I do get a number of requests to publicise or otherwise promote products, services and causes. Many don't fit into the Jakartass remit, mainly because as a Brit abroad I generally write about life as I see it here in Indonesia.
However, the following appeal appeals to me because it is a request to Indonesian Muslims to reach out to the wider world of (mis) understanding in Britain.Adam Rogers
wrote to me as follows:I found your blog and wondered if you might be interested in writing about or mission to find 500 Osamas in 50 days? We are half way through the mission and seriously lacking Osamas! We will be coming to Indonesia next week so it would be really helpfull if you could mention our project on Jakartass.
The project is for
(British TV) Channel 4 who have recruited London doctor Farrah Jarral and filmmaker Masood Khan for a mission called 'Osama Loves' to discover the sunnier side of Islam. Farrah and Masood aim to meet 500 Osamas right across the Islamic world in just 50 days, asking each one; "What do you love?"
"I just want to prove that not all Muslims are extremist" said Jarral, a doctor at St Mary's Hospital.
Three years ago Farrah had a crisis in her identity. During her medical training she was called to assist with the aftermath of 7/7, the London bombings on July 7th 2005
. For the first time in her medical career Farrah was "inconsolable" - face to face with the reality of terrorism and utterly devastated by the fact that some of her fellow British Muslims could set out to kill other Britons.
The fact that bomber Mohammed Sidique Khan, came from the same Pakistani background as her own immediate family made the attacks even harder to deal with. "I felt betrayed by the 7/7 bombers. When one of them referred to 'my people' [a reference to other Muslims] in their suicide video it made me think about who my people were" said Jarral.
"I want to change the way British people look at Islam." said Khan. "Before 9/11, the only Osama I knew was my 7-year-old cousin in Pakistan. On that terrible day, another Osama
(bin Laden) came into my life. I just can't seem to get rid of him. I'm going on a journey to discover more about the name that completely changed my world" he added.
"Osama" and "Loves" are not two words you often hear together, or expect to. By going on this incredible journey, Farrah and Masood want to demonstrate to the UK the "warmth, humour and diversity" of the Islamic world, and that it's not a homogenous culture; to explore what Islamic culture and belief really means to them; and to provide insight into the day-to-day realities of Muslim communities, their concerns and hopes, their perspectives and loves.
"By meeting 500 people who share nothing but their first name, I want to show that, whatever the cultural or social background, we all love much the same things" said Jarral.
The public can follow Farrah and Masood's mission and they are relying on (the public) to getinvolved. If you know where they should go to find the next Osama, where they should stay [or how to get the most out of their journey], let them know by visiting www.osamaloves.com
It is important to note that many terrorist atrocities have been blamed on Osama bin Laden, 'sponsor' of the attacks on the New York Trade Center towers, who remains in the top ten of public enemies. However, according to the official inquiry
into the London bombings, they "were a modest, simple affair by four seemingly normal men using the internet
" with "nothing to support the theory that an al-Qaeda fixer, presumed to be from Pakistan, was instrumental in planning the attacks
That said, in order to overcome the widespread perception that Islam is a religion rooted in violence, I'm asking fellow bloggers in the Indonesian blogosphere to link to this post and help recruit those Osamas who greatly outnumber the evil nihilistic jihadists