Australia is funding Indonesia's misguided "religious nationalism"

What’s the point of funding Indonesia’s “religion & nationalism?”

By Vicky Janson

 Indonesia wants English  removed from the curriculum:

Last night I heard our Prime Minister speaking positively about Australian children being equipped to make the most of the Asian century. She was encouraging students to learn an Asian language. Who could argue with a broader education and improving language skills to participate in the economic growth in China, India, South Korea, Japan and Indonesia?    (Continued below the fold)


Another day, another mosque:

Worongary (Gold Coast) Mosque gets the green light

THE planning and environment court this morning approved the controversial Worongary Mosque. The Islamic Multicultural Association of the Gold Coast took the council to court after it rejected the application for the worship centre to be built almost two years ago.

The approval has strict conditions including no weddings or funerals and no speakers on site.

“In Aceh, Indonesia, where so many western countries assisted them in recovering from the tsunami a few years back, churches and temples have been closed down, as they were ‘not registered’. Presumably all the mosques were. I mention this to put some balance to the comments about racism v. bigotry.In the Netherlands, residents took one mosque group to court, as they objected to the call for prayers via loudspeakers at dawn.The mosque heirachy had the church bells cut back by court order.”—Adrian


But this encouragement to a broader education and global competitiveness is in interesting contrast to a recent announcement in Indonesia. Just last week, Indonesia’s Deputy Education and Culture Minister for Education Musliar Kasim announced that next year primary school students would be offered a simplified national curriculum based on religion and nationalism. (One assumes that would be Islam rather than religion generally). Mr Musliar said that the scrapping of science would allow teachers to teach morality to children. He added that while English would be removed from the curriculum, social and natural sciences would be merged with other subjects, most likely the Indonesian language, Bahasa Indonesia.

So let’s get that straight. In our globalised modern world, Indonesia is seriously talking about scrapping English and Science in favor of Islam and the local language. It’s probably worth reflecting on the results of such moves in other nations. To quote Malaysian author Syed Akbar Ali: ‘Both Burma and Ceylon had established Courts of Justice based on the English and Indian legal system. They had good schools and universities which used English as the medium of instruction. They had a large pool of English educated Civil Servants. But Ceylon and Burma then committed suicide. Ceylon changed its name to Sri Lanka and dropped English in favor of the Sinhalese language. Burma changed its name to Myanmar and dropped English in favor of the Burmese language.’ Ali goes on to say that  ‘the English language … is a source of great wealth and prosperity’ and the shortsightedness of these nations resulted in their position now as ‘basket cases’. Ali contrasts this to Singapore and quotes former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who said, ‘the greatest contributor to Singapore’s phenomenal success in such quick time was their switch to the English language’. But I suppose we shouldn’t let facts get in the way of philosophy.

While Australia adopts the ever-increasing policy of inclusiveness and appreciation of other cultures, it may pay to watch our closest neighbors’ who seem more inclined in the other direction. After all, given that it was only a few months ago Indonesia’s Religious Affairs Minister stated that he believed miniskirts are pornographic and should be banned under the country’s tough new anti-porn legislation, what does teaching ‘morality’ to children really mean? Will deleting English and Science, and focusing on religion and nationalism in Indonesia’s school curriculum really enhance Australia’s relationship with Indonesia, or merely concrete prevailing xenophobic attitudes that project Westerners as generally immoral? Should Australia keep throwing multiple millions of dollars into Indonesian education if this is the case? Perhaps while dropping English, Indonesia may choose to embrace other Asian languages so they too may participate in the economic growth anticipated in this Asian century… but that may well leave Australian and Indonesia as silent partners at the trade table. And what of the scientific method?

4 thoughts on “Australia is funding Indonesia's misguided "religious nationalism"”

  1. The Gillard government sends billions to Indonesia for ‘education’ and foreign aid. The Indonesians just laugh and spend up big on armaments and planes from Russia and China. Their navy is 3 times the size of ours.

    Due to their imperial adventures and colonization of surrounding islands and countries (west New Guinea comes to mind- full of gold, timber and other natural resources) Indonesia is a very rich country that cries poor at every opportunity- and the dopey dhimmies of successive Australian governments fall for it every time.

    Sure, they have a huge population to provide for, but the soils and seas that Indonesia control are rich and productive. Indonesia is a very greedy and aggressive country that appears to be moving to a theocracy.

    Time to wake up, speak up and harden up- Indonesia is not our ‘friend’- and is eyeing up Australia as their next colony.

  2. I believe our naive government had good intentions. The idea was that as poor Indonesians only had access to free but nasty madrassas, we could pay to set up secular schools for the poor so they would not be led along the road of fundamentalism. But the Indonesian government has the solution to benefit fundamentalism and use our money to do it, by making ALL schools subject to fanatical indoctrination. We weren’t clever enough to see that one coming.
    About time the government got itself an advisor to address these Islamic questions; obviously, one of us, not a Muslim.

    1. No. It started with John Howard. Part of the settlement to get Indo Muslims out of East Timor was 500 million dollars for what he called ‘educational’ purposes.

      Since that, the Labor dimbulbs have given more than another 2 billion in jizya annually, in the belief that there is a ‘moderate version of Islam’- a version that would be tolerant towards us if we just pay them enough.

      The Australian government has funded the construction and expansion of over 2.000 junior high schools (madrassas) in poor and remote areas in Indonesia, with funds amounting to AUS $300 million. In addition, another AUS$87 million has also been allocated to improve the quality and management of the education sector.

      The money keeps flowing and the result is that we are paying for jihad indoctrination.

      Terrific: Australia to boost funding to Islamic education

      Highly paid supporters fear loss of job….

      Downer, KRudd and Julie Bishop: “lets pay the moderates to keep us safe from the radicals…”


      “We should fund Islamic schools for our own good…”

      If we don’t support the teaching of moderate Islam, extreme Islam will quickly fill the vacuum.

  3. Re: “Mr Musliar said that the scrapping of science would allow teachers to teach morality to children.”

    Actually, true morality is based on science, not on irrational superstition.

    Here’s a quick comparison of philosophy, science, and religion:

    1). Philosophy is speculation, presented AS speculation.
    2). Science is tested speculation, presented AS tested speculation.
    3). Religion is speculation, presented AS FACT.

    So, only one of these (religion) is a lie. And lying is the most basic form of theft (it’s the theft of the Truth) and theft IS crime.

    Morality doesn’t require a god to enforce it, either; in fact, as “allah” proves, it’s a case of the exact opposite: “allah” only enforces force, and extortion is a threat, or psychological attack (aka duress, coercion, “terrorism”) and all non-defensive attacks are crimes; islam IS crime!

    Morality simply involves agreement to obey the Golden Rule of Law (which enables trust, progress, and civilization): “Do Not Attack First!”

    Islam immorally disregards this, in favor of the brazen rule of chaos (“It’s our holy right and duty to allah to always attack all the others first, so there, nyah!”) which inflicts distrust, stagnation, and barbarism.

    “Submission, the religion of Pacification” = “Extortion, the religion of Thieves!”

Comments are closed.