Issue : Indonesia becomes ‘more intolerant’
Our shared problem: Protesters unfurl posters expressing their disappointment over the government’s failure to protect the rights of minorities to practice their religious beliefs in a rally in front of the Merdeka Palace in Central Jakarta on Sunday. (JP/R. Berto Wedhatama)
June 6, p. 1
A new survey published on Tuesday has once again confirmed the widely held assumption that religious intolerance is rising in this 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 interreligious marriage.
The survey also found that 68.2 percent of respondents would refuse to allow people of different faiths to build places of worship in their neighborhoods.
I personally question the sample pool of this survey. Only 2,220 respondents in 23 provinces? This means less than 100 per province — there are millions of people in Jakarta alone. What are the demographics of the respondents? In a country like Indonesia, demographics of a survey are all the more important.
I am also not in agreement with the survey questions. I don’t believe I am intolerant but I am opposed to interreligious marriages. It is best for a family to worship together and bring children up under the same religious code as both parents. I also do not want any places of worship in my neighborhood, unless the government determines what is and is not allowed.
Enough with the blaring sound from mosques for every gathering held there. Enough with the traffic caused by people gathering for church, not caring about the impact on other commuters. Enough with the road closures caused by some lecturer of (any) religion. Enough with etc. etc. etc. I support the freedom of religious expression, but every freedom must come with responsibility and respect for others. In short, I don’t think the questions evince an actual measure of intolerance.
If you were tolerant, Christine, you would be happy to let people choose their own marriage partner and to follow the religion of their preference, regardless of who they were married to.
Your claim that a family is best if children are brought up under the same religious code of both parents appears to be based on prejudice rather than evidence. If you have never met a happy couple with differing religious beliefs, perhaps you need to broaden your circle of acquaintances.
There is no reason to believe that two people of different religions can not live successfully together, unless you define “successful” to mean “sharing the same religious beliefs and practices”.
But there is a lot of evidence that confining marriage to partners of the same religion, as in Pakistan, Lebanon or Nigeria, promotes religious segregation, leading ultimately to communal conflict.
It is time for the Indonesian government to arrest the country’s slide toward violence and to serve the needs of its citizens by removing its ban on marriage between partners of different religions. Indeed, the government should stop forcing citizens to define themselves as members of a particular religious group altogether.
So many comments and arguments of various theories. In my opinion, it’s better to just go back to the fundamentals. Read the holy book of your faith and just follow and do it.
The survey is misleading. You can be tolerant toward one thing but not to something else. That’s just the way it is.
There are many issues in religious life; one can’t lump them all together and slap labels on them. That sounds intolerant to me.
To Toni Ervianto: you confused “tolerance” with “privilege”. Closing all eateries during Ramadhan is subjecting people of different religions to Islamic traditions. Your statement on certain countries being intolerant of Islam is dubious. To me they are simply not religious.
We need to have a closer look at each case.
If Islam cultivated spirituality, then tolerance of others wouldn’t even be an issue. But it doesn’t. It is simply the practice of overt ostentatious, coercive, misogynistic, primitive habits; the more visible, loud and noisy, the better. Show your friends, family, relatives and fellow citizens how pious you are. How you love your deity, Allah. How you despise others who do not share these practices.
In extremis, how you shun and hate, up to the point of murdering those “others”.
Where is the spirituality, then, in Islam? All I hear are cries of “Jihad!” and “Kill!”. There is no call to repudiate the violent Islam Defenders Front (FPI) and other hard-line groups from the so-called silent majority of peaceful Muslims. Perhaps that is because there is no silent majority. Where is that call to reinstate Pancasila that President SBY demanded?