By Irfan Nugroho
I am a vivid reader of TheJakartaPost.com,
and one section that I love to read is Opinion Section. From the
section I can both learn how to write well and know fascinating insight
on the recent news around the globe.

However, I must ease myself
off when I found one or two writing discussing Islam on that section.
And the worse one is that of the high frequency of such an opinion,
which unfortunately discussed Islam from the perspectives of non-Muslim
westerners and anti-Islam movement.

The last time I read about an
opinion from a Netherlands Ambassador to Indonesia on what Islam
actually is. On the same day, there was another opinion about Islam too;
but this one was from an anti-Islam movement that is called Jaringan Islam Liberal-JIL (Liberal Islam Network).

I
read Mr. Ambassador’s first before jumping to the JIL-er’s opinion. I
descried there is a correlation between Mr. Ambassador’s opinion and the
JIL-er’s one. Not only the correlation lay on the same issue –Islam;
but also, it appears that the JIL-er’s opinion has indirectly proven
that Mr. Ambassador’s opinion is 100% correct.

Mr. Ambassador
wrote about his very lack insight about “terrorism” and Islam. He stated
that he never found any verse in the Quran calling for people to carry
out the Jeehad. I’m not going to focus this writing about his lack view
on the meanings of the Jeehad, however. This writing is to spotlight on
the secret Mr. Ambassador unveiled through his opinion.

On his
opinion Mr. Ambassador told that the easiest way of getting academic
funds is by undertaking research as well as holding seminar on Islamic
issues, especially Islam from the perspectives of non-Muslim westerners
and anti-Islam movement. Doubtlessly, Islam has been an interesting
topic after the 9/11, and is because Islam alone develops fast and
widely in Europe and America, in which this situation is often viewed as
a threat for anti-Islam movement.

Sure everyone who knows that
fact will get themselves active in discussing Islam, even though they’re
not Muslims. They get money from speaking about Jeehad, as if they are
experts in Jeehad but they never engaged in the Land of Jeehad.

They
talk about Islam, but it is seldom to see those people practice the
Islamic teachings well. They shout for Islamic movement but in fact,
they live ordinary life, not as Islamic movement activists. They deliver
criticism over Islam on mass media; thus they get paid for it.

This
is the same as what the JIL-er did through his opinion “The True
Position of Islam in Politics,” on the same day when Mr. Ambassador’s
opinion was published on TheJakartaPost.com.

The JIL-er wrote about the political strategies of Partai Keadilan Sejahtera-PKS (Prosperous
Justice Party) in term of winning the hearts of Indonesian nationalist
voters in the 2009 General Election. Poorly, he offered very very short
argumentation to support his view about this topic; that of assuming the
PKS’s effort ended in failure as PKS is still “fundamentalist” thus
couldn’t attract Indonesian nationalist voters.

So why does such writing appear on TheJakartaPost.com? Just because he is good in English, perhaps, thus his opinion was chosen to publish. Or perhaps, it’s just because TheJakartaPost.com’s preference; that of preferring Islamic to non-Islamic issues.

On
the face of that, I want to assume that the JIL-er wrote such an
opinion because he was in need for money and prestige. The JIL-er got
paid as his writing was published on TheJakartaPost.com.
Consequently, some people might acknowledge him as an Islamic politics
expert – even though the fact shows different thing, he is not master in
Islamic politics at all.

Finally, it is, perhaps, true that
discussing Islam on mass media is a good way of getting money and
prestige. You get paid from writing Islamic issues; thus people know you
as if you’re an expert on that case. In addition, we must also remember
that apparently, TheJakartaPost.com, and many other mass media, prefers Islamic to non-Islamic issues.