Letter : Intolerance
The article “RI becomes ‘more intolerant’” (The Jakarta Post, June 6) puts the writing on the wall.
Intolerance is on the rise due to the refusal to accept a changing world under external influences, a changing society, an advancing understanding of life and all the issues that are related to a progressive and humane society.
Relatively high percentages object to interreligious marriages, object to allowing places of different worship in their neighborhood, insist on community approval for places of worship construction of different faiths, support the closing of restaurants during Ramadhan, do not trust subscribers of different faiths, approve dictated introductions for female students to wear Muslim headscarves and support dictated introductions for students to be fluent in Arabic.
And these are only some results of a limited survey, not mentioning other telltale signs that indicate stagnation in terms of thinking and understanding.
Pancasila was a good starting point 60+ years ago; strengthening pluralism, democracy and social justice as the basic values of the national ideology to develop a multicultural and democratic Indonesia.
These basic principles are still applicable, however progress cannot be stopped and has to be accepted just as preceding generations finally had to accept, that we all together have come to this point in time and life.
Here is the task and duty for political and especially religious leaders to show the right path into the next century without the obstruction of short-sighted thinking and selfish motives.