The ‘Moderate’ View – Reporting Sectarian Violence to UN is ‘White-Collar Crime!’

Some months ago, we called into question the validity of referring to the NU as an organisation of ‘moderate’ Muslims. Some of their members, and I know this from personal discussions, are truly moderate, but the days when the outfit was seen as a force for good must surely be past, after last week’s news reports.



It would be easy to dismiss that most peculiar man  who heads the East Java chapter of NU, Mutawakkil Alallah, as an aberration, for his quoted claim that the Shia were in violation of human rights because they had shown contempt for Islam.

Since when is it a breach of human rights to abhor somebody else’s beliefs. If you seek to deny their right to worship and preach according to those beliefs, yes, a case can be made, but …


KH. Mutawakkil Alallah (Foto : Mutawakkil


  • “The solution is not that we will ban it, but rather ask Shiites to avoid activities in public…If they limit their activities from the public sphere or only within their families, they will of course be safe.” from Antara News Agency

How gracious this obscurantist bigot is. No banning, just banishment from ‘the public sphere,’ as the price of personal safety.

He said that the conflict involving Shiites in Sampang had been settled at the district level and through East Java gubernatorial decree No. 55 of 2012, but there had been a violation of that agreement, leading to a re-eruption of the conflict. The decree ordered Shiites to keep their activities out of the public.

Must admit I’d missed this. I have often railed against the Tri-Ministerial Decree that denies Ahmadis their constitutional right to religious liberty, but looks like East Java has its own little Provincial Oppression Department.

Mutawakkil said the NU was at peace with other religious communities, but the conflict with the Shiites came from their violation of the agreement and decree. Jakarta Globe 29/8

So that’s your ‘moderate’ NU? But only at the provincial level, in one province, albeit a very large province where NU is a major force.

Or is it.

There was the NU involvement in the Gandaria City church ban, right here in Jakarta – when no church had even been suggested, a pre-emptive bigot strike, I guess you’d call it, and the NU collaboration with the anti-Ahmadiyah campaign. That’s all in our post here –

But suddenly we find no less a personage than Hasyim Muzadi wading in!


Hasyim Muzadi

  • He’s the former chairman -and still a top man – at national NU level, who holds the influential positions of Secretary General of the International Conference for Islamic Scholars (ICIS) AND President of the World Conference on Religions for Peace.

AND he’s MOST upset that human rights campaigners might alert the outside world to the latest example of blood-stained intolerance in Indonesia.

Former Chairman of the Board of NU Hasyim Muzadi reminded various parties in the country to not exploit violence against Shiites in Sampang, Madura, for political purposes.

“This Sampang case should not be launched into political exploitation, especially if such exploitation is for global or foreign interests…” Hashim said in Jakarta, Thursday (30/08/2012) before himself launching into a diatribe against ‘capitalist materialism,’ and this rant turned up on the website of the ultra-fanatical Hizbut Tahrir, who clearly like it!

Hashim’s bluster was clearly aimed at Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) whose Vice-Chairman, Choirul Anam, has said they’ll report the situation in Sampang to the UN Human Rights Council in September.

  • According to the President of the President of the World Conference on Religions for Peace (WCRP), such a report will not solve the problem of Sampang, which is Indonesia’s internal problem, but just make more trouble. “Asking people outside to knock the nation itself is actually a white collar crime…” he said.

YES, that’s what he said. “A white-collar CRIME!’ There is no specific Indonesian language equivalent, so he actually used those words in English.

There are specific language equivalents for words like hypocrisy.

This is the same man who DEMANDED Indonesia interfere in the internal affairs of another country less than a month ago. A fine President indeed for the World Conference on Religions for Peace!

  Hasyim Muzadi proactively asked the Indonesian government to save ethnic Rohingyas who are victims of violence in Myanmar. “Indonesia should immediately take diplomatic steps, both to stop the violence and call on Myanmar to open up access for humanitarian assistance.”

And that’s taken from the NU’s own website!,public-m,dinamic-s,detail-ids,44-id,39123-lang,id-c,nasional-t,Indonesia+harus+Proaktif+Selamatkan+Rohingya-.phpx

A perfect storm of double standards. Intolerance exemplified – rush to the rescue of co-religionists allegedly at risk abroad, howl like a stuck warthog if anyone dares to suggest that depredations by his co-religionists here should be brought to outsiders’ attention.

  • HWRG’s Choirul Anam

Only a few months ago, in May, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa was over there at the UN, rejecting accusations of intolerance.


  •         Mind you, Marty’s the man who said of the kangaroo court which gave the Cikeusik savages nominal sentences for their role in the pogrom when three Ahmadis were martyred  – In hindsight, whether the sense of justice is fully served, I don’t know.’

So that should make those Shiah villagers sleep more soundly in their beds, right?

Back to Choirul.

“In other countries, acts of intolerance would directly lead to an investigation and the perpetrators punished immediately, but the President only speechifies, no concrete action. That’s what we regret. Therefore, we will make it international, “said Anam. (, 08/30/2012)

What are we to make of this? A top ‘moderate’ cleric – holding office in international relgious organisations – expects the Jakarta Government to intercede  in other nations’ troubles, but recoils at any suggestion other nations might be asked to take an interest in what goes on here?

Marty’s appearance at the UN Rights Council (from which admittedly I don’t see much help for any minority anywhere, but at least it’s a hearing) was a recognition by Jakarta that the Indonesian Government acknowledges the UNHRC is entitled to seek answers. Hashim Muzadi’s words are in contravention of that acknowledgement. And of his own statements on Myanmar.

NU moderate? Yeah, and I’m a lefty!