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Indonesia: No Model for Muslim Democracy

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Too often I receive emails from moderate Muslims, suggesting that if I want to see and understand what is true Islam, I must go to Indonesia. As if the Arabs, who gave birth to Islam and understand the language of the Quran and other Islamic texts, understand Islam less than Indonesianss, who can't read and understand Islam's sacred scriptures. Also to Western leaders, Indonesia has emerged, more than Malaysia or Bangladesh, as the beacon of true Islamic democracy and religious tolerance. But reality is further from that. It's one of the most horrible place for minorities to live in. Now Human Rights Watch researcher Andreas Harsono is saying exactly that. And surprisingly, New York Times published this article.

No Model for Muslim Democracy

New York Times | 21 May 2012

Indonesia Islamic intolerance

IT is fashionable these days for Western leaders to praise Indonesia as a model Muslim democracy. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has declared, "If you want to know whether Islam, democracy, modernity and women’s rights can coexist, go to Indonesia." And last month Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, lauded Indonesia for showing that "religion and democracy need not be in conflict".

Tell that to Asia Lumbantoruan, a Christian elder whose congregation outside Jakarta has recently had two of its partially built churches burned down by Islamist militants. He was stabbed by these extremists while defending a third site from attack in September 2010.

This week in Geneva, the United Nations is reviewing Indonesia’s human rights record. It should call on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to crack down on extremists and protect minorities. While Indonesia has made great strides in consolidating a stable, democratic government after five decades of authoritarian rule, the country is by no means a bastion of tolerance. The rights of religious and ethnic minorities are routinely trampled. While Indonesia’s Constitution protects freedom of religion, regulations against blasphemy and proselytizing are routinely used to prosecute atheists, Bahais, Christians, Shiites, Sufis and members of the Ahmadiyya faith — a Muslim sect declared to be deviant in many Islamic countries. By 2010, Indonesia had over 150 religiously motivated regulations restricting minorities' rights.

Read rest of the article here.

Comments (8)Add Comment
Human Rights Violations in Indonesia
written by Gnostic , May 23, 2012
There are Abangan and Santri in Indonesia. While the first are relatively tolerant, the santri are not. Santri try to establish sharia law and they even succeeded in Aceh, Sumatra. In recent times Punks were forced to shave their heads and to pray. Women are forced to wear headscarves here and sometimes radicals become violent against women, homosexuals and minorities.

Circumcision of girls is still a very common practice.
Indonesia is just as extreme...
written by Brown Superman , May 24, 2012
All good can be said about Islam in Indonesia. But to know the truth, try living here for a year or two and you will see and experience the truth. Muslims in South East Asia (whole of Malaysia, Southern Thailand and Phillipines are highlighted besides Indonesia) are just the same and evil!
abc n muslims
written by Rationalist , May 24, 2012
In Indonesia they are targeting minorities in the name of Islam.

Why Muslims in southern provinces of Thailand are involved in separatist activities n killing Buddhists?
Not real muslims
written by AbuTaleb , May 24, 2012
Most of Indonesians are not real muslims, because they don't know what Islam really teaches. That is why they can live "in peace" with the non muslims. But they still have some indoctrination to hate the non muslims (or Chinese especially), so that some small event may trigger the so "peaceful and tolerant" muslims to attack non muslims.
With the more support from the government, Islamic study has been intensified and therefore we see the more and more Islam fundamentalism, which is the true Islam, in Indonesia.
written by Rationalist , May 25, 2012
Friend, I thought you knew something about it. You are directing it somewhere! May be Islamic scriptures are propelling them.
plight of Pakistani Hindus
written by Eureka , May 26, 2012
Save indonesia
written by Metal.edan , June 01, 2012
I think indonesia is in dangerous..why ? Because 1. The govenment is afraid toward radical islam eventhought it is minority. The effect is the civilization also afraid to ban the radical. 2. Law enforcement is weak. The minority is afraid to report to police or government because they have no courage to face the radical. They take popular policy. 3. Ulama and government has been married to gain economic resources in indonesia.

So save indonesia from islam doctrine
written by Dwito , June 02, 2012
Friend, not only Indonesia, but the whole world is in danger.Pl fight Islam in your level.

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