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Issues of the day: Yudhoyono touts blasphemy ban at UN

  • The Jakarta Post

| Sat, September 29 2012 | 02:31 pm

Sept. 26, p. 2

Indonesia is calling on the UN’s member states to adopt a legally binding instrument to ban blasphemy and to promote dialogue between different faiths, civilizations and cultures.

Speaking before hundreds of world leaders at the UN General Assembly, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said such an instrument was needed to prevent incitements of violence based on religion.

“This instrument, a product of international consensus, shall serve as a point of reference that the world community must comply with,” Yudhoyono said.

In addition, the President said that dialogue was needed to build cooperation globally.

“These communities will become bulwarks for peace and they will make it difficult, if not impossible, for any kind of armed conflict to erupt,” Yudhoyono said.

Your comments:

I am proud of our President for raising his voice, but at the same time, the Indonesian government must prove at home that such a law is effective in bringing about peace and stopping discrimination against religious minorities.

In my opinion, the United Nations cannot help with the matter because the United Nations itself adopts discrimination against its members. Let us see if Mr. Marty’s speech aiming to reform the UN Security Council is effective, but I’m skeptical.

For Indonesia, I propose that the government should implement our 1945 Constitution fully and be cautious with regards to religious issues. When it comes to religious issues, the government should not involve itself in defining what is right and what is wrong.

Let people follow their own beliefs. No majority group should be permitted to impose their religious law against minorities.

What the government should do is implement absolute justice. No matter how pure the intentions of its citizens are, if they create disturbances and cause public disorder, they must be brought to justice.

No arrests should be made on the basis of having different interpretations of religious law. But, arrests should be made if someone actually commits a crime. People that destroy any property must be brought to justice and have to pay for it.

My beloved President, I hope you realize one day why you were “crying in the wilderness”. It is because you were a minority at that hall. I pray that you will come to understand the pain that comes with being a minority. I hope you come back with a new spirit and protect minorities at home. Do it now while you still have authority.

Abdul Mukhlis

SBY should be ashamed! He proposes a ban on blasphemy in front of the rest of the world when he is not able to protect minority groups in his own country.

APH Mulders

In front of world leaders at the UN General Assembly, he acted professionally and as a strong supporter of human rights.

Mr. President, please answer my question: Have you ever been fully attentive to the cries of the members of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Yasmin in Bogor, who are unfairly prohibited from conducting worship in their church building?

Jono Bono

Look at the countries that already have laws against religious blasphemy such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Indonesia.

What sort of religious harmony has been achieved by these laws? Pretty much proves that these laws suppress religious freedom.

Sam Spade


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