ISLAM IN THE WORLD AGENDA

Prof. Dr. M. Es'ad COSAN

Islam, May 1988

The Islamic world has been badly shaken and divided during the past several centuries because Muslims have been subjected to physical, spiritual and cultural oppression. Insha'Allah the present time will be a time of healing, progress and unity. I have been fortunate to travel to several countries in which I observed positive changes. These changes have impressed me a great deal.

Elhamdulillah, in spite of negative propaganda, hostility and conspiracy, Islam is still dynamic and influential even in non-Muslim countries. The infidels, polytheists and atheists have not been and will not be able to extinguish this precious and honored light of God because He has promised and guaranteed us in the Koran.

Several days ago I met an intellectual, upperclass Australian at a mosque. He had recently converted to Islam and taken the name Halid. I was not able to learn how he had become a Muslim, but I learned quickly that he was an extremely refined and gracious person. On the same day a few hours earlier, some journalists from The Age Newspaper had come to Coburg Mosque to interview someone about Ramazan. There the reporters met Bilal, an Australian Muslim, who gave excellent responses to their questions. The reporters asked him,

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"When did you become a Muslim?"

Bilal replied,

"I was born a Muslim as everyone else, but my parents raised me as a Christian. They taught me incorrect and perverted religious knowledge. When I became aware of the truth, I became a Muslim."

What a beautiful, intelligent and truthful answer?

One can be certain that humanity is thirsty for Islam. Members of other religions, even members of the ministry when studying Islam, they immediately understand the the Koran has been sent by God. Many know the truth, but they hide it inside themselves. Few admit the truth and convert to Islam. During my stay here, some non-Muslims who have heard of my reputation have come to me seeking a solution to their problems and requesting my prayers. In fact, some have become Muslims as a result of a few simple and sincere words of warning and guidance from our brothers. In other words, our merciful Lord does not leave his servants without guidance. He grants spiritual awakening to every decent and humble servant.

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It is easier to see from the outside that in our country the value of Islam is not appreciated. In this age of science and knowledge, missiles and computers, some "half" intellectuals have taken an erroneous stand against Islam. Due to their ignorance and obstinacy, they have oppressed Islam and Muslims in an antidemocratic and reactionary manner. Let them come here and see what real freedom of conscience and religion is. Let them feel ashamed when they see religion freedom in foreign countries.

Here in Australia no one interferes with Muslims: They live, dress and participate in religious activities as they please. Also, non-Muslims seek us in order to interview us for the radio and newspaper. They show interest and respect for our beliefs, worship and style of dressing.

Here we wish we had been able to protect our distinctive virtues and customs, and not fallen into imitation of others. If only we had been able to preserve our character, faith, customs which come from our historical background., if only we had not changed our unique civilization and culture., then we would have aroused even more interest and admiration. The more we become degenerated and simply imitators of others, the more we lose our dignity, esteem and respect.

I have decided that insha'Allah from now on I am going to be much more careful about protecting and exercising my spiritual identity and characteristic because we can only obtain honor and bliss "here and there" by completely embracing Islam.

(Islam, May 1988)

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