Monday, May 28, 2012

Is this the death of Tolerance in Indonesia?



I am interested to revive this blog since I feel that there is one fundamental trait that Indonesians used to have and is currently eroding REALLY fast: Tolerance.

Tolerance in Wikipedia is described as the practice of permitting a thing of which one disapproves, such as social, ethnic, sexual, or religious practices. It is such a nice way to allow us to live in harmony and under our cultural norms that have existed for hundreds of years.

Unfortunately tolerance is sometimes misinterpreted and associated with permissive. Some people might be afraid that when we permit someone, it would mean unrestricted and unchecked freedom.

I left Indonesia seven years ago with this not so perfect attitude but possibly grasp the very essence of this tolerance. It meant a great deal to be tolerance especially when you are the majority. As a minority (which is my case in Australia), you can only be happy about the extend they 'allow' us to perform our religious beliefs. In this case, there are no restrictions for me to believe in anything.

Indonesians used to be known as the model for Muslim democracy, but as you can see from this article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/22/opinion/no-model-for-muslim-democracy.html?_r=1&smid=fb-share, it seemed to no longer be the case. My biggest worry about this article is this quote 'By 2010, Indonesia had over 150 religiously motivated regulations restricting minorities’ rights.' Does this mean that Indonesia is converting to a Muslim country? What would happen to minorities in the future? Will we lose to Iran for this leader in Muslim democracy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm_kIPGV7b4)?


Will we have such a bleak future where people will start hating each other due to one's belief is fundamentally different than others. There was an example of Muslim minority, Ahmadiyah, that had three of their members killed mercilessly (WARNING: very graphic violence) while their killers were only punished with 3 - 6 months of jail time (http://www.rnw.nl/bahasa-indonesia/article/kasus-ahmadiyah-bukti-kemandulan-hukum). UNHCR had a report way back in 2005 about this issue http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,,QUERYRESPONSE,IDN,,4b6fe1e82,0.html that could potentially save lives.

It's very sad and 'funny' to know when you can be jailed 5 years for DVD piracy and 3 months for killing someone.

Let us pray for Indonesia to have a better future and conflicts like the one happened in Syria (http://www.smh.com.au/world/houla-massacre-108-dead-says-un-20120528-1zdlp.html) can be avoided...

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