Tormented Creeds – 'US Rabbi's Indonesia Award an INSULT!'



Sunday mornings are fundamentally nice things.

No demands on me, except recover from Saturday nights, and last night I did nothing to recover from. Thursday night was a great party, and Friday too saw me out on the town, in good company made all the better by meeting a delightful person named Syari, who doesn’t read blogs but if she does, ‘Hi Syari!’

But Saturday afforded me adequate recuperation, so quite chipper this morning.

Yet in recent years, I find that Sunday has a downside. I’m wary of the news!

For all too often, it’s horrendous, persecution of innocent folk who only want to worship peacefully in their own churches. It goes on and on, and the Government does nothing to stop it. Very sad.


Hence no surprise to read in today’s Jakarta Post that a coalition of minority groups, who have long suffered persecution, are calling on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to end their plight before accepting an award from a US-based group for upholding religious freedom.

As reported here New York Rabbi  Arthur Schneier (below) of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation (ACF) quaintly




 aims to hand President SBY a prize for his work in supporting human rights and religious freedom.

But Indonesia’s constantly harassed minorities, not just Christians, like GKI Yasmin and Bekasi’s HKBP Protestants, but also the ancient Sunda Wiwitan creed, as well as Ahmadi and Shia Muslims, are united in their protests at what they  call  an insult to victims of religious persecution.


Bona Sigalingging 2 Bona, of Yasmin Church


“Before you are given the award, you should be able to act decisively to uphold religious freedom in Indonesia as stipulated in the 1945 Constitution,” Bona Sigalingging of GKI Yasmin said as he read a statement on Friday.

The JP reports the victims held a protest outside the US Embassy last week, hoping to alert the American public to Rabbi  Schneier’s ‘insult.’

Concerned Americans might like to contact the Rabbi politely here

The National Alliance of Unity in Diversity (ANBTI), the Setara Institute and the Wahid Institute, also joined the move.


nia.sjaarifudin Nia


ANBTI coordinator Nia Sjarifudin called on Yudhoyono to be honest on the international stage.

“We would appreciate it if the President no longer turned a blind eye to our plight. The world has acknowledged the religious persecution in Indonesia. Settle the matter with dignity, not by accepting some international award,” she said.

But after an emergency Cabinet meeting last week, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made it clear he won’t revoke the notorious Tri-Ministerial Decree which restricts Ahmadis’ religious freedom.




He called on all components of the people to adhere to the policies that have been issued by the government so there is no conflict…

Referring to the recent troubles, in Bekasi and Tasikmalaya, both in bigot-dominated West Java, SBY merely said that regional leaders, police and religious leaders must do something.

Unfortunately, it’s the regional leaders, the police and many of the religious leaders whose shameful sectarian persecution causes the problems.


Neneng two-facedi

Bekasi’s Persecutrix, No-Shame Neneng


In Bekasi, the Regent is No-Shame Neneng, who has torn down one church, closed others, and has currently got the Ahmadi mosque in Pondok Gede sealed off by a high metal fence, with a sign invoking the MUI (Islamist ‘Scholar’s Council) fatwa as justification for her jackboot tactics.

Ahmad_Heryawan Heryawan

Above No-Shame in the pecking order, we have West Java Governor Heryawan, who stunned us all by his brazen assertion last week that if only Ahmadiyah would just disappear, there’d be no problem, a truly Hitlerian mentality, for sure.

The police seem happy to act as enforcers for these Islamists, while blatantly refusing to enforce high court orders in minority creeds’ favour.


After the impromptu Cabinet meeting, on Tuesday, SBY’s Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono said the implementation of the Tri-Ministerial Decree needs to be encouraged…”in the case of Ahmadiyah in Tasik and others, I guess action based on the TMD can achieve prevention….

Metro’s report reminds us of just how discriminatory that TMD is. The Joint Decree (TMD)  of the Minister of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Interior and the Attorney General among other things..followers of Ahmadiyah, claiming to be Muslim, were asked to stop spreading interpretations and activities that deviate from the principal teachings of Islam, namely spreading belief in a prophet after Prophet Muhammad.


Yeah, right, because if they are unwise enough to decline the ‘request’ then wham, draconian sanctions apply.   

The June 2008 decree requires the Ahmadiyah to “stop spreading interpretations and activities that deviate from the principal teachings of Islam,” including “spreading the belief that there is another prophet with his own teachings after Prophet Muhammad.” Violations of the decree can result in prison sentences of up to five years. Human Rights Watch has consistently called for the government to rescind this decree, as it violates the right to freedom of religion….

Not hard to understand, is it? Fanatical intolerance exemplified.