People from all walks of life call Indonesia their home. While it has the largest Muslim population in the world, Indonesia’s famous motto, “Unity in Diversity,” demonstrates how important it is for people to live in peace no matter their faith.
In the spirit of celebrating diversity, Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Indonesia hosted another Peace!Project on February 4, 2023. The ongoing interfaith youth program is a monthly activity to gather youth from a variety of faith backgrounds to gain insight on their diverse communities. The project provides educational information, but the real effects can be seen in the unique friendships that are formed.
This time, youth gathered at the Ramlie Mustofa Mosque in Jakarta. The mosque has long been known as a symbol of harmony because of its artistic elements of Islam and Chinese influence. The white mosque is nicknamed the “Taj Mahal Indonesia.”
While at the mosque, youth in the Peace!Project has the opportunity to discuss Islam right at the source. They were guided through the place of worship accompanied by Sofian Rasidin, Chairman of the Ramlie Musofa Mosque.
“We have a vision to build peace,” said Sofian Rasidin. “More precisely, we want to show that Islam is a blessing to all beings, not just Muslims in Indonesia.”
The Arabic, Indonesian, and Mandarin languages were carved into the architecture all around the mosque. Sofian explained that the choice of the three languages was deliberately chosen by his father. His family originated from China, so it was his father’s given identity. Islam, however, is the religious identity that his father had chosen. Indonesia is the nation he chose to live in. Incorporating all three languages was his way of paying respect to all aspects of his life and identity. Similarly, the youth were encouraged to celebrate the diversity in their own lives and respect the backgrounds of their peers.
Following their tour of the mosque, the Kalam Calligraphy Community organized a “Calligraphy for Peace” component for the Peace!Project participants. The internationally known art form is a way of expressing written language in a beautiful, harmonious manner. While visually appealing, calligraphy, like many other art forms, is a powerful way of conveying important messages. It might literally mean something in any language, but the art itself has the power to deepen that message and touch people’s hearts and minds.
The Peace!Project welcomes youth from all religious backgrounds to join the immersive program and be transformed.