TheJakartaPost

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Jakarta Post

Victimizing the minority for popularity

  • Mohammad Yazid

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 10 2009   /  02:54 pm

After a decade of reform Indonesia remains a place lacking in hospitality toward minority groups. It means that as fellow countrymen, minority groups cannot yet feel the comfort of their position and expect proper empathy from the majority. The feeling of being intimidated and sidelined has become more intense particularly as domestic politics heats up. This is a description of what may be felt by Catholics as one of the minority groups today, notably following the rumor that the wife of vice presidential candidate Boediono, Herawati, is a Catholic. This rumor, with its religious and inter-group overtones, began to spread during the campaign round of vice presidential candidate Jusuf Kalla in the Medan haj dormitory, North Sumatra. As he was campaigning, two men were distributing photocopies of a tabloid, Indonesia Monitor, edition 49/I/June 3-9, 2009, with a report entitled "...