No More Persecution

Translator

Editor

1 January 1970 07:00 WIB

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - This nation has truly failed to guarantee the freedom of religion and faith. Although our constitution clearly guarantees every citizen the right to embrace and practice his or her religion and faith, the persecution of minorities has persisted. The attack on Ahmadis in East Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, two weeks ago shows the states powerlessness in protecting these fundamental freedoms.

Even more worrying is the fact that Ahmadis in East Lombok have been subjected to violent attacks three times. Ironically, while we celebrated 20 years of reform, eight homes owned by Ahmadis in East Sakra, East Lombok, were destroyed and several motor bikes were ravaged. During the attack, 21 women and children were terror-stricken.

This type of violence does not only happen to Ahmadis. There have been hundreds of attacks against this nations minorities. According to the NGO Setara Institute, there have been 155 cases of intolerance in 29 provinces in the last 10 years. The majority of these had to do with [what were seen as] religious blasphemy, with Ahmadis and Shias victimized most frequently.

After every single incident of persecution, the victims are always the ones who gets the worse treatment. They have to be relocated and live in shelters, their quality of life diminished. If they wish to return to their homes, they are forced to fulfill conditions applied by the radical group that attacked them. Meanwhile, perpetrators of these attacks are almost never subjected to legal consequences.

The lack of legal action following such incidents has been caused by the continued implementation of law on blasphemy as regulated under Article 156-a of the Criminal Code, and Articles 1, 2 and 3 under Law No. 1/PNPS/1965 on the Prevention of Misuse of and/or Defamation of Religion. These articles give the state authority to monopolize religious interpretations and to determine which teachings are right and which are misguided.

Take a look at Article 1 of the law on religious blasphemy, which is always used as the basis for punishing those seen as different from the majority. Minority groups are always the victims of discrimination because their interpretations of religion are seen as disrespectful. In the end, not only are they punished because of their beliefstheir social and political rights as well as their right to life are also taken away.

The Constitutional Court tried to change this in 2013, but its efforts came to nothing. Although the Court declared the religious blasphemy law as still necessary, judges asked for the law to be improved so that it cannot be used to persecute minority groups. But instead of revising the law, the government and the House of Representatives expanded the article in the proposed Draft Criminal Code.

Violence against minorities is at odds with the spirit of the state philosophy Pancasila and the Constitution. Our inability to prevent such violence is the seed for intolerance and radicalism. If this is allowed to continue, the Indonesian core value of tolerance will no longer be relevant.






Read the full article in this week's edition of Tempo English Magazine







Indonesia Pandemic Data

30 Juli 2021

Indonesia Pandemic Data

The Indonesian government allegedly is not being honest in the provision of pandemic data for political reason.


Seeking Profit amid Pandemic

24 Juli 2021

Seeking Profit amid Pandemic

Jokowi cancels the plan to allow indiviiduals to pay for Covid-19 vaccinations, but retains the commercial vaccination program for corporations.


Solidarity in Indonesia's Covid-19 Crisis

17 Juli 2021

Solidarity in Indonesia's Covid-19 Crisis

Solidarity appears sporadically amidst an increase in the numbers of Covid-19 cases in Indonesia.


Indonesian Hospitals Collapse before the Covid-19 Peak

16 Juli 2021

Indonesian Hospitals Collapse before the Covid-19 Peak

Indonesian health system failed to stem the spread of the pandemic.


Save Our Sugar

10 Juli 2021

Save Our Sugar

The government is to set up a sugar industry holding company to achieve self-sufficiency. Assets must not fall into the hands of rent seekers.


A New Hope for the Environment

10 Juli 2021

A New Hope for the Environment

Soon environmental destruction is on the same level as genocide and will come under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.


Silencing Students Voice

9 Juli 2021

Silencing Students Voice

No matter how impolite it is, criticism of the government from students must not be muzzled.


Revoke Not Makeover

3 Juli 2021

Revoke Not Makeover

Three ministerial level officials issued a joint decree about the interpretation of the Information and Electronic Transactions (ITE) Law.


No Accountability for Covid-19 Funding

2 Juli 2021

No Accountability for Covid-19 Funding

The Supreme Audit Agency uncovered a number of improprieties in the distribution of Covid-19 assistance.


The Long Road to Protect Domestic Workers

26 Juni 2021

The Long Road to Protect Domestic Workers

The Domestic Workers Protection Bill is yet to be passed. The cultural relationship that allows such imbalances must end.