Thursday, 23 May 2013 | 07:27
Tempo interviews State Intelligence Agency Chief, Lt. Gen. (ret) Marciano Norman.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 | 06:20
From Tempo's findings, Labora calls himself an 'entrepreneur' on his ID card,
although he still lists his profession as policeman on his family card.
Monday, 01 October, 2012 | 14:25 WIB
A Step Backward for Indonesian Diplomacy
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Standing before heads of state in a nation that calls itself the leader of the free world does not mean a speaker can just say whatever comes into his or her head.
In his speech last week at the 67th General Assembly of the United Nations, President Yudhoyono proposed a resolution on an International Protocol against Religious Defamation to prevent violent religious conflicts and to preserve world peace. The president also said that freedom of speech is not an absolute.
Firstly, this speech was a reaction to the wave of violence triggered by the movie The Innocence of Muslims, which attacks Islam. But President Yudhoyono's proposal showed that Indonesian diplomacy has taken an extraordinary step backward.
It is very easy to misuse anti-religious defamation provisions, such as those contained in Indonesian laws. It is difficult to determine whether a religion has been insulted because it is based on feelings. Offense and defamation cannot be included in the realm of law. However, if there is physical violence, the people responsible can be prosecuted.
Furthermore, the Anti-Religious Defamation resolution would threaten the freedom of minorities to worship in accordance with their beliefs. Proposing a Blasphemy Resolution or Anti-Religious Defamation Resolution in an international forum only invites the international community to participate in unfortunate actions. It would mean that anybody would be able to use their hurt feelings to put pressure on other religions, which could lead to even more serious violence.
Have President Yudhoyono and his speechwriters learned nothing from the implementation of the Religious Defamation Law (PNPS No. 1/1965) in Indonesia? This law led to new problems and was eventually declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court. This law seemed to legitimize violence by one religious group against followers of another religion on the grounds of religious "defamation" or "insults".
The protracted and unending violence against Shias or Ahmadiyah followers in Indonesia show that President Yudhoyono's administration has a poor track record of upholding religious tolerance in its own country. The most recent case was that of Tajul Muluk, in which the religious defamation provisions were used to increase his jail term from two to four years. How can a president from a nation where religious tolerance is increasingly ignored speak with moral authority to other members of the UN about world peace? The president's speech at the UN was not just a step backward for Indonesian diplomacy. More than that, if this is the way the Indonesian government is thinking now, religious tolerance in this nation is now a serious cause for concern.
Secondly, President Yudhoyono's statement that freedom is not something that is absolute was clearly a criticism of the laws in the United States that give its citizens freedom of expression. This freedom of expression enjoys so much protection that even brutal statements are protected by law. But we cannot ask other countries to change their laws because we are offended.
If President Yudhoyono is serious about supporting world peace, his speech should have expressed support for a Human Rights Council resolution more in line with the wishes of Indonesia (and the world) to live in peace despite differences of race or religion.