Tis the Eve of Idul Fitri, so it is with with both pleasure and a measure of surprise that I read in Republika.co.id that the Indonesian government is now adding a new religion to the list of those officially recognized. After Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, the government stated that the Baha’i religion is now constitutionaly recognised. http://m.republika.co.id/berita/dunia-islam/islam-nusantara/14/07/24/n97vws-menag-akui-bahai-sebagai-agama-baru-di-indonesia
That this announceemt came from the new Minister of Religious Affairs is an added joy, given how his revolting predecessor went out of his way to show intolerance for minority creeds.
- We’ve previously posted on this new man, Lukman Hakim Saifuddin, and how he broke the fast with representatives of minority religious communities, which to date remain legally unrecognized by the state…
But while we applaud this step forward by Minister Lukman, we have a long way to go before true religious liberty here can be said to have arrived. And of course, this announcement has yet to be ratified.
BTW, some Catholic readers abroad may be vexed at how Christianity and Catholicism are listed as two separate creeds, but that’s just terminology, not dissing. Indonesians see the two as distinct varieties of those people who worship Jesus. Which is something we’ll come back to later on this page.
- But there’s no show without Punch!
And likewise there’s no cheering news on the pluralism front here without some cavilling, querulous, cranky carping from the narrow nasties of the MUI, the so-called ‘scholars,’ whose spokesman has instantly popped up to mar the glad tidings.
For my part, I don’t know very much at all about the Baha’i (I’m told they direct their once-a-day praying towards Mount Carmel, in Israel) but that hardly matters. They don’t bother anyone else and so should be given freedom to worship as they will.
No, says Amirsyah Tambunan, MUI Deputy Secretary General, who has ‘revealed the negative potential of such a move.’ It seems MUI has already done a review of the Baha’i.
Such is the fear and loathing embedded in the MUI mind-set that they often call in the cops to enforce regimentation of their hold on their flock. They doubtless devote endless hours to research on rivals real or imagined.
And sure enough, it’s the terrifyiing thought that some Muslims may be thinking for themselves, rather than bowing to MUI’s myriad fatwas, that has got Amirsyah into uptight mode.
Amir added that there’s much that is Muslim within Baha’ism. His take on this was to invite them to return to the right path. “Because within Islam, teachings are clear, so why create a new school,” he said. http://nasional.news.viva.co.id/news/read/524629-mui-peringatkan-dampak-negatif-kaji-baha-i-jadi-agama-di-ri. 00000000000000000000000
Well, naturally he would like everybody to follow MUI’s “clear” teachings. And anyone may, if anyone WANTS to.
The problem is that if anyone DOESN’T want to, MUI’s Pablovian reflex is to use the law, and indeed law-enforcement agencies, to bully them into obedience.
They are scared to debate, so don the jackboot! Read this – ‘Adam Created By Angel?” Islamist ‘Scholars’ Call the Cops!
Amirsyah’s rank arrogance is repulsive, most overtly expressed in the Jakarta Globe.
Amirsyah Tambunan called Bahi’a a sect and said it should not be recognized. “Clearly, I say Baha’i cannot be categorized as religion,” Amir said, adding that religions should be sourced from a revelation, such as the Abrahamic faiths.”
He’s welcome to tell us all what he thinks religion is.
But his insistence that we all knuckle under to his opinion? He should shove that where the sun doesn’t shine.
God gave us brains for a reason – to think for ourselves.
Over to another familiar figure, Bonar Tigor Naipospos, deputy chairman of Setara Institute, an outfit that fights for freedom for all creeds.
“The Constitution never mentioned official religions — it only said that people are free to hold a religion or belief and worship according to their religion and belief,” he said. “The problem is with the Religious Affairs Ministry, which in this case is being exclusive and discriminative.”
Bonar said that without the recognition from the go.vernment, the believers of those outside the six religions, such as Baha’i and Sunda Wiwitan, have been and will continue to be prone to discrimination. New Religious Affairs Minister Supports State Recognition …Jakarta Globe
Yes, well said!
And while it’s good that the Baha’i may be getting their basic constitutional rights, despite bigots like Amirsyah, that other little creed Bona mentions deserves it even more – Sunda Wiwitan predates all the so-called ‘official religions, which are imported brands, not native to Indonesia at all.
In any case, we’re not in the Middle Ages – it makes no sense for any country to demand that believers get a stamp of approval before being free to worship publicly.
Similarly, this total cr#p about ‘sects’ is merely a pathetic ploy by MUI and their clones.
If those who follow Jesus can have two official religons recognsed, Catholic nd Protestant, then why not every variety, of every religion?
Ahmadis and Shia don’t do any harm to anyone, any more than the Baha’i. The only trouble connected with these minorities is ignoramus hoodlum gangs like the FPI, who attack them.
Ignorant FPI hoodlums – note the brave guys’ masks
Calls to curb minority freedoms from ‘notables’ like Amirsyah have consequences among the less educated elements of society, who inexplicably think the MUI is worth listening to.
Let one thousand fowers bloom.