There’s nothing more frightening than to know you’re losing control. Whether that’d be at work, in your marriage, or while playing Call of Duty: Zombies.
You hate losing control.
But if you’re a Muslim currently living in Indonesia, your grasp of control is slowly coming to an end.
Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world; over 200 million to be exact. But that’s not what’s freaking them out. It’s the other side of the story that has them shaking in their boots.
Over 2 million Muslims leave Islam for Christianity ever year in Indonesia. That’s one large migration taking place. And Islamic leaders are not happy about it.If the status quo doesn’t change Indonesia will lose its Muslim majority by 2035. That’s a huge problem for Islam, not to mention the self-esteem of many Muslims. They feel that Islam has failed to become relevant toward the younger generation.
Not only is Islam becoming more and more detached from the lives of many Indonesian Muslims, but it’s also losing its reach.
The most exposure many Indonesian Muslims have to Islam is during Friday sermons, which are usually hard for the average Muslim to understand or relate to.
Islam is losing its congregation not only in their daily lives, but also at the pulpit.
Which is why Islamic leaders are trying to undo what has already happened. And possibly save their faith.
Enter Save Maryam
Save Maryam is a Youtube video that was produced to spread the word about the situation that is facing Islam in Indonesia. It highlights some of the fact that were stated above. All the while telling it through a story about a little girl named Maryam.
Maryam, according to the video, is a representation of the Indonesian youth who will, and have, left Islam.
Through Maryam, the video shows how the current system of teaching Islam has failed. The youth are left to deal with depression and loneliness by themselves, which ultimately leads them to abandon Islam for Christianity.
To combat this, the video presents five goals for bringing Islam back into the lives of Indonesian Muslims.
- Create the first Islamic TV Channel for the youth of Indonesia
- Create a community helpline to help with the needs of the youth
- Preach less. Listen more.
- Raise $2 million
- Spread the message through social networks and word of mouth
The first two points are for the use of combatting the already prevalent Christian TV channels and helplines. I guess they decided they needed to catch up with the technology.
The third point is more of a general piece of advice. Imams and Mosques are losing their followers because they preach (and teach) in a way that pushes the younger generations away.
The fourth point is a little unclear. The video did not mention what the $2 million was for. Most likely for the TV channel and helpline, but there’s still the issue of where the funds will come from.
And the last point is to spread the message. Which doesn’t seem to be going well.
I looked through their Twitter account and website which are located in the description of the video to see what was going on. The twitter account hasn’t been updated since December of 2012 and their website is void of any information. And when I mean void, I mean void!
Their Facebook page is even worse with nothing posted since November of 2012…
It’s obvious that someone went to a lot of trouble to make the video. I was surprised at how clean and modern the video was. Yet nothing is happening.
Why has the movement stopped?
Christianity already has an up in the game
If you’ve ever come late to a party or game you know what I’m talking about.
As the video itself states: Christian missionaries have their own community helplines for the youth, and radio stations across Indonesia. This is a major advantage.
Another major advantage is that they hold services on Friday instead of Sunday. This is not by accident. Holding services on the same day as Muslims creates a heightened competition between both parties.
Maryam for example might want to hang out with her friends at church, but it would mean ditching Friday sermons at the mosque.
Churches further increase the competition by teaching the Bible in the same way the Quran is taught. They also use terms such as Iman, Salah, and Allah to create a familiar experience that many Indonesian Muslims are accustomed to.
Islam is unwilling to change to meet the current demand
When you watched the Save Maryam video did you notice something odd in the beginning? That picture that says “No musical instruments used”? Yep, that’s the one.
Why exactly do they have that there? Who cares if musical instruments were used?
This might come as a shock to you, but Islam doesn’t have the nicest stance toward musical instruments. Several Hadiths compare musical instruments to acts such as fornication and wine drinking. And some Muslims view musical instruments as distractions from Allah.
Now obviously most of you are shaking your heads asking yourself, “What the heck is wrong with these people?” But the real issue is that this archaic stance toward an accepted (and loved) form of enjoyment is what is hurting Islam.
How are you supposed to relate to the youth when you prohibit the very thing that most young people are in to? It doesn’t work.
Islam will fail to connect with the younger generation as long as they hold to these antiquated (and ridiculous) stances.
Islam’s continued use of violence
In an age where violence is routinely condemned, Islam is the one that continuously utilizes it. Which seems like a regular go-to solution for any problem Muslims face.
And when that problem is another religion it turns into an all out attack on any house of worship.
In the province of Aceh, 17 churches have been closed in one year due to Islamic pressure. The governor, Abdullah has promised the Islamization of the province and he fully intends to carry it out. Sharia Law is already implemented.
In Java, the last synagogue was torn down in May of 2013 after being sealed off by Islamist forces. The minority Ahmadiyya community in Java has also experienced persecution. Homes were torn down by Islamist groups and the governor of Java said that violence against the community would end if they disappeared.
That’s just a glimpse of the routine violence perpetrated by Indonesian Muslims. And it doesn’t make them popular among the youth or non religious groups.
This is why the movement has most likely stopped dead in its tracks.
And why Indonesian Muslims are helpless to stop the coming religious transformation.
Indonesian mosques will continue to see their congregation disappear. It might happen gradually, or people might start leaving Islam at an incredible rate. No matter how fast the rate of change is, one thing is for certain. Islam will lose its majority status in Indonesia. Striking a terrible blow to the Islamic world.