03 June 2008

Islamic Defenders Front

It is unlikely the government will step up to the plate and disband Front Pembela Islam. The reason this is unlikely is two-fold; the government does not want to be seen as being anti-Islam and secondly the government thinks the law is on its side.

It would seem that the Department of Law and Human Rights is of the opinion that because FPI is not an incorporated entity (berbadan hukum) then it is impossible to disband it. The Department then goes further to wash its hands of this by suggesting this is a simple law and order issue and therefore it is up to the law enforcement authorities to decide how to move forward. However, the Department does not consider the FPI and Hizbut Tahrir attacks to be crimes against humanity or genocide (rocket scientists one and all) but rather ordinary crimes.

Now, I do not think anyone was seriously considering that a crimes against humanity or genocide prosecution was on the cards here. However, it is clear some prosecutions need to take place because the criminal code prohibits assault of this kind!

Some members of Parliament will try and exploit this to extract more law and order reforms and also reform within the police force itself; good luck with that. That aside, the question is why are the police not doing what they are supposed to be doing? Is there a bigger and more sinister conspiracy of destabilization going on in the lead up to the General Election?

Some members of Parliament are suggesting that the AKKBB provoked the response by claiming that the AKKBB were proclaiming something that the Constitution already guarantees, freedom of religion. Perhaps someone ought to tell the Parliament that the government is looking to ban a sect on suspect legal grounds. Freedom of religion only works for one of the approved religions!

A particular party has gone as far as to say that it is clear that the AKKBB do not understand Islam or its teachings because any resolution of the Ahmadiyya question is an internal matter for Islam and will be resolved by the vested interests of the MUI. If I am not mistaken some major league Islamic scholars were party to the AKKBB declaration. I wonder who does not understand the true teachings of Islam?

The same party has said that it is too extreme a response to disband the FPI because it is individuals and not the organization that are to blame. So, I guess the idea of an FPI leader standing in front of a blood thirsty crowd and advocating violence and murder is not representative of the organization but merely the individual. I think that some re-thinking needs to be done on that one!

To suggest that it is individuals and not the organization is akin to suggesting that the Nazis or the Fascists as organizations were not evil just the people in them. When an organization advocates violence, mayhem, and murder, then it is the organization that is bad. I would go so far as to say that the organization is rotten to the core and needs to be disbanded. If people truly believe that the FPI represents the core values of Islam then there is merit in criticizing Islam as not being a religion of peace and tolerance as many claim.

One political party has gone as far as to say that FPI is in fact not anti-Pancasila and not anti-diversity, which means that they are in reverse pro-Pancasila and pro-diversity. I wonder how many people believe that after witnessing the most recent violence perpetrated by these thugs in robes?

If the President as the representative of the government is the person most likely to drive any response to this thuggery, then Indonesians should not expect much to change. The President's response to the violence is most aptly described as lame, maybe even weak, and here it is:

"I am deeply concerned with what happened yesterday afternoon, by the attack carried out by a certain organisation and certain people, the law has to be upheld against them."

I do not know about you, but this hardly inspires me with any confidence that there is to be a comprehensive response! FPI is a black mark on Indonesia and a black mark on Islam!

1 comment:

Therry said...

Great posting Rob, I think you should send this to Jakarta Post!

What happens now is that more and more people are getting sick of FPI and taking actions to disband them themselves.

Read it