Lukman Slams Pesantren Fanatics – Can One Brave Man Slay The Hydra?

main-lukman-hakim4 Lukman


 Islamic boarding schools in Indonesia should teach students to embrace diversity, and steer clear of radicalism and violence, Religious Affairs Minister Lukman Hakim Saifuddin said on Wednesday. 

Brave words, Lukman, and I tend to believe he means what he says. 

Religious Liberty! Lukman Lights a Candle of Hope! 

After the nightmare intolerance of his predecessor, Suryadharma Ali, Lukman’s brief tenure at the Ministry has been a breath of fresh air.  

But if he seriously intends to take on the Forces of Darkness that lurk in many pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) he’s got his work cut out, a herculean task, literally. 

It was the legendary Herakles who took on and slew the multi-headed Hydra, and while some of these religious schools undoubtedly are run by decent folk, the number that don’t runs into THOUSANDS.  

That’s not my guesstimate, nor a wild claim by some ‘Islamophobe.’ 



“What Islamic boarding schools should teach is inclusivism and nationalism, not radicalism — that is what makes these schools Islamic,” the minister added.

So how many pesantren are NOT Islamic, if Lukman’s definition is valid?

Here’s a clip from a previous post, published during the reign of Lukman’s fanaticial predecessor. Although it’s quite long, it is informative, taken from local Indonesian sources. You’ll see that Lukman’s own Ministry officials differ dramatically in their answer to that question.

A ‘handful?’



Choirul Fuad Yusuf, director of pesantrens at the Religious Affairs Ministry, said only a handful of the roughly 27,500 pesantrens across the country could be categorized as radical or espousing a rigid understanding of Islam. 



The growing chorus of accusations that the country’s pesantrens, which teach a combined four million children, are hotbeds of radicalization, Choirul said, are unfounded. To claim that they are “places for terrorists to grow, that is wrong,” he said, arguing that most pesantrens taught tolerance and pluralism.

What is Choirul’s definition of tolerance and pluralism? He works for the Ministry of Religious Affairs. So his boss is Suryadharma Ali, arguably the biggest bigot in President SBY’s Coalition ( I say arguably only because some other Ministers are pretty bigoted too) Ali wants the Ahmadis banned. He hates the thought of those peaceful minority members having the same rights as followers of other creeds…..  

Having declared that only a ‘handful ‘ of pesantren are ‘radical’ or ‘rigid,’ Choirul is suddenly contradicted by his colleague, Nuhrison M Nuh. Nuh redefines what most of us would understand as a ‘handful.’

  •    “There are THOUSANDS of unregistered pesantren in the country that have been teaching radicalism to students for years,” said Nuhrison M. Nuh, head of the ministry’s research and development department.

Right, from a handful to thousands. So what is Nuh going to do about that?

“It’s hard to control them because they’re established by respected local people.”

Respected? Islamist fanatics indoctrinating youngsters are ‘respected?’ By whom? Are we talkng about stagnant primitive pools like Cikeusik, where a recent JG report suggested many of the villagers hailed the February Pogrom scum as heroes? 

“Most of these shady pesantrens are financed with money raised in the Middle East, where their founders went to school and where they still have friends and teachers with whom they have maintained close ties….



….in such cases, Nuhrison said, both the Religious Affairs Ministry and the National Education Ministry were powerless to shut the schools down.

“If we do, then we stand accused of violating their right to freedom of expression, which in turn will lead to more conflicts,” he said. “So we can do virtually nothing. We’re in a dilemma because we’re bound by the need to respect freedom of expression.”

Oh, so freedom of expression for IslamoNazis is sacrosanct, but freedom of religion for Ahmadis is not?

Nuh says that his Ministry has talked to 40 such schools in six provinces, with positive results, but thatnone of the schools were among those considered overtly radical by the government.’

So now his staff are‘drawing up a list of the pesantrens that are either unregistered or known to be preaching radicalism, which is expected to be completed next year. “We’re working with officials from Pakistan, Egypt and Iran in compiling this list,” Nuhrison said.

This is getting weirder. The IslamoNazi schools can’t be touched on human rights grounds, but there’s going to be a (likely very long) list drawn up? Why?  So Nuh’s men know which schools not to bother….?

in fact I’d be most curious to learn which of the forty schools mentioned above are GENUINELY into tolerance.

Before all these NGOs (and Western governments which, despite the fact that NGO means non-governmental organisation, seem to be heavily involved with them) start pumping money and/or materials into these pesantren, let’s get one thing straight.  It may well be true that only a minority of Islamic boarding schools are into actual terrorism.  


  • freedom-of-religion
  • —————————–
  • But a large proportion of pesantren are rotten to the core with primitive sectarian intolerance. Financing them in any way is funding the war on religious liberty which they and the other Islamist forces in society are waging on their innocent Ahmadi fellow-citizens.

Don’t believe me? Think it’s just Ross on his hobby-horse? Well, here’s a link to Harian Pelita, an article published exactly a year ago today.

You can translate it yourself, but here’s the gist, and the appalling bigotry of these people has to be read carefully to be fully appreciated.

The Majelis Silaturahim Kiai Pengasuh Pondok Pesantren se-Indonesia  – that’s the All-Indonesia Council of Pesantren Leaders  (MSKP3I) ‘are pushing the government to disband Ahmadiyah organizations in Indonesia.’


Sealed Ahmadi Mosque in Bekasi, West Java


The MSKP3I statement was read out by Andi Djamaro Dulung after the meeting at Pondok Pesantren Asshiddiqiyah, Jakarta, Wednesday (1 /9/10) and it said that MSKP3I assesses Ahmadiyah as a group outside Islam, and the organization must be disbanded.

The decision was taken in the forum “Bahtsul masail” (discussion of issues in terms of Islamic law) which was attended by, among others, KH Ma’mun al Ayyubi, Salam Wahab KH, KH Hasbullah Ali, KH Mahrus Amin, al Anshori Ahya KH, and KH Abdul Ghofur.

The report also notes that Andi is a former chairman of NU, the ‘moderate’ organisation quoted in the JG item above. Some moderates, right? 


Andi Djamaro


“We ask that the government do not hesitate in taking action,” said Andi Djamaro. Yeah, so moderate. Let the state strike down freedom of worship!

Chairman MSKP3I KH Noer Muhammad Iskandar SQ who hosted the meeting, added that the Ahmadiyya issue was not a matter of freedom of belief  guaranteed by the constitution.

“The issue is precisely that, the problem being that Ahmadiyah is defamation of religion, particularly Islam,” he said.




Besides, added Kiai Noer, Ahmadis have clearly violated the provisions set forth in the joint decree (SKB).

That’s the Tri-Ministerial Diktat, by which the Government stripped Ahmadis of the constitutional rights guaranteed to all religions in Indonesia.

“Therefore, all Islamic organizations, including the Indonesian Ulema Council, must unite for dissolution of Ahmadiyah,” Noer said.

So this highly representative pesantren body openly loathes freedom of religion, and backs suppression of Ahmadiyah by means of the Tri-Ministerial Diktat. Does it include in its ranks the schools ‘cooperating’ with Choirul and Nur at the Ministry….?



That’s just some of the story in that previous post, which admittedly was a while ago, but I’ve seen no news recording any change of heart among those intolerants.

Besides that post, there are plenty more which illustrate all too plainly the vicious bigotry, and often violence, which animates too many of those who operate and are enrolled as ‘students’ at many pesantren.

Here are just some of my previous posts in which pesantren get a mention, beginning with the one I just quoted from –


Pesantren Tantrum – ‘Students’ Rant Over a WORD!’ 

Java ‘Santri’ Rabble’s War On ‘Zionism’ – Break A KFC Window! 

gnorant Islamists Amok Again – Dissenters ‘Chased, Beaten With Iron Bars!’ 

Rohani – Kidnapped by ISIS Scum -Not in Iraq But Just Miles From My Home! 

Muslim School Burned by Angry Crowd – Police Enlist IslamoNazis to Counsel Kids! 

Bima Bigot Bomb Base (aka ‘Islamic Boarding School’) – Confusion or Cover-Up? 

Biting the Hand – IslamoNazi Mob Attacks Police Station 

Islamic Boarding School Bomb Bigot Gets 17 Years – But His Demonic Disciples? 


All of which makes us question Lukman’s assertion that diversity is already an integral part of life at Islamic boarding schools, as students get to interact with a lot of people from different places and with different ethnic backgrounds.



Are these schools then not part of the All-Indonesia Council of Pesantren Leaders  (MSKP3I)? The major representative body for pesantren in the archipelago?

“Diversity is a common theme at Islamic boarding schools. Diversity exists so that we can understand each other better, not to hate one another,” Lukman said.

Well, the MSKP3I sure sounds like it hates Ahmadiyah – and presumably anyone else who disputes its Sunni dogmas. Like I say, good luck to Lukman. He’s going to need it!