Some questions about #SayaPancasila

The hallmark of a good campaign is that it spurs public discourse on a particular subject. In this sense, the #SayaPancasila campaign can be said to be successful, if the preponderance of the hashtag and profile pictures bering the message on social media are concerned. Effective public discourse, however, exists when there are differences of…

Oxford University about to shoot itself on the foot with Kalla invite?

Unspun watched with incredulity and horror a segment from the documentary The Act of Killing in which Yusuf calla addressed a group of Pancasila Youth, who were known to be the secular equivalent of a FPI in their heyday.   He told the group that this country needed preman (thugs) because they got things done. Unlike the apparat (bureaucrats) who would…

Porking at the Wrong Place

Those of you who know Unspun would know that he looooves his pork. Not only that he would defend to the last bite the right of other porcine lovers to eat of their right to imbibe in The Other White Meat. The joys of pork consumption are many and profound but that should not make the eaters pigs…

Insulting Islam or taking the piss out of ISIS?

One thing about Indonesia is that it always surprises. Just when all of us thought that the Jokowi Government would user in a even more liberal regime that would value freedom of expression, comes news that the Police have indicted the Jakarta Post’s chief editor for insulting Islam. The Post had carried a cartoon, demonstrated…

One small step for a Muslim, one giant leap for our eardrums?

Apres lui, le déluge? One can only hope Indonesian Wins Rare Victory Against Noisy Mosque | The Jakarta Globe Banda Aceh. An elderly Indonesian said Monday he had won a rare victory against a noisy mosque, despite being forced to withdraw legal action after an angry mob threatened to kill him. Complaints against the loud…

Why Malaysian politicos get worked up by a Bible written in jawi

Indonesians will be forgiven if they are flabbergasted by the news item below. That’s because in Indonesia there is lacking that narrow-mindedness that is so common among Malaysian, particularly Malay politicians who are unable to distinguish between religion, culture and language. For you see, in Malaysia, race, and along with it religion and language, are…

Dirty Minds and Women who Straddle

Yet another case of men with dirty minds who blame women for the filth in their craniums. For the sake of these easily stimulated men, they expect women to endanger their lives and sit sideways on a motorbike rather than straddling them if they are passengers. No mention is made of whether women should do…

Finally you know who gets infuriated over talk of sex

The world is a strange place. Usually it is the Moslem cleric denouncing some seemingly depraved talk show host for sexually-explicit and immoral trash talk. This time the tables are turned with the Government watchdog  the Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) is playing moral gatekeeper and a Ustad has the role of poacher. What a strange…

Going Gaga with Islam in Malaysia

How ridiculous can people get? What is it about people who ride to political power on the coattails of religion that they think they can budget others with their zealotry? So what if the buildings in Kelantan have idols in them? What do you think will happen to the Muslims there? Will they all be…

What the Fatwa?

We all can understand Islam forbidding rioting, causing disturbance and damaging public property. But what about corruption, Gerrymeandering, arrogance and utter disrespect for the intelligence and integrity of citizens? How do these clerics sleep at night and face their children? Do the children have a hard time in school because they have to live up…

Joseph McCarthy’s witch hunts and Habib Rizieq’s FPI

Here are two different but fascinating stories. It takes place in different countries and different times, but they both tell the story about how you can fool (and intimidate) all the people some of the time but  not all the people all the time. The first is set in the US in the 1950s, when…