Muslim clerics in West Sumatra are to be provided with a salary by the provincial government.
At least 150 Muslim clerics in West Sumatra will receive a monthly pay cheque of 750,000 rupiah, or about $80, from next year, as well as free medical treatment and a pension allowance 100,000 rupiah ($11) a month.
West Sumatra Governor Gamawan Fauzi says:
We'll propose funding for the program through the 2007 budget so the clerics will not have to work and can focus on running mosques.
He said the program was intended to make mosques places where people could study religion and talk to Muslim clerics whenever the urge took them, expressing the hope that the program would also be implemented by the province's city and regency governments.
Sociologist Sri Setyawati of Andalas University in Padang was reported by the Jakarta Post as saying that it was acceptable but the administration should not put at risk funding for other important programs like education, public services or health.
I have never heard Muslim clerics complain about their economic situation. Many have work and preaching is not their main job. Besides, they usually receive payment for their sermons. Do they really need the allowance?
It seems the offer of a monthly allowance is not going to be extended to the officials of places of religion other than mosques.
How about the cleriks of other religions in Indonesia?
Will they be treated same way as Islam clerkis?
This is wrong. The government has no business in being involved with religion, and organized religion has no business being involved in the government.
Clerics deserve to be paid for their services from the national coffers.
Just another form of injustice – which is VERY common in Indonesia. Not to say that it is tolerable.
It is not tolerable actually,
but I guess people are already used to it,
n even too tired to protest,
It’s just history repeating itself. The corruption of the Islamic faith was due to the rich and powerful buying off the clerics!
When will we ever learn?
Hey what about other religions… unfair.
Can mosque give salary to their clerics themselves?
Church do that all the time.
It’s guarantee the independence of mosque.
The local government don’t want the clerics to be independent, they want them to do as they are told!