At a time when acts of terror based on one's religious belief are becoming common place across the world, three Indonesian footballers have shown a glimpse of what the world needs right now with an innovatively brilliant goal celebration that has taken the footballing fraternity by storm.
The incident occurred during Bali United's 3-0 home win over Borneo FC in the Indonesian Liga 1 on May 14. Bali United striker Yabes Roni, who practices Christianity, scored the second goal of the game and immediately launched into the now-famous celebration with defender Nguruh Nanak and striker Miftahul Hamdi who follow Hinduism and Islam respectively.
The three players lined up in a row and demonstrated the praying postures of the three religions, in what turned out to be a powerful statement on secularism and religious tolerance.
The picture of the three players, clicked by photographer Miftahuddin Halim, was posted on the Facebook page of the Indonesian club with a caption which reads, "Because different beliefs will not prevent us from achieving the same goals."
Needless to say, the picture went viral on the internet. More importantly, the message assumes significance in Indonesia with extremist religious factions threatening the secular government of the Muslim-dominated country.
The goalscorer Yabes Roni later spoke to Indonesian website Kompas.com about why they came up with the celebration. "Even though we all come from different religions and ethnicity, we’re all one. We have to protect the country’s harmony and stay united."