Category Archives: Indonesia

Indonesia election: young voters, who comprise a majority of the electorate, are in support of conservative Islam

Indonesia election puts Islam on the ballot

More Muslims live in Indonesia than anywhere else in the world, and on April 17, the country is electing its next president. Since Indonesia embraced democracy in 1998, it has provided a strong example for the separation of religion and state.

However, today the political situation in Indonesia seems to have changed. “The role of religion should not be underestimated. It provides the means to operate in politics and it is used by all sides,” Susanne Schröter, director of German research institute Global Islam, told DW.

Indonesia’s current president, Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, is running against ex-general Prabowo Subianto, who has attacked his opponent for not being sufficiently Islamic. For example, Jokowi has been accused of not being able to recite the Koran in proper Arabic. Jokowi’s election team is also trying to improve their candidate’s religious reputation by claiming that he attended a Muslim school.


Religion of Peace: Indonesian Mother loses blasphemy appeal over mosque loudspeaker complaint

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s Supreme Court has upheld a jail sentence for a mother of four who was convicted last year on blasphemy charges for complaining that her neighborhood mosque was too loud.

In a March 27 ruling posted on the court’s website on Monday, the court rejected the appeal by Meliana, a 44-year old ethnic Chinese, Buddhist resident of Medan on Sumatra island.

Indonesia has the world’s largest population of Muslims, and sizable Buddhist, Christian and other religious minorities, but the propagation of conservative and hardline interpretations of Islam in recent years has fanned fears that the secular nation is becoming less tolerant.


Unmarried couples are whipped for breaking Sharia law in Indonesia before enthusiastic crowds

Five couples received between four and 22 strokes from a rattan cane outside a mosque in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, after serving several months in prison.

Religious police had caught them cuddling and holding hands or, in some cases, having sex outside marriage – a crime under the conservative Aceh region’s Islamic law.

Hundreds of spectators, including children, watched and filmed as a masked sharia officer lashed the offenders who winced in pain.

Muslims enjoying public whippings in Indonesia. By the way, Justin Trudeau says you’re an Islamophobe.


Win Win! Wife, son of suspected Muslim terrorist blow themselves up: police

JAKARTA (Reuters) – The wife and son of a suspected militant Islamist blew themselves up in their home on the Indonesian island of Sumatra early on Wednesday after hours of tense negotiations with counter-terrorism officers, authorities said.

The world’s largest Muslim-majority country has in recent years struggled to contain a resurgence in homegrown radicalism inspired in part by the Middle Eastern extremist group Islamic State.

Police and bomb squad officers had surrounded the house in Sibolga, North Sumatra, after arresting her husband a day earlier over his suspected links to a planned attack on a local police headquarters. The wife and child had remained in the house.


Two women are left unable to walk as they are whipped under Sharia law after being caught with men in hotel raid in Indonesia

Two Indonesian women had to be carried from the scene of a public flogging, after they were whipped for having ‘intimate relations’ with the opposite sex outside marriage.

The women were among six unmarried couples caught in a raid on a hotel in Indonesia’s conservative Aceh province last year, and found guilty of breaking Sharia law.

After serving several months in prison, the six women and six men were subjected to a public whipping in the capital Banda Aceh on Monday.


Abu Bakar Bashir: Cleric linked to Bali bombings must renounce radicalism to win release

The alleged mastermind of the Bali bombings will not be released from prison early unless he renounces radicalism, Indonesia’s president has said – backtracking from plans to free him imminently without conditions.

Joko Widodo said radical cleric Abu Bakar Bashir must agree to pledge loyalty to the state to win his parole.


Indonesian Politician Jailed for Blasphemy Seeks a New Identity

Former Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, serving a jail term on blasphemy charges, no longer wants to be known by his popular Chinese nickname Ahok and instead prefers to be known by his initials BTP.

In a letter to his supporters ahead of his release from prison next week, Purnama said he was grateful to God for his defeat in the Jakarta gubernatorial election and the jail term. If he could turn back the clock and chose, he would still prefer the jail sentence over “ruling the City Hall for five years,” which would have made him only “more arrogant and ruder,” he said in the letter posted on his Instagram page.


She Recorded Her Boss’s Lewd Call. Guess Who Went to Jail?

LABUAPI, Indonesia — The high school bookkeeper, Nuril Maknun, faced constant harassment from her boss, the principal.

At school, he often described his sex life and pressured her to have an affair. After work, he would call her and continue his obscene monologues.

“That kind of conversation happened so often I couldn’t even count,” Ms. Nuril said in a recent interview. “I told him, ‘You need to go to a psychiatrist.’ ”

After months of this, she recorded one of the calls so she would have evidence of his behavior.

The result: She lost her job and went to jail. Meanwhile, his career has flourished.


Indonesian village bans WIFI because students were looking at porn instead of going to Koran study classes

A village in a conservative region of Indonesia is pulling the plug on wireless Internet after children were caught viewing porn sites instead of going to Koran study class.

Curee Baroh village, which enforces Islamic law, has ordered half a dozen local cafes to shut their cheap WiFi service immediately.

It is located in the district of Bireuen, which made headlines this year when it banned men and women from dining together unless they were married or related.


Indonesia offers app to report neighbors for “Misguided Religious Beliefs”

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s national human rights agency said on Monday it was concerned about the launch of a mobile application by the Jakarta Prosecutor’s Office, which allows members of the public to report religious beliefs they consider “misguided”.

Indonesia has no state religion but has traditionally required citizens to register as Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist or Confucian, though last year the Constitutional Court affirmed the rights of faiths outside official religions after a challenge by some indigenous faiths.


All 189 on board Lion Air jet that crashed off of Indonesia ‘are likely dead’, say rescuers

All 189 people on board a doomed jet that plunged 5,000ft into the sea off Indonesia are ‘likely dead’, rescuers say.

Lion Air’s flight JT-610 was heading to Pangkal Pinang, an island north of the capital, Jakarta, when it lost contact with air control about 6.33am local time – just 13 minutes after take-off.

Shortly before the disaster, the plane’s pilot, Indian national Bhavye Suneja, had reported ‘technical difficulties’ and, minutes after take-off, asked to return to the airport, an official said. Traffic control allowed the return, but the aircraft then vanished from radar.


Mass rally to promote moderate Islam in Indonesia canceled

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Organizers of an Indonesian movement to promote a moderate brand of Islam have canceled a mass rally after its youth supporters burned the flag of an outlawed hard-line Muslim group, sparking allegations of blasphemy.

The rally in Yogyakarta, predicted to draw 100,000 people, was canceled to prevent violence, said Yahya Cholil Staquf, general secretary of Nahdlatul Ulama, Indonesia’s largest Muslim organization.

Video of members of Nahdlatul Ulama’s youth arm burning the flag of the outlawed group, Hizbut Tahrir, has stirred controversy in Indonesia because the flag is also emblazoned with the Islamic declaration of faith. Their uniforms indicated they’re part of the youth organization’s militia.

h/t TROP