Christian, I am convinced that we all share one common Creator God, no matter the faith someone has. I am convinced that we are all brothers and sisters of one human family. I am aware that in the eyes of many Muslims I represent a faith that has not only brought peace throughout history as well. However, wherever this has happened, wherever violence has been committed in the name of our faith, we have betrayed our founder Christ, the Nonviolent, and for any act of violence we have to ask for forgiveness in His name and repent. And we have already expressed this plea and we do it over and over again. Peace is so very needed in this world and particularly among the religions. For this reason, I wish from all Muslims who want peace: Finally stand up collectively against this madness!
This is a working translation from the German language version and for convenience purposes only.

Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation