Archive for the 'Ahmadiyah' Category

Promoting Pluralism in West Java

I have previously posted on some depressing cases of religious intolerance. Those cases do seem more prevalent than cases of tolerance. Therefore it is all the more heartening to read occassional examples of the latter.

In the latest issue of Inside Indonesia, Joanne McMillan accounts for one inspiring West Javanese example of religious tolerance.

Notably, it is the story of a Kyai – Kyai Maman – who before 1998 found it obvious to side with violent groups against ‘unbelievers’ and people of other faiths than his own. Only after seeing the dreadful incidents of violence – in connection with the Jakarta riots – did he move away from this position.

He now works at both grassroots and more recently political party levels to defend the consitution’s granting of religious freedom in the country.

It will be interesting to follow the work of Kyai Maman and others like him. How will their general view of Indonesia’s political problems and understanding of religion’s place, square with those of other parties? How will voters value this issue in relation to others? At an organisational level, it will be important to see whether there is room for anything like a ‘coalition of religious tolerance’. Will PKB be a lonely champion in this regard, and will it be a strong or weak such? How about PKS, a party that on other issues may have views that are quite close to PKB, and whose constituency is similar also? How about Golkar, who under Suharto favoured a somewhat less dogmatist Ministry of Religion.

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Conspiracy update

Right, of course: The Ahmadiyah Islamic sect was REALLY an attempt by the British to rule India, and continues to be aimed at undermining Islam from within. At least, so says the head of the Majelis Ulama Indonesia, MUI in West Sumatra, Buya Masoed Abidin. Unfortunately this is not a suprising stance of Abidin.

At the same time, the president of LBH Political and Legal Struggle, Aldian Pinem, states that the Geert Wilders movie “Fitna” was an attempt to create the impression that all violence in the world was caused by Muslims. Yes, I suppose that was the purpose of Wilders’s film, and yes he should be criticised for this. Shall we leave it there, then? According to Mr. Aldian, no. As Patung reports at IndonesiaMatters, Aldian recommends that Wilders ‘be put to death for his lies’!

Patung, whom I copied the material from, has the full report here. Sigh.

Sadly right

Yesterday’s editorial in The Jakarta Post is sadly right: Parliament is supporting religious persecution of the Ahmadiyah religious sect