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…

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…

Gumawan Fauzi and the Act of Killing Democracy with the FPI

In Joshua Oppenheimer’s incredible documentary The Act of Killing, Indonesia’s former vice president Yusuf Kalla, regarded by many here as a saner voice than most of the politicians, delivers a mind boggling speech to a gathering of the Pancasila Youth.   The Pancasila Youth is a paramilitary organisation that grew from a motley collection of…

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…

The deed no self respecting FPI preman would do

Isn’t it so comforting to see justice being administered so swiftly and decisively in Indonesia. Justice, which moves so slowly and timidly when FPI guys are on the giving end, apparently speeds up when the violence goes another way. Unspun is not so much perplexed by the seemingly uneven-handedness of the law in Indonesia, which…

Solving the wrong problem precisely with proposal to convert Shiites

This is a typical case of what Mitroff and Silvers discuss in their book Dirty Rotten Strategies: How We Trick Ourselves and Others into Solving the Wrong Problems Precisely. Unspun has a more precise tag for this kind of thinking which is in my tag: shot-for brains. The root causes of the persecution of the Shiites…

Why do mosques turn up the volume during Ramadhan?

Ah ‘Tis the Season. Unspun‘s spent many dawns being frightened from his sleep due to the fact that there are at least three mosques nearby. The question: “Why doesn’t anyone tell them to tone down?” occurred to Unspun but being a coward, he’s too afraid to even utter it to the weeds in his garden,…

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…