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Jakarta Post

Banyuwangi teenager garners attention with writings on tolerance

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 25, 2017   /   09:21 pm
Banyuwangi teenager garners attention with writings on tolerance Promoting tolerance: Asa Firda Inayah (right), a student of SMA 1 Gambiran state senior high school, Banyuwangi, East Java, talks with Banyuwangi Regent Abdullah Azwar Anas on May 19. (

Asa “Afi” Firda Inayah, 18, has once again captured the attention of Indonesians with her Facebook posts that promote tolerance.

In her latest post entitled “Warisan” (Legacy), which some people have deemed “too liberal”, Afi expressed her concern over the fact that many people followed a religion simply because they were born into a family that practiced that particular religion.

Following a string of protests, Facebook suspended Afi’s account for 24 hours on May 17.

In her controversial post, Afi said people’s religions, nationalities and names were all legacies of their parents; hence, they could not do anything but accept them.

“I was born in Indonesia from a Muslim couple. That’s why I’m a Muslim,” Afi opened her post.

“The minute after we’re born, our environment has determined our religion, ethnicity and nationality. From that moment, we spend our life defending something we never chose for ourselves." 

Afi said while everyone had the right to believe in their own faith or religion, they should not force their beliefs on anyone else. “Many conflicts come from a unilateral claim about the truth of their legacy: ‘My religion is the best religion because God himself says so’,” she wrote.

Afi’s post has been shared 71,000 times since it was posted on May 15. “Afi is amazing. She is still a senior high school student but she is really wise. I’m a fan,” prominent composer Addie MS tweeted on Thursday. (hol/ebf)