I Have a Dream: A Letter for Obama on Syria

I Have a Dream: A Letter for Obama on Syria

Poignant letter from Imam of Indonesian mosque on Syria

I Have a Dream: A Letter for Obama on Syria


Today, I stand up here because today Mr. Barrack Obama the president of the United States of America, a president of a powerful nation, will deliver his speech to decide or to rethink his plan to strike Syria.

I am glad that he gave signals to take alternative options.

I deliver this speech to remind the president and the war people around him the severe consquences such attack. Syria is not Libya, Syria is not Iraq. 

America is a great nation, and as a president of a great nation Mr. Obama should have greater responsibility to maintain world peace.

You couldn’t punished a person who you think used gas weapon and killed 1300 people by killing more people. Syria is already torn apart, by sectarianism, by political competition that use religious masks. What is left from Syria; many great world heritages were demolished. Your limited strike will extend those demolishion.

I stand up here to remind the president about your audacity of hope as well as Martin Luther’s vision that have inspired you and makes you as a president of giant nation. 

Mr. President, you were elected as president because you carried a clear and sincere voice, you voiced a hope, gave gems in this muddy world. You revived hope and optimism to the people in the West and people in the East, that have been gapped by suspicion and stereotypes. I used to watch your speech because in you I found Martin Luther King.

Now people in the West and people in the East, those that found hope in you now they regret, seriously regret your leaning towards war. Many now think you are a war president. We couldn’t feel and see again shiny face of Martin Luther King, his warmth heart, and his bright vision that they saw in you when you talk the language of war.

I stand here as fellow human, as sociologist and anthropologist of Muslims socities, as a village religious leader in Indonesia to remind that the severe consequences of the attack to Middle East, to the US and Islamic world in general. 

I organized a ninety days campaign to revive love in world politics to reject the war, and this speech to reject the war because everyday as Imam of Mosque, I witnessed have to clean the mess in my neighborhood created by the rise of Islamic radicalism. The attack upon Syria will aggravate the situation and strengthen Islamic radicalism.

I organized a ninety days campaign to revive love in world politics to reject the war, and this speech to reject the war because metaphysically I saw the consequence of this war. I dont want to inherit a world to our children and grandchildren ruled by hatred and war.

Campaign and speech on facebook may be nothing. People regard this as nothing. But this is big to me because this is a heart prayer, a munajat to Alloh. Hopefully Alloh grants my wish that Alloh give peace and blessing to the world.

I am not alone. Many american fellow are on my side. The medias report that the you got scant support for the war. You also can see now every moderate Muslims in the world reject your plan to attack Syria. Muslims who support you now is ONLY the Muslim Brotherhood and wahhabists and despotic rulers in Arab peninsula, who often campaigned sectarianism.

If you really changed your mind again and attack Syria, you might lose the support of the moderate Muslims when you really need their support.

Mr. President, please remember what Martin Luther said on words after a bomb was thrown into his house in Alabama, on 30 January 1956:

“If you have weapons, take them home; if you do not have them, please do not seek to get them. We cannot solve this problem through retaliatory violence. We must meet violence with nonviolence. Remember the words of Jesus: "He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword." 

Being overwhelmed with administrative machines and surrounded by people who have businness in war machines surely can change heart and mind. But see, you are still the Martin Luther King of the current world. Read and Feel his piece that actually translate the language and the substance of your heart:

“Today it is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence; it is either nonviolence or nonexistence. It may not be that Mahatma Gandhi is God’s appeal to this age, an age drifting to its doom. And that warning, and that appeal is always in the form of a warning: “He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword.” Jesus said it years ago. Whenever men follow that and see that way, new horizons begin to emerge and a new world unfolds. Who today will follow Christ in his way and follow it so much that we’ll be able to do greater things even than he did because we will be able to bring about the peace of the world and mobilize hundreds and thousands of men to follow the way of Christ?"

Mr. President, please open again again your book collection on Martin Luther King. On 22 March 1959, he gave a Sunday Sermon on Mohandas K. Gandhi, at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. He said:

“We must meet hate with love. We must meet physical force with soul force. There is still a voice crying out through the vista of time, saying: "Love your enemies , bless them that curse you , pray for them that despitefully use you." Then, and only then, can you matriculate into the university of eternal life. That same voice cries out in terms lifted to cosmic proportions: "He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword." And history is replete with the bleached bones of nations that failed to follow this command. We must follow nonviolence and love.”

In that speech he also said this nice piece:
“Now, I’m not talking about a sentimental, shallow kind of love. I’m not talking about eros, which is a sort of aesthetic, romantic love. I’m not even talking about philia, which is a sort of intimate affection between personal friends. But I'm talking about agape. I'm talking about the love of God in the hearts of men. I’m talking about a type of love which will cause you to love the person who does the evil deed while hating the deed that the person does. We've got to love.”

In the same church, two years before the speech, he also delivered this speech: (at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, on 17 November 1957).

“It is love that will save our world and our civilization. .. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat any individual. … Love is understanding, redemptive goodwill for all men, so that you love everybody. Force begets force, hate begets hate, toughness begets toughness. And it is all a descending spiral, ultimately ending in destruction for all and everybody. Somebody must have sense enough and morality enough to cut off the chain of hate and the chain of evil in the universe. And you do that by love.”

This certainly couldn’t be accomplished with tomahawk or white phosphors. 
Mr President, 

I have a dream, the world is governed with love not forces
I have a dream every life is respected, whatever his/her religious background, sex, gender, or skin color.
I have a dream no more life is sacrificed for the sake of money or power.
With love from Indonesia

Allohumma shalli ala sayyidina Muhammad wa ala ali sayyidina Muhammad