Muslim Schools

Aug 30th, 2008, in IM Posts, by

Syamsir SiregarIslamic boarding schools are under increasing pressure from radical elements, says Syamsir Siregar.

Continuing a recent talkative streak state intelligence boss (Badan Intelijen Negara, BIN) Syamsir Siregar said on 29th August that Islamic boarding schools, or pesantren, were highly susceptible to being infiltrated or taken over by radicals, people who would ruin the image of Islam and even commit terrorists acts.

There are pesantrens that have been taken over [by radicals].

Attempts by radicals to subvert Islamic schools were intensifying and both the schools and the intelligence agencies had to re-double their efforts to contain the problem, he said, efforts which should involve an element of persuasion and reasoning.

Syamsir Siregar
Syamsir Siregar

Speaking at the Al Hikmah 2 pesantren in Brebes, Central Java, he said he hoped clerics could help to build up a spirit of nationalism and unity, and prevent the politicization of religion, and avoid saying or doing things that might lead to sectarian strife and discord. antara


30 Comments on “Muslim Schools”

  1. avatar Andy says:

    Another step towards the islamisation of Indonesia and return to the Stone Age ala Afghanistan under the Taliban which of course is supported by the majority of Indonesians seeing as how they so vehemently oppose the War on Terror which included the removal of the Taliban.
    Sunda is now ruled by an islamic government as is Banten province which takes in Tangerang and all those areas west of Jakarta. I still remember the governor there smashing beer bottles on the street and arresting office ladies who did the unthinkable and took the bus home from work without their husbands. So basically everywhere west of Central Java is now islamic.
    See if Islamic candidates run in an election and the people choose them there is nothing anyone can do about it. In a country with 87 % muslims that is not surprising at all. Bit like Palestinians electing Hamas- a notorious supporter of terrorism. One day it could go as high as the Presidency. Scares the hell out of me but what can we do. There are not a high enough percentage of educated people in Indonesia to stop it.

  2. avatar DXP says:

    Andy, sounds that you are not muslim and at the disadvantage side of living in Indonesia. Surely it is not your problem and surely it is not the Indonesian minority’s responsibility to fix that militancy multidimensional problems. It is your government’s responsibility, however as always the case your gov’t either lack of political will or lack of funding surely there are little have done to contain the militancy in Indonesia.
    This is where DXP have told in this forum many times, it is time to get out of this country, a country who always take side to the majority for political motive, the majority whom mentaly anti globalization with higher chance to pick hard-liner militancy

  3. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    Unsurprising negativity from two Chinese affiliated minority panderers

    Utter nonsense gleaned from tabloids such as Herald-Sun/Jakarta Post gossip, anecdote and hearsay.

    The fact Indonesia is the only Muslim majority or indeed nation to publish the “Mohammed” cartoons.
    Andy’s beloved Ostraya happily distracts irself from its’ own pathetic mismanagement and economic malaise .
    This is typical Ostrayan lacks of intestinal fortitude- diversion from more challenging issues it lacks either mental cpacity or emotional maturity to tolerate.
    So it keenly continues wetting its trousers and tearily spouting trite apologies for the placation of their maority demographic of smug yet poorly read armchair socialists and bleeding hearts brigades.

    Representative Democracy is defined as majority rule.
    If you do not like the majority ruling for the majority- the exit door is open. Your presence is unwelcome, inconstructive and redundant.

    The West, steadily decaying since its’ emotive embrace of minority pandering, bleeding hearts appeasement and human rights flagellation will welcome such a armchair-activitist emotionally immature bed-wetter cum bleeding-hearts pro-sexual-deviancy psuedo-anarcho-liberal with open arms.

    “Some of you may remember that in my early days, I was sort of a bleeding heart liberal. Then I became a man and put away childish ways.” Ronald Reagan.

  4. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    should read- “nation in the region”

  5. avatar DXP says:

    PN – I am your big china brothers whom your country is depending on. It is a matter of time, we will ask our investors to pull them out too, the resources are not worth of the political & corruption risks. I hope your voice do not represents your country, Javanese not equal to muslim but why everytime associated with muslim becoming a sensitive topic ? if this is the fact there are a lot of muslim militant – you must bash them all. Similarly we bash all the falungong without hesitation

  6. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    DXP- Ni hao ma?

    We used to- then the “West- World Police” cried and wet its’ trousers over Suharto turning them into “official missing persons”.

    DXP- should also rest easy knowing that Falun Gong is illegal ad vigourously prosecuted in Indonesia.
    And Zhongguo Ren are hardly corruption free either.

    Don’t worry- we’re simply biding our time- all of these groups have been infiltrated since their inception. One day soon they’ll get to bld and do something stupid ad we shall crush them ruthlessly like US-funded Tibetan agent provocateurs and Myanmar student monks.

    hou huì you qi Bro.

  7. avatar Andy says:

    Purba-If you do not like the majority ruling for the majority- the exit door is open. Your presence is unwelcome, inconstructive and redundant.

    Yes you say that while taking our money with your other hand. Let’s cut to the chase here-Indonesians are hypocrites if they ever complain about Australia as long as their country continues taking our overgenerous foreign aid contributions. I for one as a taxpayer am tired of the likes of Purba sprouting his racist hate messages from across the timor sea.

    He couldn’t help but get off the topic so for his benefit I will spell it out. This is about radical islam infiltrating his country. Now if it was my own country I would be very worried. Does the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings ring a bell anyone? Their own vice president tries to deny the existence of Jemaah Islamiyah. It is a real threat and seeing as how both my son and wife are Indonesian citizens I hope for one I am wrong.

  8. avatar perseus says:

    Purbo the Terrible wrote:

    The West, steadily decaying since its emotive embrace of minority pandering, bleeding hearts appeasement and human rights flagellation will welcome such a armchair-activitist emotionally immature bed-wetter cum bleeding-hearts pro-sexual-deviancy psuedo-anarcho-liberal with open arms.

    And the Oscar for Best Rant goes to Purbo!

    Like most fascistic fellow travellers Purbo confuses strength with weakness and weakness with strength.

  9. avatar DXP says:

    I believe in my heart if muslim is NOT = of terrorism. I can pick a good muslim minority example in the developed, prosper & ‘regulated democracy’ countries or region like Singapore, HK, Taiwan and Macau. They have small muslim population which immune to the radicals ideology from arab. The bottom line are a strong regulation, law supremacy & prosperity are the best antidot to contain ideology defects

  10. avatar Purba Negoro says:

    DXP:
    Ni Hao?

    Exactly- very good points. That was Indonesia under Suharto- tough laws, strong regulations- no idiot fundamentalists tolerated. Stability and prosperity.

    Now- the majority- the poor- all want Suharto-style Indonesia back. Then maybe we can have the relative prosperity of China.
    The poor see through the lies of democracy and what a total myth it all was.

    DXP- you would be surprised how quiet even the most rowdy people are if they have food in their belly, some money in their pocket and a little bit of hope for their children.

    Liberal Democracy offers absolutely nothing.
    Russia and China well understands this basic truth- and look how well the are doing.

  11. avatar sputjam says:

    Banish and close down all religious schools. religious schools brainwash their students into never-never land. Teach kids common sense instead, and general knowledge which they can use to earn a living in future.
    All religious priest earn their income from religious taxes and contribution from their followers. Only way for them to survive is to hypnotise their folowers into contributing more towards their well being.
    Free yourself from the schackles of religion/nationalism/ideologies (all idol worshipers), and only then can you find peace! And be just and righteous. As I understand it, that was the message in the koran.

  12. avatar Andy says:

    Sputjam, you have just posted the best comment I can remember on this site ever…..Congratulations…

    Religion is an outmoded, regressive practice which is way past it’s used by date and anyone who has any education should see through the smokescreen for what it is.

    I will not discriminate here. All religions are suffering from irrelevance and in western countries for example priests are being caught out faking illnesses and being exposed for their hypocrisy and wrongdoings. Indonesia still persists in forcing it’s citizens to declare their religion when doing any government business or banking. I nearly died of laughter when asked this question persistantly. I even answered ‘pink elephants’ on one occasion just to see the reaction. It seems in their education system it is more important to be religious than to be a good teacher when working for a National Plus school.

    Going back to a previous post I think if you checked the IQ of respective countries, those who are least religious seem to rank higher on the list. Japan, for example, since WW2 doesn’t appear to care whatsoever even when they declare Shinto or buddhism as their religion. Far down the list of priorities for a successful country like them.

  13. avatar Andy says:

    I should add that for all those posters who have challenged me to prove the human rights abuses of their country which they seem to think are ‘pie in the sky’ I would also challenge them to prove the existence of God (Allah or Tuhan). Even a photo will do it for me. And no ancient scriptures from any of the books just doesn’t cut it. I could write a book now and be considered God in 1,000 years. A lovely thought but just as happy to be remembered for the loveable fellow I am now.

  14. avatar Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Existence of Allah swt.

    Fluke of nature?

  15. avatar Agus says:

    @ Andy: I can’t prove the existence of God. But I think neither can you, in proving the existence of the human soul, love, and other intangible things in life. C’mon, prove that you have a soul or that you do have love for your fellow humans, even a photo will do it for me. And no ‘my actions is the prove of my love’ or ‘my compassion is the prove of my soul’ arguments, because actions and character are the result and not the source or the physical prove of having a soul and possessing love.

    Now can you see that tangible senses (eyes, ears, nose, etc) are not meant to sense intangible things? Your question is like when a person uses a radar to detect ghosts, or when he uses a metal detector to detect water vapors: they are not the correct tools!

  16. avatar Agus says:

    PS.
    And Andy, if you can’t physically prove that you have a soul and that you do have love inside you, then would it save to say that you don’t have a soul and that you’re a loveless person? That’s the way your reasoning goes in regard to the existence of God, right? Just because we are incapable of physically sensing (thus proving) the existence of certain things (or Being) doesn’t meant they (He) didn’t exist. It’s just goes to show our weaknesses and flaws in understanding the universe we live in.

    It’s like the case when an average elementary school student failed to grasp or understand anything about the quantum physics book which his parents just bought, an atheist (with the assumption that he/she have zero spiritual aptitude) would face the same difficulty in understanding the concept of God and His existence.

    It’s all about our personal aptitudes in learning or grasping signs in our universe, perhaps you’re good at grasping scientific or materialistic things but not so good at understanding spirituality, immaterial things and indeed, sensing God’s existence.

  17. avatar Andy says:

    Just because we are incapable of physically sensing (thus proving) the existence of certain things (or Being) doesn’t meant they (He) didn’t exist.

    I met only 2 Indonesians out of thousands who have said they don’t believe in God. I consider them the bravest and freest thinkers I met throughout my journey. Most don’t even want to talk about it and the mere thought that he doesn’t exist is ‘well it says so in the book (quran / bible)’ . Well Indonesians are huge on ‘evidence’. Example, any human rights abuses that are as plain as the nose on our faces are considered some major plot to discredit them. NEWSFLASH…most bules and foreigners generally don’t give a …. about Indonesia. Those like myself who have married into the culture and lived there for a period of time do care. So we watch and observe what goes on.

    So the question again is this…Why believe in something without sufficient evidence? In this case from over 1,000 years ago which noone I met could ever back up. Try again Agus….you believe for no other reason than you were told to from an early age. So you don’t feel the need to question this now. Am I right? It’s a bit like pissing in the wind isn’t it?

  18. avatar Agus says:

    @ Andy:

    I met only 2 Indonesians out of thousands who have said they don’t believe in God. I consider them the bravest and freest thinkers I met throughout my journey.

    Ahh, now we can see that you generalize that religious people = cowards and brainwashed, while atheists = brave and free thinkers. I couldn’t remember any part in our discussion when we have a mutual agreement on that particular notion. I don’t think it is healthy to start a discussion with one party shoving his brand of truth onto anther’s throat, the apparent me = good, you = bad rhetoric.

    you believe for no other reason than you were told to from an early age.

    If that was the case, my posts will mention things like “according to the Qur’an/Bible..” or “God told us that..” But I didn’t mention those lines, did I? In fact, (in accordance with your own methods) you have no base to presume such things of me. Next time, please spare me the stereotypes.

    Actually, as I reached adulthood, I began to re-study my religion personally. I don’t want to do my religious duties just because my parents told me to as a child. And my studies have reinforced my faith in my religion.

    Most don’t even want to talk about it and the mere thought that he doesn’t exist is ‘well it says so in the book (quran / bible).

    Two possibilities. One, most adult Indonesians were indoctrinized by the Soeharto regime since elementary school (via the Pancasila Moral Education subject) to not openly discuss religion comparatively with the followers of other religions, as those kind of discussion constitutes the prohibited topic of SARA (seks, agama, ras dan antar golongan). This of course, in light to strengthen the Soeharto regime’s brand of ‘tolerance’. Thus, this mentality had caused them to be reluctant in discussing the particular topic. Hence they just look for the quickest (and easiest) answer: it was on the Qur’an/Bible

    Secondly, perhaps that the Indonesians whom you met were hardly the religious ones. It’s hard to believe that someone with your views will meet a lot of traditional good Muslims on a daily basis. I don’t think that you’re the type of person who will go out of your way to find pious Muslims in their home or mosque, or are you? 😉 This being the most likely possibility.

    Besides, I never asserted that Indonesians are the perfect role model of how Muslims should behave, neither that Indonesians are overly religious people. You would be surprised to find out how many Indonesian Muslims are actually ‘abangans’ or ‘kejawenis’. If indeed you have ‘married’ into the Indonesian culture, then you should know what I’m talking about.

    Example, any human rights abuses that are as plain as the nose on our faces are considered some major plot to discredit them.

    Well then, it’s always the white man’s version of the truth is the correct one, isn’t it? 😉 And since you haven’t been physically present on those conflict zones to conduct fair fact finding and investigative efforts then I can conclude that you read those things on the papers, have you considered something called media bias?

    Besides, don’t you think this is getting old? You know, the way you seem to always find a way to criticize Indonesia’s political situation in almost every discussion. I thought we were discussing about God’s existence? In any case, I will indulge you on this occasion. When an Australian talks about human rights abuse it always sounded hollow, like the pot who called the kettle black. A nation with a tarnished human rights record are in no position to criticize others, especially if the ‘proofs’ were based merely on news reports.

    On the other hand, it is also well documented how white Australians drove the native Aborigines to live in obscurity within various reservations, with only social welfare to compensate for their lost lands. Or about your treatment of the boat people being forced to live on cramped prison-like compounds. And oh, remember those refugees who nearly died in open (Australian) waters if not for the Norwegian ship aiding them? Those are clear human rights abuses but it seems that Australians refuses to properly acknowledge them as they are. You’re not saying that since those things happened in the past meant that your sins are less grave then ours, are you?

    Instead Australians tend to choose to meddle and ‘heroically’ point their fingers of justice onto their Northern neighbor. And since their media regularly reports such human rights abuses in Indonesia then all of a sudden it’s a proven fact. To me, let’s just say that the Indonesian government is not as ‘clean’ as what our government claim them to be, but not as ‘dirty’ as what your media insisted on.

    I remembered that you had a discussion on another thread with Purbo Negoro, Cukurungan, and Achmad Sudarsono. And although I disagree with their extreme nationalistic ideology, they do have a good point. They did demystify much of the false perceptions which were prevalent within the Australian society about the so called alleged human rights abuses in Indonesia. And as I recalled, you haven’t replied some of their later comments. Running out of ‘evidence’? 🙂

    You see Andy, your way of thinking of me/my country = good, and you/your country = bad will not bring about any good, it will not give you any new understandings, nor wisdom to see things from other people’s perspective. ‘Truth’ has many facets and point of views, it’s not as clear cut and black & white as you assumed.

    NEWSFLASH…most bules and foreigners generally don’t give a …. about Indonesia

    NEWSFLASH, most Indonesians generally don’t care about Australia, unless they start to meddle on other people’s affairs. And Indonesia is always their favorite ‘victim’, I mean why didn’t they take on China, Sudan, Israel, or even the Guantanamo thing for a change? I’m sure human rights abuses didn’t only occur in Indonesia (if it even occur in the first place), don’t you think? 😀

    Try again Agus…

    Let us both try again, since you have derailed an otherwise strictly theological discussion into a political one, and then I followed suit. Please refrain using political conjectures on your next post. You have yet to address any of the points I mentioned in my previous post as you chose a more political line in your reply.

    So the question again is this…Why believe in something without sufficient evidence?

    Then provide the evidence that God did not exist. It’s a question both parties can ask. No, I didn’t mean ‘I can’t see him and no one had seen him, so God must not exist’ evidence. Just because you haven’t met people who can back up the existence of God doesn’t mean you can conclude that God didn’t exist: a negative evidence in the thesis doesn’t always translate as a positive evidence in the anti-thesis. Perhaps you just haven’t found a person who can back up the fact that God do exists. But I must warn you that you will never find a material evidence, as God is immaterial. Besides, if God can be physically sensed (which is impossible), then we wouldn’t need faith, would we?

    PS. I’m sorry but I will not be replying to any further political debate, as it is pointless. Let’s just stick to the theological line.

  19. avatar Mulyana Ilham says:

    Well, I think all of you are Off-topic here.

    1) we are talking about The problems that arise from the Islamic boarding schools
    2) I believe we should exclude other topic and focus talking about the steps to solve the problem, and being more objective towards it
    3) It is not a military issue, so lets put the cue on the Department of Education as the peoples who have authority to address the matters.

    My suggestion is,

    1) We need to identify what are the types of problem that arise from this religious school
    2) After the problems are identified, we need to consider what policy might work to regulate the problems
    3) We need to project/estimate what it cost to the Department of Education to alleviate the problems in terms of money and time

  20. avatar Andy says:

    I mean why didn’t they take on China, Sudan, Israel, or even the Guantanamo thing for a change? I’m sure human rights abuses didn’t only occur in Indonesia (if it even occur in the first place), don’t you think?

    We have done on many occasions. Even some of our politicians (Bob Brown etc) protested against the visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao. Guantanamo has been reported numerous times even America is our closest friend in the world. Again mate, you choose to listen or read what you want.

  21. avatar Rob says:

    PN…

    I would have thought that testicular fortitude rather than intestinal fortitude would be more your style of insult?

  22. avatar Rob says:

    Andy…

    You will need to do a little more than just write a book to be considered a prophet or a god some 1000 years into the future.

    You will also need to get yourself a band of merry men and women who accept your musings in the book that you write and then sell that message to non-believers and convert them to the “Faith of Andy”.

    You will then need to corporatize your operation in order that your followers “keep on message” in order to ensure that the masses do not know and understand the inner workings of your faith but they understand enough to become the willing foot soldiers in your religious movement.

    Sounds all a little scientology to me 😀

  23. avatar Rob says:

    I thought the topic was one of the radicalization of religious schools and Islamic schools in particular. Personally, I do not believe in God. Yet, sometimes I wonder what I have to lose if I do! Not believing in God has the potential to make for some interesting conversation at the pearly gates.

    I do not think that religious schools are the problem per se. Rather the problem is who controls these schools and their agenda. Can these schools brainwash their students, probably. But there would be a vast number of schools where brainwashing does not occur. What does occur is the promoting of a solid core of reasonable and tolerant values. Is this a case of simply tarring and feathering religious schools with the same brush based only on the fact that they identify themselves as religious schools?

    Religious schools are not only sometimes hotbeds of extremism, they are sometimes centers of pedophilia. Australia is currently caught up in one such scandal! What is good for the goose must also be good for the gander!

    DXP…

    Just as a matter of interest, what is the Chinese beef with the Falun Gong?

  24. avatar torasham says:

    i think that radical thinks are use for fight against radicals action from west government..

  25. avatar Enigmatic says:

    GUYS WHY ARE WE ALWAYS DIGRESSING FROM THE ISSUE?

    This thread speaks about Muslim Schools. I agree with Siregar on a few points, whether politically charged or otherwise.

    Speaking at the Al Hikmah 2 pesantren in Brebes, Central Java, he said he hoped clerics could help to build up a spirit of nationalism and unity, and prevent the politicization of religion, and avoid saying or doing things that might lead to sectarian strife and discord

    1) Building up the spirit of nationalism and unity.
    2) Preventing the politicising of religion.

    It doesn’t matter whether God exists and whether you believe in Him or whether Australia gives a crap about its neighbours. What matters is this:

    Religious Schools can preach about their faith. However I feel they should be moderate in their intepretations, given the fact that Indonesia, despite having a Muslim majority, still has the rights of the minority to consider. Also, I must reiterate that politics should NEVER mix with religion. Burma tried that through Ne Win after Aung San’s death and he ended up pissing the Buddhists and just about everyone else.

  26. avatar Lairedion says:

    I agree with Enigmatic,

    Indonesia should follow the French idea of “laïcité” in a secular state where the state is absolutely neutral to religion in the public domain. All religions should be allowed but solely for religious purposes only and not in any way violate secular law and Constitution. Voted decision and law makers should be moderated by the Constitution in order to protect ethnic and religious minorities and the state should have extensive powers to monitor and ban religious groups and schools accordingly should they violate the law and Constitution.

    I think it is the best way to keep everybody in line, especially in a vast and diverse nation like Indonesia. The current situation with compulsory 6 religions and a state within the state like the MUI are root causes for social unrest, conflicts and discrimination.

  27. avatar Andy says:

    I would also go one further and question christian / catholic schools in Indonesia. It shocks me when many people seem to think these schools offer a higher standard of education. This makes me question how bad all other schools must be because cashed up middle class Indonesians like sending their kids there. Muslims included.
    I nearly accepted a job in a National Plus school but was bothered with the constant questioning of faith when not many questions were asked of my experience and knowledge of the job which I applied for. This led me to think that education standards were not important to this mob. I was shown a couple of textbooks which I could have learnt in my sleep and gone out and taught. In true style though they are more concerned with how happy the students seem to be meaning more games time and less work. The problem with schools being run as a business and not a place of learning.

  28. avatar Mulyana Ilham says:

    RELIGION IS ONLY A TOOL.

    a tool to make people do stuff without even bother to ask why they should do it.

    a tool to make the difference between them so that they will not act as a unity, as a nation.

    a tool to suppress their free will

    a tool, a tool, a tool. no more than that.

  29. avatar Enigmatic says:

    I think it is the best way to keep everybody in line, especially in a vast and diverse nation like Indonesia. The current situation with compulsory 6 religions and a state within the state like the MUI are root causes for social unrest, conflicts and discrimination.

    And who couldn’t forget the FPI? It’s a MOSSAD tool right? Or just an American tool to destroy Indonesia?

  30. avatar Rob says:

    Patung…

    How about a thread on Indonesian Conspiracy Theories?

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