The Jakarta Post
Former first lady and women’s rights activist Shinta Nuriyah Abdurrahman Wahid has said that protecting Indonesia from a growing feeling of insecurity caused by conflicts relating to ethnic, religious, racial and intergroup (SARA) issues was mandatory for all Indonesian people.
“We need to close ranks to fight against this cruelty,” she said on Friday.
Shinta Nuriyah is one of 12 religious leaders attending a gathering to affirm a commitment to fight against intolerance at the University of Gadjah Mada’s (UGM) University Club (UC) in Yogyakarta.
Among leaders attending the event are Ahmad Syafi’i Maarif, Engkus Ruswana, Bhikku Nyana Suryanadi, Cardinal Julius R. Darmaatmaja, Mohamad Sobary, and Rev. Gomar Gultom.
Gomar said that for years, the government had let intolerant movements expand in Indonesia. Even in certain cases, the state had facilitated such movements.
“The government must act firmly [against intolerance],” he said.
Meanwhile, Confucian priest Budi Suniarto said intolerance in Indonesia had been getting stronger because it was cultivated in children from the time they began school. Parents should not remain idle in such a situation, he added.
“Actually, many of us support pluralism and diversity but we often fail to act when we encounter intolerance,” Budi said. (ebf)