Tolerantie, jong geleerd; vreselijk, dat tolerantie voor velen nog steeds een moeilijke zaak is
Het onderstaande artikel werd deze week gepubliceerd in thejakartapost.com, met de titel: “Ministerie van Religieuze Zaken, mensenrechtenorganisatie bundelt krachten om religieuze onverdraagzaamheid aan te pakken”.
Het Indonesische ministerie voor Religieuze Zaken werkt samen met de Nationale Commissie voor de Rechten van de Mens (Komnas HAM) om een gezamenlijke helpdesk te vormen, waarvan activisten hopen, dat het de kans op onverdraagzaamheid in het land zal helpen verkleinen. De samenwerking, die eerder deze maand werd aangekondigd, heeft tot doel snelle reacties te bieden op kwesties van religieuze discriminatie, zei minister van Religieuze Zaken Yaqut Cholil Qoumas.
Beide partijen hebben bestaande gevallen van religieuze onverdraagzaamheid geïdentificeerd en werkingsmechanismen voor het bureau besproken, evenals de meest effectieve interventiestrategie, zei Beka Ulung Hapsara, commissaris van Komnas HAM. Beka vertelde aan The Jakarta Post, dat het bureau rapporten zal behandelen van volgelingen van inheemse geloofsovertuigingen en van andere minderheidsgroepen zoals de Ahmadiyah, naast alle grieven van de zes grote religieuze groeperingen, die door de staat worden erkend.
In het multi-etnische en conservatieve Indonesië, de thuisbasis van de grootste moslimbevolking ter wereld, blijft religieuze onverdraagzaamheid een groot probleem, ondanks het feit dat er een grondwet is, die de vrijheid van godsdienst garandeert als een mensenrecht, dat niet mag worden beperkt of geschonden.
Hieronder het gehele artikel in het engels
Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Ministry is working together with the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) to form a joint help desk, which activists hope will help reduce the probability of intolerance in the country. The collaboration, announced earlier this month, aims to offer quick responses to issues of religious discrimination, Religious Affairs Minister Yaqut Cholil Qoumas has said.
Both sides have identified existing cases of religious intolerance and discussed working mechanisms for the desk, as well as the most effective strategy for intervention, said Komnas HAM commissioner Beka Ulung Hapsara. Beka told The Jakarta Post that the desk would handle reports from native-faith followers as well as other minority groups such as the Ahmadiyah, alongside any grievances from the six major religious groups that are recognized by the state.
In multiethnic and conservative-leaning Indonesia, home to the largest Muslim population in the world, religious intolerance remains a big problem despite having a constitution that guarantees freedom of religion as a human right that may not be limited or derogated.
According to a study published in 2019 by the Setara Institute for Democracy and Peace, violations of freedom of religion remains one of the biggest problems to occur at the state level since 2007, with West Java and DKI Jakarta recording the most incidents of religious intolerance nationwide over the past 12 years since the study was first commissioned.
Throughout President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s first term, which started in 2014, Setara recorded 846 incidents and 1,060 distinct acts of violating freedom of religion, kompas.com reported. Read also: Indonesia ranks among most religious countries in Pew study Up until the first year mark of Jokowi’s second term on Oct. 20 last year, the civil society group recorded 200 incidents and 327 acts of violating freedom of religion – 168 by the state and 159 by non-state actors.
Alissa Wahid of the religious freedom watchdog Wahid Foundation was hopeful that the initiative would be able to effectively bring down the number of religious intolerance cases – but only if the desk was managed properly. She explained that there were a number of factors that contributed to the increasing number of cases of religious intolerance. For one, law enforcement officials are still more focused on maintaining religious harmony than they are on preserving the constitutional rights of citizens. “There has been a growing trend of religious exclusivism [among Indonesians], which culminates in the urge to incorporate religious teachings in state law.
The majority religious group also believes that it has more rights than those from minority religious groups,” Alissa told The Jakarta Post over the weekend. The new state initiative comes at a time when certain pieces of national legislation, such as the Blasphemy Law and the Religious Harmony Law, continue to be used as instruments to erode or abuse rights.
The enforcement of these laws has resulted in harassment, intimidation and violence against vulnerable community members, including religious minorities and other minority groups, by government officials, security forces, militia and fellow community members. Read also: Freedom of religion suffers in persistently divided nation In 2016, six vihara (Buddhist monasteries) and temples in North Sumatra were burned down by an angry mob in response to an appeal by a triple minority resident – an ethnically Chinese Buddhist woman – to the caretaker of a nearby mosque to turn down the speakers used in the Islamic call to prayer.
The woman, 41-year-old Meliana, was sentenced to 1.5 years in prison just two years after being charged with blasphemy. She was eventually released on parole after serving 18 months. Local regulations and practices also continue to be applied in contradiction to individual freedoms granted in the 1945 Constitution.
At the start of the year, a vocational school in West Sumatra came under fire for forcing female students to wear a hijab regardless of their faith. The school moved to punish any non-Muslim students who refused to heed the policy, sparking a national debate on religious intolerance.
The West Sumatra Education Agency defended the school by maintaining that the Padang administration had issued a bylaw in 2005 instructing all female students to wear the Muslim headscarf at school, but the central government intervened by scrapping the requirement in a joint ministerial regulation from the Education and Culture Ministry, the Home Ministry and the Religious Affairs Ministry. However, some regional leaders remain undeterred by and have rejected the new regulation.
The mayor of the West Sumatran city of Pariaman, Genius Umar, said for instance that he is not afraid of the consequences for defying the central government, kompas.com reported.