Comment: RI becomes ‘more intolerant’
June 6, p. 1
A new survey published on Tuesday has once again confirmed the widely held assumption that religious intolerance is rising in the country.
The survey, conducted by the Jakarta-based think tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) between Jan. 16 and 24 this year, found that although 83.4 percent of the respondents said that they had no problem with neighbors from different ethnic groups, 79.3 percent objected to inter-religious marriage.
The survey also found that 68.2 percent of respondents refused to allow people of different faiths to build places of worship in their neighborhood.
Of the total 2,220 respondents interviewed in 23 provinces, 91.5 percent said that people from different faiths must get approval from the local community before they could build a place of worship. The survey’s sample represents the plurality of the country’s population.
Close to 80 percent of respondents also thought that all restaurants and eateries should shut down during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan.
I do not agree with the result of CSIS survey. There is no country like Indonesia, which is so tolerant among followers of different faiths. This survey said that “close to 80 percent of respondents thought that all restaurants and eateries should shut down during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadhan.”
Personally, I agree with the statement because Ramadhan is the fasting month for Muslims. It is part of interfaith tolerance. In a number of Western countries, Muslims’ activities are prohibited, like building minarets in Denmark.
Toni Ervianto, I beg to differ.
You claim that other countries are not tolerant because they ban Muslim activities in their country. So, what you mean is banning religious activities is intolerant, right? Can we extend this to say prohibiting other people from doing their basic activities, such as eating and praying, is intolerant?
You see, from the statistics there, the majority of respondents say they want all restaurants and eateries to close and they don’t want to have other religion’s places of worship in the neighborhood.
That’s why it is said that Indo-nesian is becoming more intolerant. But it is comparing to Indonesia in the old days, not to other countries.
We don’t care about them. We shouldn’t be proud because we are better than them, but we should be aware because at this rate, sooner or later, we will be the same as them.
In addition, yes, we can say that closing restaurants is a form of tolerance for Muslims who are fasting. But that is if the restaurants choose to close voluntarily. If you make such closures mandatory, that becomes intolerance and oppression, not only to people who own the restaurants, workers, who need to earn living, but also to people who don’t practice fasting because they still need to eat.
We can’t say that just because we fast other people need to fast. That is not tolerance and more importantly, there are people who can’t fast such as pregnant women, babies, those who live in rented houses and can’t cook and have to resort to buying food outside.
Are you saying they are not allowed to eat? Is there a point in fasting, to repent from committing sins, but what if one causes suffering to others?