Apr 14th, 2008, in News, by

The president continues his musings on religion, and islamophobia among Australians and Balinese.


President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in a speech on 25th March marking Muhammad’s birth, advised Muslims to avoid being excessive or extreme in the way they viewed their unity as a group, or their solidarity. tempo

[Feelings of] solidarity which are too exclusive or excessive can disturb the peace, especially in very diverse countries.


Later on 9th April he spoke again on religious topics, this time advising Muslims to take “islamophobia” in their stride, and respond to it by showing that Islam was a peaceful, harmonious creed.

Face what is unpleasant in a broad-minded way and try to show that Islam is a religion of peace which teaches love and harmony to its followers.

He also asked Muslim clerics to guide Muslims towards living peaceably with other religious communities. antara

Islamophobia in Australia

A researcher from Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) in Yogyakarta, Yulianingsih Riswan, has been studying Australian intellectual attitudes to Islam and has concluded that Islamophobia is not a big problem among scholarly types in Australia.

In general she said Islamophobia was mainly created by the mass media, which tends to report news that reflects badly on Islam.

Australians, she thought, regarded Indonesia in a much more positive light than other Muslim lands.

Islamophobia in Bali

She went on to say that Islamophobia was not just a problem in western countries, but also in Indonesia itself, where, for example, in Bali recent influxes of Muslim transmigrants had been perceived to have caused economic problems. republika

136 Comments on “Islamophobia”

  1. Lairedion says:

    @M. Nur,

    Hatur nuhun. That’s why I said maybe. But I used the qualifier non-Muslim because it’s very rare among Sundanese to follow other religion than Islam, at least on your KTP. My parents-in-law are apostates and do not follow any of the organized religions. Sunda Wiwitan would be the closest belief system.


    Still too many dogma’s and don’t’s in your version of Islam. Why do you need a book to tell you should not do bad things? In a way you’re the same blind follower of Qu’ran like so many Muslims. You don’t prostate yourself in worshipping, hadith, sunnah, rules and rituals but I read the word “forbidden” three times in your comment. So there’s still this book telling you what to do and don’t.

    According to that book what’s the reward for atheists who are performing good deeds and being righteous? If they are doomed what’s the difference between you and mainstream Muslims?

  2. Mach Jabber says:

    @ M. Nur

    What I meant is that freethinking schools like atheism, agnosticism, deism, pantheism, etc. are not ‘religions’. You can call them ‘beliefs’, but not ‘religions’, for it lacks many religious characteristics that *I* think a religion should possess (I do think that religions ought to be more or less ‘traditional’ in nature).

    It’s just thesaurus problem, actually. Preference of the usage of some particular words.

    @ sputjam

    Quranite beliefs were appealing to me, and I practiced it (not that it require many practices) during my early college life. Esotericism to the extreme. So far as I’m concerned, a Quranite is only a splash of cold water away from being a full-fledged freethinker.

    Like Lairedion said, the belief is personally a definite progression from the mainstream Islam (the only religion which notoriously rejected separation of church and state every now and then), but it failed, in my perspective, to provide a shelter for unbelievers. It’s basically deism, but it does not make its adherents do good for its own sake like deists do. Still the good old cosmic apple-polishing scenario. Just a personal thought- I respect your beliefs for its progressively humanistic nature.

    And I still think you guys are taking things too figuratively.

  3. M. Nur says:

    I got you, the only thing I concern about atheism by history was the embryo of tragedy to humanity and I don’t want religions elite take advantage of this so their believersare more comfortable and easily misslead and threaten peace and harmony. We need to tell that not only Communism, Racism, Facism have black history but also religions.

    I still have Agama Islam in my KTP because it can be left blank….. I actually ask to pak Lurah to let it blank ? he said are you a communist ? but apparently he put islam anyway because he know my parent Haji and he knew I graduated from Madrasah.

    The fact is I start to eat pork after I study Quran and I think I am the only sundanese eat and also occasionally drink wine and any other alcohol beverages (moderately, never get drunk).
    The verse is miss translated THE MEAT KHINZIR from the reasonable translation THE FILTHY MEAT the word Khinzir not for a species but for describing the substances which look filty or unhealthy. So the name ‘pig’ is called by this background in arabic.

    One must remember other verse from Quran that said group of people become MONKEY and PIG. This only metaphor for Ugly dan Dirty.

    The word ‘khinzir ara’ in the arabic mean ‘look dirty (filthy, muddy, mucky) . Again Philology and commonsense tell me this and I don’t wanna to make upset who create livestock for humankind so I eat it, and it taste good. yummy….

  4. janma says:

    Nur said

    If you don’t understand something it doesn’t mean that there is no logical explanation. You just don’t know at least in the meantime. Don’t be ashamed to stand up and say I don’t know, how many day the universe created ? I don’t know, but somewhere there logical explanation. To my understanding 6 days is only metaphor for there are time and phase needed. Simple.

    I am not ashamed to say I don’t know. the whole reason I object to religion is because they say they know. Religion totally kills the spirit of enquiry. All I’m saying, that if in one breath you say there must be a logical explanation, and then in the next breath say that would mean ‘that only God could have done it’…. well it’s an oxymoron for me…… tolak belakang so to speak because the least logical explanation is the God explanation.

  5. M. Nur says:

    Logical explanation is observation from within one frame of single universe. Lets we make analogy from quantum physics we learn of observer who live in 2D which can only move only to left or right. Now think that observer from 3D throw a ball in to 2D space. Obrserver in 2D will be very amaze to see the round thing from small and then getting bigger and then smalerr and sunddenly dissapear ? and it is imposible for 2D observer to explain in logical sense. But for us who live in 3D it is easy to explain and just say : ” a bounching ball !”.

    Our logical capability limited to this universe and I still think is relevant I say only God know… who is God ? Not something Metaphysics or supernatural but it just the observer who is in above our dimension and infact the top obsever . On the other hand this above observer can not explain his universe because it is imposible as how impossible we are from 3D dimension to explain a bounching ball to 2D observer.

    I hope with this simple explanation the ‘Higher order Observer’ or shall we say the God is not something unreasonable.

  6. Mach Jabber says:

    @ M. Nur
    That is so Carl Sagan.

  7. Murphy says:

    I think it really depends on how big your God is.

    You can believe in universe that is self-created and self-regulated and believe that God made it that way; because your God is big enough for that. Or you can believe in smaller God who dated his work only down to few thousand-years ago and can not do smart stuff like evolution.


    That example sounds familiar. Did you read Michio Kaku?

  8. janma says:

    I don’t disbelieve in God…. but neither do I believe…. it’s just something we don’t know. I understand your 3D 2D explanation, (although, physically it’s impossible, because a 3D object or movement could not be observed by someone in a 2D environment by default) I also understand that the creation stories in our societies are allegorical (though apparently not everyone understands this..) I just don’t gel with the ‘observer’ thing…. that there is this attempt to condense the mystery of this universe into a single being who is ‘watching’ us….. creepy.

  9. Mach Jabber says:

    I (an agnostic) have always said to myself,

    One needs to make a distinction between God and ancient mythology.

  10. dewaratugedeanom says:

    Janma said

    Firstly, I don’t see why the explanation has to be simple, it’s obviously been illuding humankind for thousands and thousands of years, and the world itself is far from simple.

    Janma, you don’t seem to understand what Islam’s success is about. It’s about KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). People don’t want mental effort. People don’t want discovery, they want package tours and The Lonely Planet (metaphor for Al Qur’an). You follow the Guide, do as you’re told, go where they tell you, visit some tourist traps where you get ripped off, and at the end of the trip you are taken back to rest in Hotel Paradise. That’s all.

    Janma, life can be so simple. Why bother?

  11. Mach Jabber says:

    Holy cow, I mistyped my identities twice.

  12. M. Nur says:

    while freethinker they search for meaning of life, read from1000 of books, do good work but not believe afterlife reward and punishment, contemplating, sleeping, eating and more thinking until they finally dead but until the last second of his life still no answer to what he thinking… and he just dead. Which life is better ?

  13. Mach Jabber says:

    It’s not like we can choose what to believe. Being a freethinker is usually not a choice (being an open freethinker is), but instead a result to countless of contemplations.

    I remember this RPG game I played; the hero was in a masygul state after discovering inconvenient truths, and sulks. His friend reacted cynically; “Such is the price of knowledge”.

    And did I say that ignorance is bliss?

  14. M. Nur says:


    (although, physically it’s impossible, because a 3D object or movement could not be observed by someone in a 2D environment by default)

    True, but mathematically universe higher then 3D is possible but still fail to describe what is gonna be look like ? No I don’t know Michio Kaku an any other name mention by Mach. I rarely read book, my hobby is outdoor activity most week end I spend in jungle with my trail motorbike.

    so again which better life the freethinker like you guys or religion believer ? I guess all sucks…

  15. Lairedion says:

    M. Nur,

    Not all freethinkers are on the quest for the meaning of life.

    I, for instance, do not have that desire to know. I accept I’m part of nature of Earth, which itself is part of the Reality. Some people call this God and pray to it as it is a person or Creator, pretty useless to me. But at the end the Sun will die and our planet and solar system will disappear. Perhaps humanity will continue on another planet, form or dimension. I don’t know and I don’t care.

    While we have some time left to enjoy life on our beautiful planet we should protect it and not accelerate the inevitable destruction driven by all kinds of ridiculous man-focused belief systems or thirst and greed for money and power. Technology and science is OK as long as not affecting nature in a negative way.

    Did you watch the BBC series Planet Earth? If yes, then you know what I mean. If no, you really should watch it. Nature and our planet is not to be destroyed but to be protected and preserved otherwise nobody can live here.

  16. Andy says:

    Sputjam, many westerners including the majority of Americans and Australians have spoken out against the Iraq war but even as ill conceived an idea as it is, militaries attack military targets and try to avoid civilians as much as possible. On the other hand, the Bali terrorists wanted to attack civilians who were not like them and destroy a paradise in the name of islam. Most Indonesians I know have not condemned this action either. When Muslims the world over condemn terrorism they way they have movies, cartoons and the western way of life we will then be convinced it truly is a religion of peace. So come on.

  17. sputjam says:

    I think, initially, the american public applauded the invasion of ira, never mind that it was saudis that did the carnage on 9/11..

    The koran was not directed towards the arabs, but was instead directed towards the jews and the christians. On the arabs, which some indonesians hold in high esteem, the koran described them as hypocrites and steep in disbelief.

    The koran was directed towards the jews and christians because they have transformed messages by moses and jesus into a religion and the koran was suppose to correct that perception. hence the many mentions of jesus and Moses in the koran.

    On those who does not belief in God, freethinkers etc, The koran descibed them as arrogants, despite the evidence of God’s creation everywhere.

  18. Lairedion says:

    despite the evidence of God’s creation everywhere


  19. Mach Jabber says:

    On those who does not belief in God, freethinkers etc, The koran descibed them as arrogants, despite the evidence of God’s creation everywhere.

    Sputjam, the godless have good arguments with them. I tire of people treating the big question of the existence of God as a no brainer. It’s a question whose answer is unknown to all.

    I suggest you read Carl Sagan’s “The Dragon in My Garage”. [link]

  20. M. Nur says:

    For freethinkeer who have no respect to afterlife :

    I think the evolution will eliminate the narrow minded earthly life. The
    restless contemplation will end when the brain stop but no more energy to
    continue because lack of respect to next evolution in higher constant of
    universe equations. It just like spermatozoa who lack of maneuver and power. But
    for me I will struggle because this not end yet and I will pass many opponent
    and continue my journey of evolution.

    To just live the life in this earthly life and to preserve it to simple for you guys who
    claim there is no simple explanation. You need ‘respect’ as token to bring you
    somewhere else when the brain stop. For people who believe this the end then it
    will end or lucky enough to get to the same world but with all memory erased, so much for knowledge. While I hope I will continue with all the memory still intact.

  21. sputjam says:

    There is freedom of faith. I merely relay what koran stated concerning freethinkers. Up to individuals to make their own evaluation.

  22. Mach Jabber says:

    @ M. Nur
    What I fail to grasp is why is it that such a humble decision as to cease hoping for life after death be considered ‘arrogant’.

    @ sputjam
    And the Koran stated does not reflect your opinion?

  23. Mach Jabber says:

    I meant “what the Koran stated”, sorry.

  24. M. Nur says:


    What I fail to grasp is why is it that such a humble decision as to cease hoping for life after death be considered ‘arrogant’.

    Not arrogant you will just disappear…. you cease you won’t get it. The law of evolution you struggle you survive.

  25. Janma says:

    while freethinker they search for meaning of life, read from1000 of books, do good work but not believe afterlife reward and punishment, contemplating, sleeping, eating and more thinking until they finally dead but until the last second of his life still no answer to what he thinking”¦ and he just dead. Which life is better ?

    For goodness sake….! Your faster than a speeding building aren’t you? How on earth can you say without a doubt that following a religion gets you something after death? That’s your faith, a belief….
    Which is worse? To view your life as a mysterious journey enjoying all the ups,downs and sideways that it has to offer, to explore, give, take, love and learn and if possible leave some lasting good behind before you leave for your next, unknown, journey…. Or to spend your life in fear of death following some brain killing dogma that controls your every step on the hope that some ‘unidentified pseudo humanlike watcher being’ will take mercy on you and not burn you in a fire forever.????

    Boy, I’ve been cranky lately!

  26. Rob says:

    Didn’t God create the “Big Bang” as well?

    It is one of those viscous never-ending ‘chicken and the egg’ arguments, isn’t it?

    Isn’t “faith” inversely proportional to “evidence”?

    I guess phobias are a part of the human existence! We, as people, make phobias of those things that scare us or that we do not understand. I am sure that this is how it will always be and when we cease to exist perhaps some of the “big questions” will finally be answered for us!

  27. M. Nur says:


    before you leave for your next, unknown, journey

    So then you have faith in life after death after all… good. No more question your honor……

  28. Janma says:

    So then you have faith in life after death after all”¦ good. No more question your honor”¦”¦

    Maybe I do, maybe I don’t….. what does it matter to you? I don’t know if there is some other life or not, or we become nothing….. the whole point is I don’t know and I am ok with that. And what the hell has it got to do with honor?
    Even if we have other lives, you were saying you’d like to be able to remember them….. think about the emotional baggage you’ve got from this life alone, and you want to tambah that with (possibly) hundreds of other lifetimes memories? Not me.

  29. Rob says:

    I have always wondered about doing that hypnosis thing and regressing to see if I have had a past life…the concern though would be a bit of a bummer if your regression informs you that you were a rapist or a murderer or some other less than savoury character!

    It is human nature to hope that this life is not it! There has to be more doesn’t there? It cannot be as simple as being born, living, and then dying, can it? We can never know and therefore there is a need for faith in something or a need to accept that this is just the way that things are…in the end whatever gets you through the day!

    Like Janma, I don’t know and I am OK with that!

  30. Mach Jabber says:

    Count me in. That’s what I believe, too. A total dontknowness! 😀

    (Damn sure the ticket to paradise, if any, could be attained by massacring believers of rivla faiths, though.)

Comment on “Islamophobia”.

RSS feed

Copyright Indonesia Matters 2006-20
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact