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 opinion and when the participants abide by rules of rhetorical fair play. So here goes Unspun‘s contribution to the public discourse on the#SayaPancasila campaign.

Three questions spring to mind from all the #SayaIndonesia and #SayaPancasila profile photos being used on Facebook Instagram and other social media channels:

  1. Are atheists allowed to proclaim #SayaPancasila? Pancasila requires the belief God, in whatever form she exists. Arising from this should there be a discussion on which is more appropriate for Indonesia today – a concept from 1945 repurposed to knit together Indonesia in 2017; or would Embracing Diversity be a more appropriate idea to campaign on?
  2. When people these days declare #SayaPancasila can it be taken as their full subscription to the five principles formulated by Sukarno in 1945 as an instrument to rally people round Indonesian Nationalism? Or is it more a talisman to signal their rejection of the more extreme and intolerant elements of Indonesia today, i.e. Rizieq and the FPI as well as other assorted hardliners? There is a difference here: one is an embrace of something, another is a rejection of another thing.
  3. Are all these declarations of #SayaPancasila on the internet missing the target? One of the things the internet is notorious for is to create bubbles where like-minded people reinforce their own ideas and convictions. How many of these #SayaPancila proclamations are actually seen by the real targets? These are the 50+ percent who voted for Anies, the thousands of easter-clad protesters who came out on 212 and other demonstrations, that part of Indonesia who get their information more from mosques and grassroots institutions than the social media. There is also the question of whether seeing such #SayaPancasila declarations would persuade them to change their minds or reinforce their believes so that they dig down even deeper in the embrace of hardline attitudes and beliefs.

Don’t get me wrong. I think that any effort to claw Indonesia back from the clutches of the hardliners is something good for this country and society. But will it be effective? Or wilt be a distraction when resources could have been channeled elsewhere for greater effect?

So where do people stand on these three questions?

 

 

 

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 debate a thing to death. he then explained the romantic origin of the word preman which apparently is derived from freeman.

How is it that such a man who has been documented on film as having said such preposterous words could become the Vice President of a country not once but twice boggles the imagination. He hasn’t improved since and like Trump is a serial offender against tolerant and non-sectarian views. His latest, of course, is taking a swipe at the stereotype of the Chinese Christians and Taoists being the richest people in Indonesia while the Muslim non-Chinese lag behind.

You wonder what checks and balances as well as screening processes this country’s political is bereft of. But that is Indonesia, where democracy is still a shiny new toy whose ways need to be mastered.

But Oxford University? The cradle of some of the best minds to walk the earth? The seat of intellectual prowess? Surely they can do better?

One assumes that the people running the university would have access to the internet and they would do some desktop research, at the very least, before they extended an invitation to Kalla to speak.

VP Kalla to Speak About Religious Tolerance at Oxford University | Jakarta Globe

Jakarta. Vice President Jusuf Kalla will speak about religious tolerance in Indonesia upon an invitation from Oxford University in England.

“They want to know about Islam in Indonesia, how the religion is practiced here. Many experts and diplomats will attend the event,” Kalla said on Monday (15/05).

According to Kalla, the international community seeks to learn more about the development of Islam in Indonesia, which many consider unique and different from other Muslim countries.

“They want to know why in the Muslim world, which is marred by divisions, there is Indonesia which still believes in Islamic unity as long as [the religion] is rightly practiced,” Kalla said.

According to the university’s website, the vice president is scheduled to talk at the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies on May 18. He left for the United Kingdom on Tuesday.

During his international trip, Kalla will also attend the 2017 Indonesia Trade Expo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“We are always looking for new markets. The Balkan region is still out of reach, so we’re working to change that,” Kalla said.

 

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 themselves. Some sensitivity is called for, especially in a multi-religious society.

So what is ostensibly can be interpreted as a case of religious intolerance on the part of Muhammadiyah in Semarang is actually a sensible objection to the insensitive nature of the Semarang Pork Festival.

If the article below is accurate the objection to the Pork Festival was because it was being held in a very public place frequented by Muslims and as such might seen to ostentatious and provocative to some Muslims. Nothing wrong with that.

Now to get back to my Babi Hong…

 

Ormas Islam Kecam Festival Daging Babi di Semarang Pork Festival

SEMARANG – Festival masakan daging babi bertajuk “Pork Festival” di Semarang mengundang protes dari ormas Muhammadiyah setempat. Even tersebut dinilai berpotensi menimbulkan ketidaknyamanan bagi sebagian umat muslim.

Menurut Ketua Pemuda Muhammadiyah Kota Semarang AM Jumai, acara yang rencanannya bakal digelar pada tanggal 4-8 Februari mendatang itu sebaiknya dibatalkan saja.

“Ini untuk mencegah terjadinya hal-hal yang tidak diinginkan. Mengingat masyarakat saat ini mudah terprovokasi,” kata Jumai kepada Radar Semarang (grup JPNN), Selasa (2/2).

Jumai mengatakan, acara itu dapat diartikan sebagai tantangan kepada anggota masyarakat yang mengharamkan daging babi untuk bereaksi.

Apalagi, pusat perbelanjaan Sri Ratu yang jadi lokasi acara berada di kawasan dengan mayoritas penduduknya umat Islam.

Jumai pun mengatakan, pihaknya tidak akan keberatan jika acara itu digelar untuk kalangan terbatas dan tidak dipublikasi luas.

“Silahkan tetap digelar tapi khusus untuk internal saja,” ujar dia. Wakil Ketua Pemuda Muhammadiyah Kota Semarang Muhtarom menambahkan bahwa pihaknya tidak bermaksud buruk kepada penyelenggara acara.

Menurutnya, Muhammadiyah hanya khawatir akan terjadi hal-hal yang dapat merusak kehidupan toleran yang ada di Semarang.  “Jika tetap dilaksanakan dan dipublikasikan, kami akan melayangkan surat protes,” tegasnya.

Untuk diketahui, Pork Festival diselenggarakan komunitas pecinta kuliner Kuliner Semarang. Acara tersebut rencanannya bakal menghadirkan berbagai masakan daging babi baik baik dari dalam maupun luar negeri. (fai/ric/cel/dil/jpnn)

Source: Ormas Islam Kecam Festival Daging Babi di Semarang – m.jpnn.com

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 here on the Bisnis.com website today. Its crime: replacing the ISIS oval with a skull and bones. One might say fair comment, given ISIS’s propensity to lob off heads or hostages.

When the more religious readers raised a kerfuffle over the Post’s cartoon, the Post bowed to pressure and apologised. You’d think that people of a religious bent would find it in their hearts to forgive, given how all religions preach about redemption, love and all that.

The Indonesian Police, however, have a different take on things, charging the editor Dimas (Mediatama Suryodiningrat) with blasphemy.

Nice to see the nation’s enforcers so sensitive about the good name of ISIS and religion, to the point that they would not tolerate snark from journalists.

One wonders where the President and his Working Cabinet of putatively progressive leaders stand on things and how long will they keep quiet over this?

PEMRED JAKARTA POST TERSANGKA: Ini Komentar Meidyatama dan AJI | Kabar24

PEMRED JAKARTA POST TERSANGKA: Ini Komentar Meidyatama dan AJI | Kabar24

Bisnis.com, JAKARTA – Pemimpin Redaksi The Jakarta Post Meidyatama Suryodiningrat (MS) ditetapkan sebagai tersangka terkait dugaan dugaan tindak pidana penistaan agama. Langkah penyidik yang menjadikan MS tersangka mendapatkan komentar keras dari AJI.Dalam pesan yang diterima Bisnis.com, Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) Indonesia menyatakan tiga hal terkait dengan penetapan Meidyatama sebagai tersangka kasus penistaan agama1). Menolak keras penetapan Pemred Jakarta Post sebagai tersangka karikatur Laa ilaaha illallaah pada edisi Kamis 3/7/2014 lalu.2. Mendesak kepolisian RI tidak menggunakan KUHP untuk menangani kasus-kasus yang terkait dengan karya jurnalistik, dan kembali menggunakan UU Pers sebagai cara untuk menyelesaikan sengketa pemberitaan atau produk pers.3. Mendesak Kapolda Metro Jaya segera mencabut status tersangka Meidyatama Suryodiningrat dan mengembalikan kasus ini sesuai UU Pers yang bersifat lex specialis.4. Mengajak masyarakat pers, baik media massa, Dewan Pers, dan stakeholders lainnya untuk bersama sama menjaga kebebasan pers dan menegakkan kasus ini dalam koridor kasus pers bukan kasus pidana. Kasus ini apabila dibiarkan akan menjadi ancaman serius bagi kebebaaan pers dan akan bisa terkena kepada siapapun.Untuk itu, AJI mendesak kepolisian mengembalikan kasus ini seperti yang sudah tertuang dalam kesepakatan Dewan Pers dan Kepolisian dalam menangani kasus pers.Sementara itu, Pemred The Jakarta Post Meidyatama Suryodiningrat dalam pesan tertulisnya yang diterima Bisnis.com mengaku kaget atas penetapan dirinya sebagai tersangka oleh penyidik Polda Metro Jaya.

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Dream on Malaysia while Indonesia takes stand against “Islamic” crazies

I’ll never forget how wistful my Malaysian cardiologist was when he found out that I was from Indonesia and that we now have Jokowi as the President.

“He seems a good guy, isn’t he?” he said of Jokowi as I lay prone and half naked on the examination table.

“Yes he is,” I said.

“Ah, if only we can have a leader like that, simple, honest, straightforward…” he said as his stethoscope hovered over me and his mind conjured up the same qualities for his national leader.

Then he looked sad as reality bit. “Too bad, we can only dream what you have in Indonesia…” Perhaps he was conjuring images of his own leaders?

The sad thing about my cardiologist is that he is not alone among Malaysians. In my last trip back a few weeks ago my friends and acquaintances also reflected this sentiment. It seems that they are close to despair that the winds of change that have prevailed in Indonesia will ever reach them.

This despair is understandable though when you look at Malaysian society today and how religion, mainly Islam, is being used by an increasingly emboldened group to assert the superiority of the Malays overt the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia.

These groups have tacit, and sometimes not so tacit, backing from the Government and the ruling Umno party. A bit like the FPI (the Islamic Defenders Front) in Indonesia during the previous administrations.

Before the changes that swept the likes of Jokowi, Ahok, Riduan Kamil and other progressive leaders to power in national and municipal governments. The only power centre was the Government, made up of political brahmins out to rip off the country.

As the main interest of these brahmins was to enrich themselves by securing their political positions, they tacitly, and sometimes not so tacitly, supported organisations like the FPI and Laskar Jihad, essentially thuggish gangs abusing the name of Islam as a cover for their  extortion, intimidation and coercion of others, Muslim or not.

During Ramadhan the FPI would, for instance, conduct raids on licensed drinking establishments and turn those places upside down — unless they were paid protection money.

At other instances, depending on who paid them, they would harass whatever targets even to them.

For a long while many Indonesians despaired but there was little they could do. The police was reluctant to move against these organisations as they knew that their political masters were behind them. Companies went unheeded or left to wither in some mouldy file on some dusty desk.

Many Indonesian Muslims also felt trapped as to criticise them could be construed as criticising Islam. All a bit like Malaysia today, you just have to substitute the names of the organisations into Perkasa and other Malaysian organisations.

But while Malaysia still wallows in this unhappy state of affairs, Indonesia has moved on and have called the bluff of the bullies.

Jakarta Vice Governor Ahok, an ethnic Chinese and Christian, has borne the brunt of the FPI’s wrath over the past few months as they sought to block his swearing in (they didn’t succeed. He was sworn in yesterday). They called him an infidel and other names and say that he should not be allowed to lead Muslims.

But instead of keeping quiet or avoiding the issue Ahok has done something really brave. he took the FPI full on head-to-head. He has now filed a complaint with the Home Ministry asking that the Government ban the organization.

But what is heartening to note too in Indonesia is how the ordinary Muslims from all sectors of society are also speaking up against these self-proclaimed defenders of Islam and Islamic values.

All over social media, in small protests and in social settings they are making their voice heard that the real Islam is one of compassion, tolerance and understanding – and the FPI do not represent them.

It is through widespread groundswells like these that the tyranny of bullies like the FPI can be checked. Wouldn’t it be great if such groundswells can take place in Malaysia as well?

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 speakers issuing the call to prayer have been met with extreme opposition in Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority nation that is home to about 800,000 mosques.

And when Sayed Hasan, 75, filed a lawsuit in December in the city of Banda Aceh, in which he complained of being disturbed by lengthy recordings of Koranic verses, it was met with strong protests from the community.

But Hasan, a Muslim, said despite being taken to see the deputy mayor and Muslim leaders, and then being escorted to the court where he was forced to withdraw his legal suit, he had ultimately won a rare victory.

“I was forced to withdraw my lawsuit as an angry mob threatened to kill me,” he said. “But after I dropped my case, the volume was significantly turned down by about half.”

A local Muslim leader said the imam had decided to reduce the noise.

City dwellers in Indonesia are often woken up before dawn by intermingling calls to prayer from three or four nearby mosques. Many also blare Koranic verses or broadcast day-long events through loudspeakers.

Ninety percent of Indonesia’s 240 million citizens are Muslim. While most practice a moderate form, Aceh province has implemented Sharia law, which is enforced by special Islamic police.

Agence France-Presse

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 politicised. The formula is simple: Malay(race)=Islam=Koran=Jawi=Malay(language) and anyone that says otherwise is seen as trampling in their underpants.

Hence the hullaballoo in Malaysia whenever they uncover any Bible translated into the Malay language, or in Jawi. Indoensians are too mature and diverse to believe that religion belongs to one ethnic group, race, or language. To them religion transcends the racial/language barriers.

Unspun thinks politicians such as Ibrahim Ali should get some intellectual development and maturity by visiting Indonesia, where the Bible is read mostly in the Indonesian language. In spite of this, Indonesian Muslims are in no danger of being proselytised en mass into some heathen religion.  The Indonesians know better than their Malaysian counterparts that the Islamic faith is made of more sterner stuff than the word.

This goes to show one again how secure the Indonesians are being themselves and how insecure the malaysians are in their faith, their race and where they stand in society. Pathetic and Ibrahim Ali wins a shit-for-brains tag from Unspun.

Malaysiakini: Ibrahim Ali: I didn’t intend to offend Christians 

Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali says his call to Muslims to burn the Malay-language Bible written in Jawi and using the word ‘Allah’ was not intended to hurt the feelings of Christians but that it was a reaction to those trying to violate the federal constitution.

The Independent MP for Pasir Mas explained to Utusan Malaysia that his call was to wake up those who tried to proselytise Muslims.

“We respect Christians and it was not my intention to offend or hurt the feelings of others. We have tolerated a lot.

“But when we voiced out our reaction to the action of a certain party that distributed Malay-language Bibles to students of a secondary school in Penang, many were angered,” the Umno-owned daily quoted Ibrahim as saying.

Full story: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/219603