Spiritual Discipline & Fasting

Aug 7th, 2008, in Opinion, by

Ramadan approaches, again, and Ross complains that religious leaders are intent on spoiling others' fun and livelihoods.

Ramadan Ranting Underway

The silly season is under way again, as fanatical twits show utter indifference to those for whose welfare their religion might presumably dispose them to care.

I refer to the Clerics' Council, MUI, whose Riau chapter in Batam has demanded that the whole entertainment industry shut down - no, sorry, BE shut down - during the entire Ramadan month.

Tuesday's jakartapost Jakarta Post reports some benighted bigot up there saying:

We have asked the Batam mayor to close such establishments [nightlife venues] for the entire month, especially those engaging in immoral activities.

while acknowledging that thousands will be left without wages for four weeks if the decree is imposed, but, well, that's just tough.

We are aware and understand that workers employed in the entertainment business would go without pay, but that's not a reason to do whatever we like. We remain firm in our position that all nightspots remain closed during the entire month of Ramadan. Workers are the responsibility of their employers.

Can somebody tell me what moral benefit accrues to fasters who are deprived of the opportunity to eat, or to carnally inclined types who can't get into a nightclub?

There is no spiritual discipline involved in the MUI's concept of Ramadan, but rather a gestapo-joy-ride over everybody else's rights. But then that is presumably what the MUI see as 'holy'.

Let's hope the authorities here in Jakarta echo the doubtful tone of Riau's elected representatives and accept no kill-joy nonsense from the goat-beards.


30 Comments on “Spiritual Discipline & Fasting”

  1. avatar Brett says:

    Excellent! Lets all shut up shop for a month and MUI can fund the national economy.

    Hypocrits! What else would you call people who object to “immoral acts” during the fasting month, but who turn a blind eye the rest of the year. In this age of rampant corruption, it makes you wonder what OTHER immoral acts these “holy” men are turning a blind eye to (or participating in).

    Which leads to another question: are they trying to cleanse their own souls, by demanding the Govt take responsibility for businesses that they themselves use or make a little money from?

  2. avatar Sylvester says:

    Agree Brett,
    Unfortunately may hypocrites in Indonesia, such as MUI, FPI, MMI, HTI, etc. Reminds me to the Pharisees in Bible.
    Don’t forget one of the biggest corrupt department is the Department of Religious (departemen agama), where those hajj steal money from the poor.

  3. avatar rima says:

    in indonesia immoral is anything related to sex and alcohol and promiscuous women.

    nothing immoral about stealing from the poor, corruption, hypocrisy, prostituting the country for the right price, letting the poor go poorer and eventually die from hunger, depriving the people from their rights, discriminating minority, women, homosexual, being ignorant and intolerant, lying to the people and forming the people’s opinion using religion when in fact it benefits a certain political group etc.

    because immorality is only alcohol (not tapai/fermented cassave cos it’s natural.. as if beer is not from barley, something equally natural) and matters of the ‘selangkangan’ (groin).

    Hypocrits!

  4. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    What are you on about Rima?

    Everyone in my office hides food and drink in their desk during Ramadan. Same when I worked as a bureaucrat.
    And even though everyone does it- for some reason they think we don’t know they’re eating/drinking even when they cunningly disguise it with a poorly held newspaper.

    How many Indonesian men honestly can go for two days without hanky-panky? Or women for that matter. Long hot steamy nights…
    Just look at our population.

  5. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Rima- what relationship is there between US loans via IMF or World Bank, debt slavery, food overproduction and subsequent dumping in Africa (the EU is guilty of it too) and hopeless poverty?

    I don’t think Muslims could be anywhere near guilty of the racist genocide of the worlds’ innocent poor for Jewish and White elites’ greed.

    Apakah anda seorang Patriot Negara Miskin ataupun musuh prinsip Merdeka?

    Pilihlah.

  6. avatar Tony says:

    I have no problem with Ramadan but Rima is 100% correct. I have seen, through my work, that Indonesians are getting screwed by other Indonesians, not bules, or the Chinese (well, not as much). If they are going to shut down all drinking establishments and brothels, fine, no problem. But then also shut the stealing and the all out debauchery of your leaders.

    Maybe force the compensation of Sidoarjo–I assume that Aburizal Bakrie is a good muslim that believes in giving alms to the poor–so he wont have a problem reimbursing the poor people of Sidoarjo for their troubles.

    @Purba Negoro

    Apakah anda seorang Patriot Negara Miskin ataupun musuh prinsip Merdeka?

    Maybe you should be asking this question to people like Bakrie, Kalla and all the others who choose to take advantage of the Indonesian people in the name of patriotism. Indonesians dont seem to realize that their greatest enemy is themselves.

  7. avatar Pena Budaya says:

    Ross said:

    Clerics’ Council, MUI, whose Riau chapter in Batam has demanded that the whole entertainment industry shut down – no, sorry, BE shut down – during the entire Ramadan month.

    Yeah, this is same old story every year. First Batam, next will be the whole country.

    What is MUI for anyway? Some kind of an institution besides of DPR to force govt and publish “laws” to be applied to all religions in Indonesia? I am sick and tired with MUI’s ban/inconsiderate request that causing others ( & other religions) in misery. MUI has no purposes but (il)-legalised all suppressions towards fellow citizens without considering what is the meaning of being a citizen!

    I just read that MUI in Pekanbaru was rejecting Julia Perez to do any performance to celebrate Indonesians’ Independence Day and asked all muslims’ groups to support this rejection. Hah! yet, another different type of suppression by fellow Indonesians towards another Indonesian – just like Tony’s had mentioned. Ironically this is happening near to Indonesian Independence Day.

    @Purba Negoro

    Apakah anda seorang Patriot Negara Miskin ataupun musuh prinsip Merdeka?

    I think MUI is musuh prinsip merdeka, and I am strongly against MUI, does it make me a Patriot Negara Miskin? HAH!

  8. avatar tomaculum says:

    I wait untill the first kiosk of a poor bakso seller is being violently closed by some groups or by the police and their products are being thrown into the comberan.

    If they are going to shut down all drinking establishments and brothels, fine, no problem. But then also shut the stealing and the all out debauchery of your leaders.
    Tony, many family, many children are dependent on the earning of the earnings of those street vendors. Go to heaven and let the other suffer? 🙁

    I don’t think Muslims could be anywhere near guilty of the racist genocide of the worlds’ innocent poor for Jewish and White elites’ greed.
    We can diskussing about “lemper” or “tahu/tempe”, someone will come back to this. 🙂

  9. avatar tomaculum says:

    “We can diskussing
    Sorry, I meant off course “discuss” 🙂

  10. avatar Brett says:

    Muslims, Jews and white elites? Christ (!), here we go again… why is it always about religion?! Hypocrisy is universal and blind to religion. It would also be nice to see people stop blaming the Jews, Christians, Westerners and pretty much everyone else for this country’s woes. Grow up already!!!

  11. avatar sputjam says:

    religion is – of and by itself – a crime
    the Qur’an calls men not to religion but to live full lives
    today’s ‘Islam’ is an outgrowth of the pre-Islamic Arab tribal cults
    while ‘Islam’ is against idolatry the Arabs actually promote it
    much of the world’s hostility towards ‘Islam’ is justified
    Interpretations and translations of the Qur’an are designed to protect the arab tribal cult.

    So abandon your religion as all religion promote some form of idol worship.
    Abandon ideologies too, such as nationalism/communism/capitalist as it promotes idol worship.

    If you belonged to the groups above, the chances are that you cannot see the evil it promotes, as you are enslaved into these groups.

    Stay above idol worshippers in order to be just.

    Todays muslims are obsessed with man made rituals such as fasting/praying/pilgrimage, which were never ordained etc. but they ignored God’s commandment to be just, virtuous and righteous. Women are treated like a sex slave which could be exchanged or added for new ones, like designer clothes in Paris and Milan.

    “And no one could attain fidelity, except by the grace of the God and (He) would place filth on those who do not think” (Q.10:100)

  12. avatar rima says:

    @Purba Negoro:

    What are you on about Rima?

    Everyone in my office hides food and drink in their desk during Ramadan. Same when I worked as a bureaucrat.
    And even though everyone does it- for some reason they think we don’t know they’re eating/drinking even when they cunningly disguise it with a poorly held newspaper.

    How many Indonesian men honestly can go for two days without hanky-panky? Or women for that matter. Long hot steamy nights…
    Just look at our population.

    Yes, which is why I said they are all a bunch of hypocrits.

    Rima- what relationship is there between US loans via IMF or World Bank, debt slavery, food overproduction and subsequent dumping in Africa (the EU is guilty of it too) and hopeless poverty?

    I don’t think Muslims could be anywhere near guilty of the racist genocide of the worlds’ innocent poor for Jewish and White elites’ greed.

    Apakah anda seorang Patriot Negara Miskin ataupun musuh prinsip Merdeka?

    Pilihlah.

    umm.. did I say anything about Muslims being guilty of genocide?
    Again, this is what I wrote:

    in indonesia immoral is anything related to sex and alcohol and promiscuous women.

    nothing immoral about stealing from the poor, corruption, hypocrisy, prostituting the country for the right price, letting the poor go poorer and eventually die from hunger, depriving the people from their rights, discriminating minority, women, homosexual, being ignorant and intolerant, lying to the people and forming the people’s opinion using religion when in fact it benefits a certain political group etc.

    because immorality is only alcohol (not tapai/fermented cassave cos it’s natural.. as if beer is not from barley, something equally natural) and matters of the ’selangkangan’ (groin).

    Hypocrits!

    So what are YOU on about PB?

  13. avatar tomaculum says:

    …..because immorality is only alcohol (not tapai/fermented cassave cos it’s natural.. as if beer is not from barley, something equally natural) and matters of the ’selangkangan’ (groin).
    You hit the bull’s eye, Rima.
    My conclusion ist that I’am very, very happy to be immoral. Cheers, I will now enjoy my good temperated Domaines Ott Rose Coeur de Grain Chateau Romassan – 2007 and watch a “selangkangan” video. 🙂

  14. avatar Lairedion says:

    Mas Tomaculum, you are a bandit. Amin! 😆

  15. avatar tomaculum says:

    Monggo, saya simpan satu gelas untuk anda. 🙂

  16. avatar Lairedion says:

    Matur nuwun, Mas!

  17. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Rima
    you are obviously rabidly anti-Indonesia and biased.

    What else can be expected from the child of a Dutch collaborator who fled like coward from Indonesia?
    Why did they flee? How many poor did they oppress or native lands did they confiscate?

    You are a resident of Holland- also a haven for many extremists like Muslims, Maluku collaborator and Aceh separatists.

    There upon you are biased- by yor heritage and your upbringing.

    You do not even live in Indonesia- so how can you possibly comment with any authority?

    Furthermore- the actions of Muslims effect only their nation.

    As opposed to the West intent on enslaving poor people globally.

    Or have we forgotten in our blind love for the Holland South Africa and Apartheid?

  18. avatar sputjam says:

    You are a resident of Holland- also a haven for many extremists like Muslims, Maluku collaborator and Aceh separatists.

    Only reason why aceh was given an autonomy, was due to the fact that the army of RI was totally wiped out during the tsunami.
    Their bases were mostly in the lowlands near the sea, easy for logistical reason, whilst the seperatist aceh Merdeka were in the highlands.
    If the army was still intact in Aceh, I doubt if RI will sue for peace.

  19. avatar rima says:

    @ Purba Negoro:

    Rima
    you are obviously rabidly anti-Indonesia and biased.

    I am not anti-Indonesia just anti stupid Indonesians such as.. nevermind.

    What else can be expected from the child of a Dutch collaborator who fled like coward from Indonesia?
    Why did they flee? How many poor did they oppress or native lands did they confiscate?

    My Dutch Grandmother and partially Dutch Grandfather (who was in the Indonesian Military under his cousin Gen. Ahmad Wiranatakusumah) stayed in Indonesia until their deaths. They are buried in Bandung. None of our family fled anywhere. My Aceh-Arabic father’s ancestor are among those close with Tjut Nya Dhien, and my Acehnese Grandfather fought in the war. None of us fled anywhere, and we are certainly not cowards like.. nevermind.

    You are a resident of Holland- also a haven for many extremists like Muslims, Maluku collaborator and Aceh separatists.

    I am not a resident of Holland. For the past 7 years I reside in Belgium, not a haven for Muslim extremists and who are ignorant like.. nevermind.

    There upon you are biased- by yor heritage and your upbringing.
    You do not even live in Indonesia- so how can you possibly comment with any authority?

    Furthermore- the actions of Muslims effect only their nation.
    As opposed to the West intent on enslaving poor people globally.
    Or have we forgotten in our blind love for the Holland South Africa and Apartheid?

    I am not biased nor am I blinded. And no matter where I live, I have the authority to comment as much as another WNI. You certainly have no authority over me or anyone else.

    The actions of Muslims effect only their nations? Grow up and grow a heart (and conscience)
    Muslims are now doing the same thing the west DONE in the past.

    At least the west are slowly trying to make up for their actions and improve things, what does Muslims have to say?
    “Sorry, we are still stuck in the middle ages therefore we still have to do these things before we can evolve into human beings?”

    Puhleze. That is bloody stupid.

    ps: Not ALL Muslims are like that, in fact the majority aren’t like you at all. Unfortunately, they are afraid of those who are crazy, therefore they keep quiet. Which is a shame.

  20. avatar Enigmatic says:

    rima fauzi Says:

    August 12th, 2008 at 5:33 pm
    @ Purba Negoro:

    Rima
    you are obviously rabidly anti-Indonesia and biased.

    I am not anti-Indonesia just anti stupid Indonesians such as.. nevermind.

    What else can be expected from the child of a Dutch collaborator who fled like coward from Indonesia?
    Why did they flee? How many poor did they oppress or native lands did they confiscate?

    My Dutch Grandmother and partially Dutch Grandfather (who was in the Indonesian Military under his cousin Gen. Ahmad Wiranatakusumah) stayed in Indonesia until their deaths. They are buried in Bandung. None of our family fled anywhere. My Aceh-Arabic father’s ancestor are among those close with Tjut Nya Dhien, and my Acehnese Grandfather fought in the war. None of us fled anywhere, and we are certainly not cowards like.. nevermind.

    You are a resident of Holland- also a haven for many extremists like Muslims, Maluku collaborator and Aceh separatists.

    I am not a resident of Holland. For the past 7 years I reside in Belgium, not a haven for Muslim extremists and who are ignorant like.. nevermind.

    There upon you are biased- by yor heritage and your upbringing.
    You do not even live in Indonesia- so how can you possibly comment with any authority?

    Furthermore- the actions of Muslims effect only their nation.
    As opposed to the West intent on enslaving poor people globally.
    Or have we forgotten in our blind love for the Holland South Africa and Apartheid?

    I am not biased nor am I blinded. And no matter where I live, I have the authority to comment as much as another WNI. You certainly have no authority over me or anyone else.

    The actions of Muslims effect only their nations? Grow up and grow a heart (and conscience)
    Muslims are now doing the same thing the west DONE in the past.

    At least the west are slowly trying to make up for their actions and improve things, what does Muslims have to say?
    “Sorry, we are still stuck in the middle ages therefore we still have to do these things before we can evolve into human beings?”

    Puhleze. That is bloody stupid.

    ps: Not ALL Muslims are like that, in fact the majority aren’t like you at all. Unfortunately, they are afraid of those who are crazy, therefore they keep quiet. Which is a shame.

    Hey Rima relax… don’t take it personally like… nevermind.

    Hey that’s a new nickname for… nevermind.

  21. avatar Rob says:

    Purba…

    I can see while I have been away that your now into baiting expatriate Indonesians as well!

    Give your good Muslim brothers and sisters time to perpetuate their own brand of evil in their pursuit of world domination. It is when the minority dictate the agenda to the majority that these evils you so liberally spray at anyone but Muslims will come back to haunt you.

    I am sure that there will be a number of your Muslim brothers and sisters that will, or already do, consider you to be not pure enough or not Muslim enough to be part of the inner circle of planners and players…unfortunately for you, you are a bit part in a much bigger story and more than likely to end up on the cutting room floor (assuming you get the film analogy here)…

    I hope I have stirred you up enough so that you can come back with something better than me being a bed-wetter, or a bit too girly, on an onani-ist…I think I deserve better than the standard run of the mill insults that you trot out to hide your lack of rational and sensible argument.

    Once again, have a nice weekend.

  22. avatar parvita says:

    Same ol’ ritual everytime we enter Ramadhan…! There are more silly things you expect during Ramadhan that shows hypocracy, as if one month of hunger and mental exercise would change someone for good…..silly!

    Here is something to read for you to think about

  23. avatar rima says:

    parvita, i read your blog and was surprised to hear the white cloth covering restaurants etc.

    when I left Indonesia in 2001, it wasn’t that severe. I remember some thugs (FPI) raiding nightclubs, but that was about it. So now Indonesia has adapted the saudi way totally i see.

    I went to Saudi in 1997 for umrah, and I remember in friday afternoon all the women who were not praying stayed in restaurants, and all the windows are closed with white cloth. Our guide said that during fasting month, they do the same as well.

    I remember thinking, “how nice, if only indonesia was like this, i could fast so much easily, no temptation!”

    dont just close the gym, restaurants, clubs etc. To keep all indonesians from commiting sin and being tempted by the evil that is a woman, why dont the government just execute all females and gays, so that the only people left are hetero males, im sure every single one of them will go to heaven then.

  24. avatar David says:

    The Batam clubs and bars are being required to close for only 4 days this time, – the first day of Ramadan, the 17th day or Nuzulul Qur’an, and on the days of actual Idul Fitri holiday. Last year they had to close for 17 days.

  25. avatar Andrew says:

    I’d imagine fasting and having to go through the month of Ramadhan without all the temptations is like cheating in an exam. Where are all the obstacles that you’re supposed to conquer after all? ho can people claim victory at Lebaran if they don’t really need to restrain themselves to anything during the course of the fasting month?

    This has nothing to do with whether or not non-muslims respect the month of Ramadhan. This is done EVERY SINGLE YEAR, it’s like a country- (or world-) wide instituted mass cheating. I think muslims who demand this kind of special treatment are fooling themselves. How dare they do this, and then tell their God that they’ve accomplished His command?

  26. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Hello rob,
    keeping the bed dry? Good to hear.

    Rima is yet another trite feminist suffering penis envy. I read her blog. Most amusing- a mid-thirties lady, clock- ticking with the emotional angst of my teenage daughter.

    I find it highly amusing that women suffer their own delusion we men actually care what they think or say.

    Should I let the women onto our male secret of selective deafness?

    Yes dear. No dear. You’re right dear- it was all her fault.

    Belgium- the home of the blood diamond launderer.

  27. avatar Rob says:

    Patung…

    Perhaps that is so that the sinners can feed the coffers of the righteous 😀

    A business decision?

    Andrew…

    Nice analogy with the exams. However, could an argument not be made that closing these dens of sin down during Ramadhan is akin to taking a pre-exam study class? The idea being that it gives you the best possible opportunity of succeeding in your pursuit whether it be remaining pure for the whole month or passing the exam…

    Just a thought.

    PN…

    Rima is a smart and articulate young woman. She certainly does not need any defending by me or anyone else. So, I will let her respond to your charges in her own good time, assuming she can be bothered.

  28. avatar janma says:

    Rima is yet another trite feminist suffering penis envy. I read her blog. [snip]

    I find it highly amusing that women suffer their own delusion we men actually care what they think or say.

    You know, it’s funny to go to all the trouble to look up a woman’s (Rima’s) blog and read it if you don’t actually care what they think or say…..

  29. avatar Achmad Sudarsono says:

    Hey PN,

    Hey man, the clock-ticking comment was a bit below the belt.

    I thought Rima’s blog was fantastic.

    But Mbak Rima — the photo gallery doesn’t seem to be opening…

  30. avatar Riani Park says:

    Wow, seems like somebody really hating somebody…

    I do think muslim is hypocrite. In my opinion fasting is a challenge given by a god which you need to passed with your own effort. What kind of good you’ll get if you success in things that you dont even work for it, but making people suffer for you.

    My family divide by catholic and muslim. Both of them have their own fasting time. But we can enjoy our meal and having entertainment whenever we feel like without having a guilty feeling towards others.

    Muslim need to fast yet, they make other people losing job for one month, they make some business have no income at all, other more is they actually cannot work in a fully great mood and condition in the fasting month. Hey, if you canot do it pleaseeeee dont force others.

    C’mon guys, wake up and realize. Its a challenge right there in front of you.

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