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Jakarta Post

Resolving Indonesia's religious freedom quandary

  • Pranoto Iskandar
    Pranoto Iskandar

    Founding editor of the Indonesian Journal of International & Comparative Law

Cianjur, West Java   /   Mon, March 12, 2018   /  01:57 pm
Resolving Indonesia's religious freedom quandary A man cleans up lawn at the the Pancasila Sakti (Sacred Pancasila) monument complex in Lubang Buaya, East Jakarta, in this Sept. 28, 2013 photo. (The Jakarta Post/P.J. Leo)

It has become old news to hear public figures emphasizing their commitment to religious freedom. Most recently, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo reiterated his commitment, stressing that there is “no room for intolerance”. But, most importantly, will it become a reality?

Our recent record shows that this will be just another empty promise. Strange but true, a rabble-rouser like Rizieq Shihab and company say they unequivocally support religious freedom while they are notorious for acting savagely against anyone whom they think deviates from the orthodoxies that they, of course, espouse.

So if nobody disavows the importance of religious freedom, why on earth does (religious) persecution endure? Let us zoom in on the bigger picture to understand the issue. 

First, a word of caution. Indonesia’s conception is wildl...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.