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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Indonesia is not an Islamic country, not a secular one either

In one article I read in the local newspaper, Abu Bakar Ba’asyir, one controversial figure in Indonesia proposed Sharia regulation applied in one city in Central Java, the province where I live now. One example of the application is that when a Muslim person doesn’t do the Islamic teachings—let’s say pray five times a day—police must arrest him/her. During Ramadhan month (fasting month for Muslim), when police find out a Muslim doesn’t fast (perhaps he is still eating out in a food stall or restaurant), police must arrest him/her. Women who don’t wear hijab (veil) will be arrested and be jailed. And so on.

It reminded me of one discussion I had some time ago with my two friends. Both of them wear hijab in their daily life, I don’t. In my eyes, they are more pious than I am coz I consider myself as a secular person. I talked to them that many Muslim people in Indonesia do the Islamic teachings only coz they are afraid to go to hell. The expectation that people who do the teachings regularly and well will become “good” people (read => not harming other people) doesn’t really come true. In the reality there are many examples where people who do the teachings of their religion also do other things that harm other people; corruption, collusion, and many other things.

And now, if that Sharia regulation is really applied here (it has been applied in some areas in Indonesia), there will be more hypocrite people. They do the teachings not to get closer to their God, but coz they are afraid of being arrested and jailed. Police will be busier to watch the citizens who don’t pray five times a day, who don’t fast during Ramadhan month, who don’t wear hijab, etc. It will create a new “field” of irresponsible police to get more illegal money from the “victims” for bribery. And government must build more prisons to accommodate the “criminals”.

This is much more ridiculous than the Pornography Bill.

Suddenly I remember what I learned in the very beginning of my study at American Studies Department. With the “discovery” of American continent at the end of the fifteenth century, many people from England—known as Puritan--migrated there coz they didn’t feel secure to live in their native land coz they couldn’t adhere to the religion they believed.

When Indonesian people don’t feel secure anymore to live in their native country, will they look for another place to escape?
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P.S.: Two days later after I read the article and wrote this, TEMPO stated that the municipal government of Solo regency rejected Ba'asyir's idea. Thank God. :)

I don't agree with what he said that the government must be responsible when its citizens don't pray five times a day, let's say. Doesn't Alquran state that everybody must be responsible for themselves, and not other people? When people do crime and sin, they must face the risk by themselves; when people do good to others; God will give them reward.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Simply together we do good things and encourage others to do good things as well.

Nation will surely benefit from this.

But the nation has enough problems to sort out. Together, we can do wonders.