Many Islamic Scholars Are ‘Former Prisoners and Thugs!’ Gosh! If WE said that…

Ulema Should be Certified to Prevent Radicalism: Sociologist
Jakarta Globe | September 3rd

Well, I’ve often thought some of them ought to be certified, but not in that sense.

The merits of implementing this plan, which comes from a sociologist named Nia Elvina, of Nasional University, can be debated – but her reasoning included an assertion that caught me off-guard, so much so that I went back and read through the article again.


Nia Elvina


Nia claimed that many ulema are former prisoners and thugs and thus have low credibility.

For those of you who are new to RRA, I should say that one of my main targets is the MUI, the Indonesian Council of Ulema. Ulema is normally translated either as ‘clerics’ or as ‘scholars’ and I make a  special point of putting inverted commas around that latter word, since their ranting indicates little that is scholarly in any sense of the word as normal people use it.



Their fatwas range from the unspeakable to the ludicrous.  One of their leading members, Al Khathath, called for the death of a man in Sumatra whose crime was simply being an atheist.


(please note, he is named in the post- link below – as a leader of the FUI, but also holds office as the MUI  outreach committee’s deputy secretary – and has links with the hate-democracy fanatics of Hizbut Tahrir)

But I always assumed they claimed the ‘scholastic’ title because of their endless scanning of ‘holy writ.’

Now we hear that “the quality of their sermons is very low, as they are lacking certain knowledge necessary to interpret the teachings of Islam,” she said, adding that misinformed sermons have the potential to set off social unrest. “Their role is often politicized and appeals to the interests of some fringe groups instead of the majority of Indonesian Muslims.”

So Nia says that her proposal should be adopted by the Ministry of Religious Affairs to curb the proliferation of radical sermons. 


  • Ali
  • =
  • Now that’s where her plan falls at the first hurdle, for that Ministry is currently headed by Suryadharma Ali, perhaps the most rabid Islamist bigot in Indonesia, a man who has repudiated the concept of religious liberty for Ahmadis, for a start, has condemned the Shia as ‘heretic’   – though he’s back-pedalling fast on that….

…and who even presumes to dictate how far below the knee women’s skirts should reach – and not just Muslim women but a (quote) ‘universal‘ standard for ALL women. Not just a bigot but a kill-joy too!

But no matter how Nia’s scheme fares, I had to include it for that quote – imagine if RRA had said that lovely sentence about Muslim clerics often being ‘former prisoners and thugs.’

You’d have heard the local pinko expats screaming ‘Islamophobia’ from the far ends of the Earth.