TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi said religious tolerance and harmony played a significant role in the country’s economic growth.
“We must admit that religious tolerance, harmony highly affect the economic development,” said Fachrul during his opening speech in the National Meeting of Directorate General of Islamic Affairs in the Ministry of Religious Affairs Office, MH Thamrin, Central Jakarta, Monday, March 2.
Fachrul recalled that his friends from the United Arab Emirates told him that religious tolerance is vital to lure tourists and investors from non-Muslim countries. His friend said that Indonesia and the UAE had a variety of tourist destinations, and not all of the tourists are Muslims.
“[My friend said,] if you don’t friends or not showing tolerance towards other religions, they [tourists] must not willing to come to your country. We here rely on tolerance so many tourists visit [UAE],” said Fachrul, recalling his friend’s advice.
Similar to investors, the former deputy commander of the Indonesian Military opined that most of the investors in the UEA are non-Muslims.
Fachrul also exemplified religious moderation adopted by Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia that provided free visas for tourists from the United States and Europe. Besides, they are building a city that will be the largest business center in the world.
Listening to the stories by his friends, Fachrul claimed he asked about the meaning of Islam as rahmatan lil alamin (blessing for the universe) and his friend answered that Islam is a blessing when the people are friendly and not hide themselves from the universe.
“My friend explains that Islam is a blessing for the universe. So if you hide yourself from the world, you cannot be a blessing,” said Fachrul Razi. Thus he called on his staffers to not be tired of campaigning tolerance through preaching, culture, and community economy.
BUDIARTI UTAMI PUTRI