08 February 2011
Violence in the Name of Religion: Indonesia Burns...
I have been sitting here in front of the laptop and pondering whether or not to wind-up and go off on another rant about religious intolerance in Indonesia and the mockery that a small number of supposed followers of Islam are making of claims that Islam is a religion of peace and that the Prophet Mohammad was a man of mercy. The reason I sat here for hours on end is a simple one. Indonesia is a wonderful country, it is a country populated in the great majority by men and women of moderate beliefs and who are truly accepting of difference.
My dilemma was, do I write another piece slamming the ineptitude and spin-doctoring that the government perpetuates in order to make the victims of heinous crimes the guilty parties while the perpetrators of the crimes are given a free pass, presumably to paradise.
However, that has passed. The reality for me is that half of my family is Indonesian. My son is Indonesian. So, in all ways that I can figure I have a vested interest in seeing Indonesia become a nation where the state motto of unity in diversity is not just a motto but rather a creed that all Indonesians believe in and are prepared to practice. A creed that sees those that violate the tenets of the concept of unity in diversity punished, and punished severely.
Indonesia is at a crossroads. These are crossroads that require resolute leadership. The question is whether vested interests will allow for the unitary state that is the Republic of Indonesia to prevail in the image that it has been envisaged to be over the best parts of the 20th and 21st Centuries. The choice that faces Indonesia is one of truly accepting the unity in diversity principle or an increasingly rapid descent into fracture and, for want of a better word, "Balkanization" and ethnic cleansing as warring factions struggle to establish supremacy over their parts of what was once Indonesia.
The choice is a stark one for SBY and his minions if he is indeed to be the leader that so many had hoped he would be. But, perhaps, an even starker reality for SBY is that critical mass will have to come for the vast majority of Indonesians who profess to being moderate and tolerant. This critical mass will say "enough is enough", this is not what we signed up for, we are a peace-loving people who just want to go on about our lives and business free from persecution and fear.
That day is coming!
If your interested in what triggered this particular musing...
here, here, and here.
Just as an aside, I am wondering how President Obama feels now after having been so pronounced in his praise of Indonesia's religious tolerance being an example to the whole world?