Islam in Indonesia: a work in progress

* Newsflash: Now Clinton sux up to the Mullahs:

Clinton Repeats Obama on Iran: ‘Reaching Out a Hand, but the Fist Has to Unclench’


* In the seventies I spent a couple of years in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.  Nowhere, I repeat: nowhere did I see hijab, or so-called Islamic dress. This, of course, is the influence of Arab money, mosques and thousands of young Indonesians or Malays returning from working in the Emirates, where they get indoctrinated with the real Islam. With promises of money and heavenly rewards they spread the ideological poison upon their return. Islam is a work in progress: 

Modern, Moderate Indonesia gets less modern, less moderate as sharia-based laws creep into half of provinces

The injustices inherent in sharia by modern standards of equal dignity and protection under the law are compounded by the fact that sharia knows no concept of limitations on the power of government, except as outlined by divine fiat. In Indonesia as in the West, there exists the substantial risk that an inattentive or deceived populace will simply take it on faith (no pun intended) that sharia encroachment will stop on its own once there is “enough” sharia and “reasonable” accommodations are made.

“Indonesia – Sharia-based laws creep into half of provinces,” from Compass Direct News, February 2:

*  Indonesia: Women prefer divorce to polygamy in Islamic courts

* Divorce rate soars in Indonesia


                         Women pray in a mosque in Banda Aceh. Recently imposed 

Sharia laws require women to wear headscarves, and the province’s newly formed Sharia police have carried out arrests of women who are not properly covered up. Religious conservatism is on the rise in Banda Aceh and some larger towns across the province

* So if Muslim women tell you they  wear a hijab because it is their ‘choice’- what choice do they really have? Hijab or death? 

                    * Learn how to beat your wife correctly, in the old Islamic fashion

DUBLIN, February 2 (Compass Direct News) – As candidates hit the campaign trail in preparation for Indonesia’s presidential election in July, rights groups have voiced strong opposition to an increasing number of sharia-inspired laws introduced by local governments. They say the laws discriminate against religious minorities and violate Indonesia’s policy of Pancasila, or “unity in diversity.”

With legislative elections coming in April and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono likely to form a coalition with several Islamic parties for the July presidential election, such laws could become a key campaign issue.

Although Aceh is the only province completely governed by sharia (Islamic law), more than 50 regencies in 16 of 32 provinces throughout Indonesia have passed laws influenced by sharia. These laws became possible following the enactment of the Regional Autonomy Law in 2000.

The form of these laws varies widely. Legislation in Padang, West Sumatra, requires both Muslim and non-Muslim women to wear headscarves, while a law in Tangerang allows women found “loitering” alone on the street after 10 p.m. to be arrested and charged with prostitution.Other laws include stipulations for Quran literacy among schoolchildren and severe punishment for adultery, alcoholism and gambling.

“Generally the legal system regulates and guarantees religious freedom of Indonesian citizens … but in reality, discrimination prevails,” a lawyer from the legal firm Eleonora and Partners told Compass.


Some regencies have adopted sharia in a way that further marginalizes minority groups, according to Syafi’I Anwar, executive director of the International Center for Islam and Pluralism.

“For instance, the Padang administration issued a law requiring all schoolgirls, regardless of their religion, to wear the headscarf,” he told the International Herald Tribune. This is unacceptable because it is not in line with the pluralism that the constitution recognizes.”

Freedom of religion is guaranteed by Article 29 of the country’s constitution, he added. “Therefore the government must assist all religious communities to practice their beliefs as freely as possible and take actions against those who violate that right.”

While Indonesia’s largest Muslim group, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), has publicly denounced the implementation of such laws, other groups actively support them. The Committee for the Implementation and Maintenance of Islamic Law (KPPSI) has held several congresses in Makassar, South Sulawesi with the goal of passing sharia-inspired legislation and obtaining special autonomy for the province, similar to that in Aceh.

KPPSI has also encouraged members to vote for politicians who share their goals, according to local news agency Komintra.

‘Threatening’ Decision

In February of last year, Home Affairs Minister Mardiyanto declared that the government saw no need to nullify some 600 sharia-inspired laws passed by local governments. His announcement came after a group of lawyers in June 2007 urged the government to address laws that discriminated against non-Muslims.

Moderates were alarmed at Mardiyanto’s decision, fearing it would encourage other jurisdictions to pass similar laws. Last August, Dr. Mohammad Mahfud, newly re-elected as head of the Constitutional Court, slammed regional administrations for enacting sharia-inspired laws.

“[These] laws are not constitutionally or legally correct because, territorially and ideologically, they threaten our national integrity,” he told top military officers attending a training program on human rights, according to The Jakarta Post.

Mahfud contended that if Indonesia allowed sharia-based laws, “then Bali can pass a Hindu bylaw, or North Sulawesi can have a Christian ordinance. If each area fights for a religious-based ordinance, then we face a national integration problem.” According to Mahfud, sharia-based laws would promote religious intolerance and leave minority religious groups without adequate legal protection.

Under the 2000 Regional Autonomy Law, the central government has the power to block provincial laws but showed little willingness to do so until recently when, bowing to pressure from advocacy groups, it pledged to review 37 sharia-based ordinances deemed discriminatory and at odds with the constitution….



Indonesia: Women prefer divorce to polygamy in Islamic court

Jakarta, 2 Feb. (AKI) – A growing number of Muslim women are choosing to file for divorce rather than continue in a polygamous marriage, according to data from Islamic courts in Indonesia.     

The number of women who cited polygamy as a reason for seeking divorce rose from 813 in 2004 to over 1,000 in 2006, according to Nasaruddin Umar, senior representative of Indonesia’s religious affairs ministry.

“There has been a significant increase in divorce because women have been rejecting polygamy in recent years,” he said, quoted by the Indonesian daily, The Jakarta Post. 

Umar said he believed the number of divorce cases linked to disputes over polygamous marriages increased again in 2008 and would continue to rise throughout 2009.

These statistics have prompted the ministry to consider organising marital guidance courses in Indonesia, Umar said. 

Siti Musdah Mulia, a leading female Indonesian Muslim scholar, believed the figures indicate that Muslim women were becoming increasingly aware of their rights and also more economically independent. 

“The data shows women are now daring to fight for their rights and reject male domination. They are now saying: ‘What is the point in continuing a marriage when I am miserable'”, she said. 

Mulia, a lecturer at the State Islamic University in Jakarta, said women were becoming more independent and educated, two factors leading to a greater sense of worth and place. 

She said Muslim women were becoming increasingly aware of their rights and potential, thanks to the efforts of non-governmental organisations and women activists who have launched campaigns against polygamy. 

“This is a good sign. Efforts by organizations to raise awareness surrounding women’s rights has begun to pay off, even with discussions surrounding polygamy seeing a revival among Muslims with the release of the movie Ayat-ayat Cinta (Verses of Love),” said Legislator Nursyahbani Katjasungkana of the conservative leaning National Awakening Party (PKB). 

Verses of Love, a film about the conditions experienced by women in polygamous relationships, was one of Indonesia’s blockbuster films last year. Along with millions who flocked to see it, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Jusuf Kalla, also made prominent appearances at cinemas to see the movie. 

Many high-ranking officials praised the film while activists accused it of acting as propaganda encouraging polygamy. 

Meanwhile, polygamy is legal and on the rise across Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country. 

The Legal Aid Foundation of the Indonesian Women’s Association for Justice (LBH APIK) received 87 reports of polygamy last year, up from 16 in 2007. 

These statistics are only the tip of the iceberg and in rural areas of the country, men often take multiple ‘wives’ to a religious ceremony, to whom they are not legally wed.

Current Indonesian law allows a man to marry up to three wives, either if the other wives consent or if they are unable to have children. 

6 thoughts on “Islam in Indonesia: a work in progress”

  1. A WOMAN suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame.

    Samira Jassam, 51, was arrested by Iraqi police and confessed to recruiting the women and orchestrating dozens of attacks.

    In a video confession, she explained how she had mentally prepared the women for martyrdom operations, passed them on to terrorists who provided explosives, and then took the bombers to their targets.,27574,25006349-1702,00.html

    Who’ll rid me of this filthy satanic cult?

  2. I too traveled the orient in those days, but you are quite wrong in attributing the burqa and hijab to the Arabs. It is the wahabis and nothing but the wahabis that introduced these fashions. You may possibly recall that when Saudi oil went from $ 4 to $30 a barrel the burqa became garment of choice.

  3. “Who’ll rid me of this filthy satanic cult?”

    You’ve got some serious help coming in the future 🙂

    “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
    Revelation 19:11-16

    No coincidence He returns to Jerusalem first.

  4. ciccio, you are right:

    I make no distinction between the Wahabites and Arabs when it comes to the doctrine of Islam or jihad. In the final analysis ALL Muslims contribute to the spread of Islam, as is their religious obligation, even those who are silent.

    Those who are silent are equally complicit.

  5. Thanks for that revparadigm, that brought to mind this passage:

    “7) And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

    8) And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

    9) And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

    10) And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. ”
    Revelation 20:7~10

    I guess we knows who wins in the ends. Can’t come soon enough.

  6. I think you have an issue with Arabs, Islam is not meant only for Arabs but its a world wide religion, when you say such things about our brothers from Indonesia and Malaysia and that they come to our countries and get influenced, then you are absolutely wrong and you are not educated enough to view the world from different corners;without having facts or a strong evidence How could you say such things? There are thousands even millions of other nationalities who works in the middle east, so you are saying that people from Asia “Non Muslims” or even westerns will get paid if they become Muslims?!! Many of those went back to their home with satisfied and happy experience, and yet they come back during vacations just to visit friends in middle east…this is what I call stupidity because you actually don’t know where you are standing; and you are talking as if you know whats happening.. my advice open ur eyes and start traveling around the world to know people in their reality or start mixing with other nationalities, it might bring you out of your locked cave!

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