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Jakarta Post

EDITORIAL: Persecuting beliefs

  • EDITORIAL

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Thu, March 9, 2017   /  08:10 am
EDITORIAL: Persecuting beliefs Fajar Nusantara Movement (Gafatar) leaders Mahful Muis Tumanurung, Ahmad Musadeq and Andry Cahya (left to right) smile to journalists before the verdict hearing on Tuesday afternoon. (JP/Bagas Rahadian)

For all our talk on respecting diverse beliefs, people giggle at every report of the cult leader nicknamed Lia Eden, who was twice convicted for blasphemy for leading a cult that believed she received divine messages through the angel Gabriel. The reports were indeed entertaining, including one claiming she wrote to President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo for permission to land “our UFO” at the National Monument. Though the coverage of Lia Aminuddin draws amusement, what is largely lost on us is that one cannot easily change people’s beliefs even if they are deemed blasphemous by vocal majorities, in this case adherents of the state-sanctioned religions. One study on the “Eden Community” suggested dialogue with its followers who were said to include intellectuals not prone to violence. Yet dialogue with anyone feeling that they are victims of bla...