IBRAHIM ISAS – SELECTED NEWS AND VIEWS:
Thirsday, April 5, 2012
--- SOLIDARITY FOR ALL
--- “ INDONESIA AND THE WORLD 1959-1969: A CRITICAL DECADE”
--- Statement by Marty M. Natalegawa
--- Persecution Of The Ahmadiyah Movement
--- Intolerant Indonesia
--- Third attack in two months
SOLIDARITY FOR ALL
<The Jakarta Post, Editorial> Thu, 04/05/2012For the sake of the people’s interest, thousands of students took to the streets last week to protest, sometimes violently, the government’s plan to increase fuel prices.
Under the same pretext, politicians at the House of Representatives voted to delay the increase while approving language that gave room to the government to adjust fuel prices in six months, at the earliest.
Separately, in the name of God or religion, some believers attacked other believers for endangering their “true” religious teachings. In a few cases, some committed suicide bombings or set themselves on fire in a desperate expression of the desire for change.
Since the political reforms in the nation in 1998, Indonesia has been transformed into a free space for expression, where citizens are allowed to spew out anything that is on their minds. Some say Indonesia has become a liberal market of ideas.
But the way that some people in the country have exercised their hard-won freedom demonstrates a worrying trend in which people quickly resort to force their will against others, supposedly for the public good.
This has been evinced in frequent raids on nightclubs or on groups considered religiously or sexually deviant, while law enforcers stood idly by.
While reform started as a social solidarity movement, it has encouraged some to rail against those who are different, however that is defined, thus defying the plural nature of Indonesia.
Worse still, the authorities condone this ongoing solidarity of intolerance, as evident in the passage of numerous regional and national laws to please the majority at the expense of the minority.
Democracy has restored a freedom that was repressed for 32 years under the iron fist of a government obsessed with stability.
This same democracy, however, has given room, if not encouragement, to fundamentalists who have gone so far as to voice a desire to change Pancasila, the national ideology, upon which Indonesia’s founding fathers agreed on as a matter of national consensus even before the birth of the republic.
Where is the genuine social solidarity that once enriched the nation’s values? Did the students in Jakarta and outside the capital tear down the legislature’s gates and set fire to police cars in solidarity with the poor?
How can the politicians explain their decision to delay a fuel-price hike for the good of the poor after luxury car owners — without hesitation or guilt — are shifting to subsidized fuel? The front page picture of Kompas the other day, showing the driver of a modest three-wheeled taxi, or bajaj, buying nonsubsidized fuel, shows that the claim of solidarity is just a gimmick contrived by political parties to avoid a loss of public faith.
All religions teach that our relations with each other — the basis of solidarity — is a reflection our relationship with God. Christianity is no exception.
Christians across Indonesia and the world will celebrate Good Friday tomorrow, remembering the crucifixion of Jesus to save people from their sins. For Christians, the life and death of Jesus over two millennia ago is a story of sacrifice and solidarity with the weak, the sick, the imprisoned and the alienated.
If the sacrifice of Jesus resulted in his resurrection, which is celebrated on Easter, we can hope our efforts to promote solidarity for all will pay off in the form of a caring and peace-loving society.
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Jakarta “INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE <18-19 January- 2012)
“ INDONESIA AND THE WORLD 1959-1969: A CRITICAL DECADE” -- KABAR KONFERENSI – < Majalah “HISTORIA”, Jakarta, Editor in Chief BONNIE TRIYANA>
ERASE THE MYTH FOR RECONCILIATION
A deep and balanced understanding about the events in 1959-1969 is required to achieve reconciliation. --By: DEVI FITRIA
The international conference as well as exhibition titled “ Indonesia and the World 1959-1969: A Critical Decade” was opened yesterday afternoon (18/01). Before the opening ceremony took place, some students from Gerakan Pemuda Islam (Islamic Youth Movement) and Persatuan Pelajar Islam (Islamic Student Association) protested the event in front of Goethe Institute building, Jl. Sam Ratulangie, Central Jakarta. They demanded the Goethe Institute to stop the event. One of the orators even demanded the demobilization of PKI. “Down with PKI!” he said, followed by other protestors.
Another incident also took place. The author of the book Economists With Gun, Bradley Simpson who was also the speaker in his book launch in Goethe was brought to the police station and was interrogated by the local police regarding his immigration documents. The exhibition and conference, which was planned to continue until January 21st was filled with tension.
Some prominent figure gave opening speeches in the opening of the conference. Letjen (Purn) Agus Widjojo who is also the son of the Revolutionary Hero Mayjen (Anumerta) Soetojo Siswomihardjo in his speech stressed how urgent it is to create distance with the 1965 event although it will be difficult to do so. “It will not be easy for the party involved to create distant and see the pass events from the current perspective with a certain degree of detachment,” he said.
According to Agus, some sacrifices are needed from every related party so that the event that has passed for over forty years could be regarded in the correct proportion. Agus wanted to see the matter in a more objective and balanced way by putting PKI and the Army as the major actors that caused the tragedy that happened 46 years ago.
While Mardiyah Chamim from the Tempo Institute in the opening ceremony of the exhibition said that one of the effort to understand the event that took place on 1959-1969 is one of the most crucial phase before we could make peace and heal our historical wound. “ The exhibition, we hope, could give contribution in building the understanding regarding the political stages in Indonesia and the world, in the most tumultuous time in the history of Indonesia,” said she.
Same with Mardiyah, Agus Widjojo also thought that one of the most important things needed to be done so that the reconciliation could go well is the ability to see the incident with a deeper perspective without the myth surrounding it. “The readiness to enter the reconciliation process needs a total obliteration of the myth that the“status” of the victim only belongs to one part and the cause of the violence was the other party,” he said.
The opening ceremony of the exhibition and the international conference was attended by the Director of the Goethe Institute Jakarta, Frans Xavier Agustin, Director of FES Indonesia, Erwin Schweisshelm, senior journalist Aristides Katoppo, several historian such as Asvi Warman Adam, nHilmar Farid and Baskara T. Wardaya. The conference will continue until January 21, 2012
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Note: “Historia” is the first online Indonesian 'history magazine', presented in a popular style.Publisher Ir. HASANUDDIN DEANG --Editor in Chief BONNIE TRIYANA
Managing Editor --BUDI SETIYONO – Business Development DirectorADHITYA M.,MBA --Corporate Secretary – RHESYA AGUSTIN – Reporters HENDRI F.ISNAENI , MF. MUKTHI --Contributor DR. MAX LANE (Australia), REINER LESPRENGER (Jerman)
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Statement by Marty M. Natalegawa (abriged),
Minister for Foreign Affairs Republic of Indonesia At the International Conference on the Global Movement of Moderates, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 18 January 2012
As an advocate of peace among nations and within nations, Indonesia strongly welcomes this initiative. It strengthens and vindicates our own efforts to give voice to the moderates in our own society—and in all societies.We will thus contribute what we can to help make this Movement flourish.I have been requested to speak on the topic, “Managing Differences and Competing Interests: the Indonesian Experience.”
I can understand why the Indonesian experience has been chosen as sounding board for this topic.
As one of the most diverse nations in the world, Indonesia is home to more than 300 ethnic groups. It is home to the world’s largest Muslim population. And it is home to all other humankind’s great religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and the various denominations of Christianity.
Indonesia proudly bears the civilizational influences of the Middle East, the Sub-Continent, the rest of East Asia as well as the Western world.
And yet, we succeeded in nurturing our national unity. And we made a successful transition from authoritarianism to a fully democratic system.
Throughout that transition, we have not regarded our diversity as a problem to be managed. Instead, we cherish it.
It is our asset, our national character, and we therefore celebrate it. We build upon it.At times, it was like a roller coaster ride. We had to cope with separatist threats, ethnic tensions, and religious conflicts. In fact, in the turbulent times following the 1998 crisis, some observers went so far as to predict the failure of Indonesia as a country. The balkanization of Indonesia.
But the overwhelming majority of our people remained committed to the unity of Indonesia. And instead of falling apart, we adopted a new approach. We reformed our governance. And we overcame the challenges.
Thus we acquired a second major asset: our experience in democratic transition and societal reform – lessons-learned that may be of relevance to others.
That transition, too, has not been an easy process. It demanded resilience, perseverance and commitment from all Indonesians.
From that experience of political transition in the midst of diversity, others may derive insights that are useful to their own efforts at political development. And develop for themselves practical ideas on how to manage, and indeed, embrace diversity.
Let me now take this opportunity to share with you two basic conclusions that may be drawn from the Indonesian experience.
First, democracy is an effective response to the competing interests and agendas within society.
This is largely the case, whether that society is relatively homogenous or vastly diversified like Indonesia.
There are two ways of responding to the wide range of aspirations and concerns among the people. The state can superimpose its will on these disparate interests. Or it can accommodate them in a just and democratic manner. In our case in Indonesia, we have done it both ways.
Indonesia then took a completely different approach.
We embraced democracy. We launched our transition to a democratic system. We carried out far-reaching reforms. All voices now gained a hearing. And all interests are now taken into consideration in a genuine search for common ground.
We developed a system in which all stakeholders could participate—not only through free and fair elections—not only through dialogue between accountable officials and their constituents.
Rather also, through various avenues of feedback which are wide open—including a free press and various forums through which petitions and grievances are expressed and heard.
Thus the people feel empowered. They have a sense of ownership of the actions of the state. And
they feel they are making a contribution to the day-to-day conduct of governance.
Thus we have become more certain that we are faithful to our national motto, Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, “We are many, we are one.” And that we are strictly applying our tradition of Musyawarah untuk mufakat, or consultation to reach consensus.
We are also more firmly committed to Pancasila, the five principles of our national philosophy, which prescribes respect and mutual understanding among all on the basis of our belief in God and the values of humanity, national unity, democracy, and social justice.
That’s how democracy took deep roots in our country: it is supported and nourished by the core values of Islam and other faiths in Indonesia. By our cultures and traditions. By our own social standards.That’s how we sent a message to the world that Islam, democracy and modernization can flourish together. And that democracy pays political, social and economic dividends.
Within 13 years, we emerged as a vibrant economic power with regional and global outreach. And we are more stable, politically and socially, than we have ever been.This brings me to the second basic conclusion I wish to share with you: in the same manner that democracy is the best response to competing interests at the national level, the most effective response to competing national interests at the global level is a democratization of global governance.
The rise of the emerging economies, their call for reform of the international financial architecture, and their willingness to work with the developed world to solve global problems—represent a unique opportunity for democratization of international governance.
The moderates of the world should not feel isolated from one another. For there is no lack of forum and process for dialogue among the faiths, cultures and civilizations. And yet there are still outbreaks of violence in many parts of the world that stem from prejudice and intolerance.
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
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In 2008, many Muslims in Indonesia protested against the Ahmadiya movement. With violence and large demonstrations, these religious conservatives put pressure on the government to monitor, and harass the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Indonesia. Public opinion in Indonesia is split in three ways on how Ahmadiyya should be treated: (a) some hold it should be banned outright on the basis that it is a heretical and deviant sect that is not listed as an officially recognised religion in Indonesia; (b) others hold that it should not be banned because of the freedom of religion article in the Constitution, but also should not be allowed to proselytise under the banner of "Islam" on the basis that this is misleading; (c) still others hold that it should be free to do and say as it pleases based on the Constitutional right to freedom of religion.In June 2008, a law was passed to curtail “proselytizing” by Ahmadiyya members.An Ahmadiyya mosque was burned. Human rights groups objected to the restrictions on religious freedom.
As of 2011, the sect faces widespread calls for a total "ban" in Indonesia. On February 6, 2011, hundreds of Mujslims surrounded an Ahmadiyya household and beat to death 3 people. Footage of the bludgeoning of their naked bodies - while policeman watched on - was posted on the internet and subsequently broadcast on international media.
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(BBC) --The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Indonesia are a minority subset of Muslims,
and in 2008 were declared "deviant" by Indonesia's top Islamic body.
21 April 2011
In Indonesia, the members of a small religious sect called the Ahmadiyah are finding life increasingly difficult.
Muslim hardliners accuse them of blaspheming against Islam, and groups of extremists have attacked their mosques and homes.
Indonesia is a secular country, with freedom of religious expression enshrined in the constitution, but now even the government is debating whether to disband the sect.
In Java, Muslim hardliners target ‘apostates’
In a jerky video that’s shaken up Indonesia, young men take turns whacking three prostrate, nearly naked bodies with wooden sticks. The blows land with sickening thumps. Rocks follow. The bodies twitch; the surrounding crowd is jubilant. Shouts of “God is great” can be heard. A policeman waves his hands but doesn’t interfere.
The three men killed in the video belonged to an offshoot of Islam known as Ahmadiyya, a faith that blends Islam’s core teachings with idiosyncratic interpretations that drive hardline Islamists crazy.
The video is especially jarring because Indonesia has long been known for its live-and-let-live religious ethos, and the Ahmadis, who have suffered harassment, or worse, in more conservative countries such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, have until recently been left alone in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, which holds as its official motto “Unity in diversity.”
Over the past decade, however, Indonesia’s religious compact has frayed, strained by the same fundamentalist forces that have long plagued other parts of the Muslim world. The struggle in Indonesia reflects the global debate within Islam, pitting a loud, radical fringe against a more liberal camp that may be larger but has shown less desire to shout. A recent string of violent episodes—including the killing of the three Ahmadis on Feb. 6—has raised the question: will Indonesia remain liberal?
In a survey conducted last year, the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace polled 1,200 people in Greater Jakarta and found that nearly half of them wanted the government to outlaw Ahmadiyya, while a fifth were in favor of curbs on the group’s activities.
And the day after the irate crowd in Cikeusik, Banten province, murdered the three Ahmadis, Muslim rioters in unrelated attacks torched several Christian churches and attacked a courthouse, incensed over what they saw as an insufficiently harsh sentence given to a Christian man accused of blasphemy.
. . . . .
But as Indonesia began to dismantle Suharto’s authoritarian legacy, religious minorities came under pressure.
There are six major religions recognized under Indonesian secular law: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism. But in 2005 the country’s Ulema Council, the conservative gatekeeper of Sunni orthodoxy, issued a fatwa, or religious decree, branding the Ahmadiyya faith un-Islamic. Although secular law takes precedence over religious decrees in Indonesia, the anti-Ahmadiyya fatwa painted a target on the creed’s followers, and a 2008 secular law marginalized the Ahmadis even further: while adhering to the faith is still legal, spreading the creed is not.
It didn’t help matters that Indonesia’s minister of religious affairs told Parliament this summer that Ahmadiyya should be banned outright. Other officials mused about herding the Ahmadis onto an island reservation.
. . . .
But even when we spoke in December, two months before the grisly murders in Cikeusik, the Ahmadis had already become targets of harassment and violence, with vigilante mobs attacking Ahmadi communities, and local officials doing little to stop them. (The February murders did prompt Indonesia’s president to concede that the government should have done more to prevent the violence, and an inquiry is now underway.)
Anti-Ahmadiyya violence is often driven by “local political dynamics,” Ulil Abshar Abdalla, a liberal Islamic scholar and political analyst in Jakarta, told me before the killings. The government is “trapped in this dilemma: winning the support of Islamists by not stopping the attacks, or stopping the violence to win the support of the larger public.”
A typical incident took place in the village of Cisalada, a three-hour drive from Jakarta. Cisalada’s 600 or so residents are all Ahmadi, a speck in the otherwise Sunni Muslim–dominated countryside where brightly colored cinder-block houses cling closely together, as if afraid to be caught alone out in the open rice fields.
Trouble in Cisalada began this summer when local officials showed up at the mosque to inspect a new extension the Ahmadis were planning to build. The mosque had become a source of wild rumors for the neighboring Sunni Muslim village of Pasar Selasa. never had any disturbances.”
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Third attack in two months – Five houses of Ahmadiah Muslims vandalized by mob
>The attackers had hoped that some Ahmadiyya members in the village will denounce their faith after the attack in the hope of peace and removing the threats to their lives.
Source/Credit: TEMPO Interactive | News
By Ahmadiyya Times staff | April 6, 2011
Bogor – Five houses belonging to Indonesian Ahmadiyah Muslim members in Cibungbulang District, Bogor Regency, West Java were again targeted for destruction, TEMPO Interactive reported.The five houses belonged to Narsih, Wahyudin, Nasir, Usman and Ari and suffered broken windows and damages to the roofs.
There was broken glass all over the properties and tiles were destroyed by the impact from stoning.From the information compiled by Tempo, fresh attacks took place on Tuesday, April 4, at around 11.00 pm.
Narsih said he had heard about the plan of attack so he, along with four other heads of families, had evacuated to Kampong Cisalada, Village Ciampea hicks, Ciampea District, Bogor Regency.“So, during the attack, the houses were empty,” said Narsih who returned on Wednesday, April 6th.
Police officers from Police Sectors Cibumbulang Resort and Bogor guarded the scene to avoid the possibility of a widespread destruction.
This is the third time in a period of about two months that properties belonging to Indonesian Ahmadiyah Muslims have been attacked at this location.
Last attack occurred in early March.The attackers had hoped that some Ahmadiyya members in the village will denounce their faith after the attack in the hope of peace and removing the threats to their lives.– Ahmadiyya Times staff. .– 3rd attack on two months – Five Ahmadiyya homes destroyed by mob --- Complements: AhmadiyyaTimes.com