Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Inter-Religious Disharmony

When Indonesia was ruled by authoritarian regimes, inter-religious relationship in the country was harmonious. This is obvious because those regimes would do anything to make people obey the Constitution which ruled that citizens are free to choose any religions or faith.

Things changed drastically after 20 May 1998  when democracy came to Indonesia and human rights became the most important factor in the country. As a result, the government and its law enforcement agencies tend to hesitate every time they want to take actions against violators of the laws.

This situation was used by radical people who claimed to be representing Islam to commit violence in Maluku, Sulawesi, and other regions almost without resistances. Whereas the two major Islam organizations in the country, Nahdatul Ulama (NU) and Muhamadiyah seemed to be silence.

In 2002, those radicals committed suicide bombings in Bali killing 202 people and injuring 209 others mostly foreign tourists, followed by a series of suicide bombings in 2003, 2004 (Jakarta), 2005 (Bali) and 2009 (Jakarta).

After the 2002 bombings, the government established one of the best anti-terrorist Police unit in the world i.e. DENSUS-88 which was very successful in hunting, capturing and eliminating those involved.  

Unfortunately beside those armed violence, there were other violence made by similar radical groups.

Last September 13 members of the FPI attacked a church in Bekasi, West Java, stabbed a priest and beat a member of congregation. However, last Tuesday the Prosecutor only demanded a 6-months jail term for the leader of those attackers.

Last Sunday a mob of 1,500 angry people attacked the mosque of the Ahmadiyah minority sect rejected by Muslims, in Cikeusik, Banten Province, last Sunday killing three members of the sect.

And yesterday an angry crowd dissatisfied with the verdict of the District Court of Temanggung, Central Java, handed down to a man suspected of blasphemy, set fire to the Bethel and Pantekosta churhes and threw stones at the Santo Petrus and Paulus churches.

In reaction to the both violence, President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono (SBY) has instructed law enforcement agencies to take action on those responsible for the attacks and disband radical groups that are involved in the attacks. 

Further, GP Ansor, the youth organization of N.U as the largest Islamic organization in Indonesia, has sent its members to help reparation of the damaged churches.

Meanwhile, in order to settle the Ahmadiyah case, this evening the House of Representatives has invited the Chief of Police and Minister of Religious Affairs discuss about possible solution.

I hope that the government and the law enforcement agencies would immediately take serious actions as instructed by the president and bring everyone responsible for the attacks to justice, punish them severely and disband any groups or organizations that practice and/or condone violence.

Regarding the Ahmadiyah, perhaps we can follow its origin Pakistan which recognized it as an independent religion separated from Islam. But considering that its existence in Indonesia has been legally recognized since 1953, and efforts to solve this matter by the 2008 Joint Decree of the Minister of Religion, Minister of Home Affairs and Attorney General has not been effective, I hope that the Ahmadiyah would be involved in the discussion about its existence.

Sources :
Turning Blind Eye to Religious Bullies (The Jakarta Globe)
Bekasi FPI Leader Faces 6-Months Sentence .... (The Jakarta Globe)
Police Negligent in Ahmadiyah Attack (Tempointeraktif)
Bom Bali 2002 (Wikipedia)
Bom JW Marriot 2003 (Wikipedia)
Bom Kedubes Australia 2004 (Wikipedia)
Bom Bali 2005 (Wikipedia)
Bom Jakarta 2009 (Wikipedia)


Liberal Stupidity said...

It is amazing how much Muslim civil unrest is taking place in the world right now. I really don't think that they are all isolated incidents, but rather, all part of a larger plan by radical Muslims. I am very aware that there are a large number of Muslims that are peaceful. It just seems like the loudest voices are the radical ones.

Berpikir Positif said...

How can I explain my sorrow to saw , a victim everyday between Inter-religious

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

There is no doubt that thr radicals are on the march!

Sometimes governments don't want to offend people and groups.

Meutia Halida Khairani said...

i'm sorry about this country T_T.
Every religion has their radical group that always commit crimes everywhere. and why the two major islam organizations in the country seemed to be silence when radical people attack? confusing..

Wisata Murah said...

kebabasan yang hakiki sesungguhnya tidak ada. karena secara etika dan adat budaya manusia.kita dihadapkan pada keterikatan satu sama lain.

misalnya seorang ayah yang tidak boleh semau gue menelantarkan anak
kedua secara etika hidup di kehidupan berbuat cabul atau sex tanpa pernikahan,dimuka bumimanapun juga dicela
DOS orang yang mendambakan kebebasan yang mutlak,ya suruh hidup sendiri. karena konon di amerika yang disebut dwanya demokrasi,kalau menurut beberapa media rasis juga masih terjadi

mungkin ini agak berlebihan ya sob, tapi ini aku katakan karena alasan demokrasi seperti yg sering aku dengar itu..slm HAPPY BLOGGING Indonesia

TUKANG CoLoNG said...

saya merasa ga aman nih hidup di RI

colson said...

"I hope that the government and the law enforcement agencies would immediately take serious actions as instructed by the president and bring everyone responsible for the attacks to justice, punish them severely and disband any groups or organizations that practice and/or condone violence"

What can I say to that but I of course second that.

I also agree that the reformasi democracy gives room to the expression of anger and offers opportunities to demonstrate ones dissatisfaction. The dictatorship was all about "law" and "order" (the very particular 'law' and very particular 'order' Soeharto style that is). And of oppression of deviant opinions.

I doubt however whether "human rights" became the most important factor in the country, like you wrote. Lack of protection by the government is lack of human rights of minorities.can

dee said...

yah it's such harm tolerance in our religious country! Thanks for share this Harry


I can't figure out what to comment because since I was 7 year I have seen religious rivalry among people and also saw them killing each other mercilessly. Its bitter to say but hardly anyone gets punished if crime is hidden behind religious name.

BeBek said...

Sangat disayangkan hal seperti ini harus terjadi :(

DS. Utomo said...

We have Binneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity), but.....what went wrong ?

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pj said...

Hi Harry

I quite like your approach. I came across a paper regarding the thought to make the ahmadiyah a seperate religion. This was done in pakistan with the result that the ahmadis experienced more persecution as a seperate religion than it did under islam. Thought you might be interested.

legal stuff....should be right up your alley.

Some interesting trivia - the first foreign minister of pakistan was an ahmadi.

H. Nizam said...

@Liberal Stupidity,
You are right, the majority of Muslim, especially in my country, are moderates who tolerate plurality.

@Berpikir Positif,
It very sad mas.

Unfortunately hesitation to take action has made radicals stronger.

Yes very sad indeed. Religious leaders are supposed to promote peace.

@Wisata Murah,
Saya setuju bahwa kebebasan harus berdasarkan kepentingan bangsa dan negara. Untuk itu maka dialog diantara para pihak mutlak dilakukan.

In negara kita sendiri maka sebagai WNI kita wajib membantu upaya terciptanya kedamaian.

The government hesitated to take actions radical groups because they said that they do not want to violate human right.
But by doing nothing they have caused those radicals to violate the rights of others. In this case the govt can be regarded as taking part in violation of human rights.

Yes this incidents harmed peace in our country.

@Devil's Blog,
Yes crimes committed in the name of religion have often been ignored.

Sangat disayangkan sekali.

That's a good question Pak, what wnet wrong ?

Terima kasih, nanti saya cke blog anda.

Hmmm ...... I thought that if Ahmadiyah is independent others would leave them alone.
I'll check the site, thank you for your information, and also for the trivia.

Rob Baiton said...

@ Harry...

It is funny in that perverse kind of a way that Obama was using Indonesia as a shining example of religious tolerance and harmony as recently as November 2010.

H. Nizam said...

Hi Rob,
I am not sure that Obama would change his opinion about Indonesia now.