Conservative Moral Values

May 21st, 2007, in IM Posts, by

So-called sharia laws are no threat to Indonesian unity, Indonesians are just conservative.

Blake Respini from San Francisco State University and Herdi Sahrasad from Paramadina University write in the Jakarta Post that a

critical component for Indonesia's democratic future involves recognition of the special role of Islam in the state.

because

most Indonesian Muslims want their government to respect Islamic customs

but they don't want

an Islamic state

The laws around the country that seem to be based on Islamic sharia, like dress laws in Padang and anti-prostitution and anti alcohol laws in Tangerang and elsewhere, are not necessarily anything to do with Islamic law because:

Indonesians usually hold conservative values and support strict moral laws without necessarily seeing them as purely religious or sharia-based.

A conservative moral law is not necessarily related to Islamism, it is a reflection of basic conservative moral values and beliefs.

Sharia will have to be accepted in some form:

The debate over the passage of sharia-based legislation reflects that Indonesia continues to map out the most central questions concerning the basic shape of its democracy. The debate is less a debate about whether sharia is good or bad, but more about the proper meaning of sharia and its relationship to the state and thus its relationship to the national ideology of Pancasila.

Ultimately, it reflects a deep debate over the very meaning of the Indonesian nation and what it means to be Indonesian.

The challenge for Indonesia is to find a place for sharia that neither subverts the uniqueness of Indonesia from the rest of Islam nor undermines Indonesia's non-Muslims.


7 Comments on “Conservative Moral Values”

  1. avatar Ihaknt says:
    May 21st, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Is it just me or it also seems to you this dude is talking in circle?

  2. avatar spew-it-all says:
    May 21st, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    What the authors leave out is the question on how did the debate over shariah law come to the fore after reformasi? In fact, Suharto leant towards Islam in 80′s but did not lead to the imposition of shariah law. What the connection between the emergence of Islam politics at local level and Shariah law? Was it coincident? I doubt it. I heard the practices of gemblak in Ponorogo was apparently limited after some Islamic political party penetrated into the town.

  3. avatar Arema says:
    May 21st, 2007 at 7:29 pm

    The challenge for Indonesia is to find a place for sharia…..

    Oh, haven’t we found one already? In the dustbin!

  4. avatar DoOs says:
    May 22nd, 2007 at 8:56 am

    He is right, some of us are too controversial. Religion is not bad anyways and you cannot reform these values in an extreme liberal manner. However I must agree with other people in the point being made that these religions are controlled by the hands of wrong and hypocritical people that will not benefit the economy of Indonesia. These values are a plug-and-play like hardware which can easily manipulate the smaller civilians and direct them to a rebellious pathway. These values can also benefit the act of corruption through monarchic systems.

    However seeing Indonesia’s culture, the level of morale, and the absences of self realization that there is a competition in the global world, actually requires Islam or any religion as mental healers. It just needs to be controlled by the right person.

  5. avatar Janma says:
    May 23rd, 2007 at 11:00 am

    There is no right person, so just keep religion where it belongs, in the privacy of peoples homes and with their clerics. Keep it out of politics.

  6. avatar Raden says:
    May 23rd, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    In my view if there is no Islam in Indonesia then by default our people are moderate & tend to be liberal.
    Example:
    What music is the most popular? Dangdut!
    What materials the javanese kebaya made from? Transparent & tight, sexy cutting to expose women body!
    Can man & woman dance together? Yes, jaipongan!
    Can man & woman bathing together? Yes, there are a lot along probolinggo – jember alongside the train railway.
    etc, etc.
    Those are not islamic code of conduct.

  7. avatar Tuan says:
    October 29th, 2007 at 1:24 am

    In my view if there is no Islam in Indonesia then by default our people are moderate & tend to be liberal.
    Example:
    What music is the most popular? Dangdut!
    What materials the javanese kebaya made from? Transparent & tight, sexy cutting to expose women body!
    Can man & woman dance together? Yes, jaipongan!
    Can man & woman bathing together? Yes, there are a lot along probolinggo – jember alongside the train railway.
    etc, etc.
    Those are not islamic code of conduct.

    If there was no Islam, Indonesia would be another Thailand in SE Asia. From my limited knowledge, Sharia can not be implemented. There are Muslims countries that claim to implement Sharia but they really are not aspects of it that make it unislamic or contradictory. Regardless, religious & family values from the Abrahamic faiths is important. A lot of Americans are turning to religion and recognizing religious identity, especially the young because its gives them a sense of right or wrong in where the lines have blurred. I have heard similar stories happening in Indonesia. A friend mine told me that her mom said that while growing up it was uncommon to see people wear the hijab and now its a common sight. I wouldn’t be surprised if Christian Indonesians are also turning to God as well for values and morals.

    ~Tuan Indoneisan American Muslim



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