Djinn Spirit Impregnation

Jan 18th, 2010, in News, Opinion, by

DjinnA school principal blames a djinn spirit for an alleged sexual assault on a student.

One of the good, even great things about living in Indonesia is that boredom is something one rarely experiences. Not all such absences of ennui are welcome, however, a choice example being the report in the Jakarta Globe 15/1 from (almost inevitably) Tangerang.

The latest nonsense to emanate from that rats' nest of mediaevalism involves a headmaster and his djinn, and a young teenager raped in a school pantry.

The proximity of the 'other world' here is well-known, but whilst I have heard of genies being used to move both people and objects, and serve as general dogs-bodies to their human familiars, this is a new low in terms of exculpation. In the West we try to blame drugs, alcohol and 'an underprivileged background' for horrendous crimes, but what are we to make of this?

Indonesian High School Principal Denies Rape, Blames Genie

The principal of an Islamic boarding school in Tangerang is vigorously denying allegations that he raped one of his teenage students. His defense: his "pet genie" did it.

A 15-year-old girl, identified only by the initials KHF, said she was raped at the school last July. She said she had gone to the office of the principal, identified as HDN, to report that she was stepping down as a head of the Student Council.

But she claimed the principal changed the topic of conversation by saying that one of his genies had a crush on her. He reportedly promised that she would be given certain "metaphysical powers" if she agreed to have sex with the genie.

It sure beats some of the chat-up lines I've heard in various bars around the world! The poor lass spurned the djinn's advances but a few days later she bumped into the principal once more, in the pantry.

..........she had kissed his hand as a sign of respect and then began to feel disoriented. The next thing she remembered was waking up in the principal’s office, exhausted and with pain in her lower body.

In due course her mum took her to a doctor, who pronounced her pregnant.

The principal has denied raping the girl and reportedly told her parents that his genie was responsible for the pregnancy. He said the genie must have been angry because it had not been fed for months. He is understood to have said the genie "borrowed" his body at the time of the rape. In response, the girl’s family challenged him to take a DNA test. He agreed and said he was sure the test would reveal the true culprit, the girl’s mother said.

If this were not such a serious crime, the story would be laughable, but it does raise some serious issues, irrespective of whether the guy is guilty of rape or not, most urgently, what kind of benighted twits are recruited to run Islamic boarding schools? There is, after all, a Ministry of Religion included in SBY's government. It infrequently serves any useful purpose, but here is a case which could turn the minister's talents to good use.

Why not organise a thorough inspection of these 'schools' and close down any found under the control of superstitious and/ or predatory cretins? Why not get the NU and Muhammadiyah to cooperate in checking the qualifications of those who aspire to the responsibilities of principalship?

I'm sure many readers will adduce reasons why this would not be a productive exercise, but honest, decent Muslims must surely share my concerns and can suggest alternative ways of safe-guarding children.


50 Comments on “Djinn Spirit Impregnation”

  1. avatar BrotherMouzone says:

    The occasional reported case like this does not even scratch the surface of the institutional abuse and pedophilia that is rife in Pesantren.

    I have a number of (male) friends here who were abused in Islamic schools or by the local Imam. Once people start coming out and talking about the abuse they have experienced, it will the cause the same sort of damage to Indonesian Islam as it did to the Catholic church in Ireland.

    Why not organise a thorough inspection of these ‘schools’ and close down any found under the control of superstitious and/ or predatory cretins?

    Agree about keeping predators out, but isn’t superstition sort of a prerequisite?

  2. avatar Ross says:

    Yet today, I note the East Java provincial authorities are going to provide free medical benefits to heads of pesantren.
    This may include mental health inspection, so there is hope!

  3. avatar madrotter says:

    i have to go to tangeran next month with a dutch tv crew, it’s about schools for handicapped kid paid for by the dutch illianefonds, going to malang as well…

    very curious about what i will encounter there….

  4. avatar deta says:

    I agree that NU and Muhammadiyah should cooperate in checking the qualifications of those who aspire to the responsibilities of pesantren principalship, at least find someone whose intellectuality enables him to create a better scenario and alibi than putting the blame on some genies or kolor ijo…..

    Another issue…. a lot of parents would probably disagree with me, but I think sending your kids to pesantren or any kind of boarding schools only shows that you cannot handle the hustle and bustle of raising the kids on your own.

  5. avatar ET says:

    My advice: put the jinn aka the principal, back in the bottle, seal it with a cork and throw it in the sea so it can float back to the Middle East.

  6. avatar bs says:

    I’d say the principal is ready for a second circumcision. No possibility of action anymore, but he’ll live fine and harmless with a catheter.

    @madrotter
    I’d be interested to know what you find in Malang. In 2008 I visited quite some schools there for a research project. Didn’t know there were Illiane fonds sponsored ones.

    You might want to have a look at the PKBM schools. These are for the kids without funds and provide an alternative way into university via paket a,b and c. I have some addressess for you if you need them.

  7. avatar madrotter says:

    well i will post all my experiences here later on, like i said i’m really curious about what i’m going to see… i do know about the plight of the indonesian handicapped, often they’re hidden away in rooms and even cages, their family ashamed of them… anybody remembers that woman in jakarta who kept her stepdaughter in this box for like 10 years, maybe more? this kid never learned to talk she could only croak, they would throw in a few hands of rice every now and again and that kid just sat there in here own filth. also remember it was on the news for a while, kinda wonder what has happened to this poor girl…

    will look into these pkbm schools, thanks bs!

  8. avatar Rob Baiton says:

    They are going to DNA test the principal. I am wondering if they are going to DNA test the djinn as well?

    Also of interest in the article was the suggestion that this has happened before. The principal’s admission that it probably happened because it had been a while since he last fed the genie indicates that he has fed the genie before. I wonder how many girls with special powers exist because of this individual?

    One rotten apple will always taint the box. Maybe it is time for some house cleaning and ridding the place of the rotten fruit. It is unlikely that you can ‘eradicate’ all possibility of this happening in the future, but you can ensure that there is minimum risk.

    If one wants to teach, for comparative purposes, in Australia then you have to successfully pass awareness training relating to conduct with children. One also has to be thoroughly vetted through police and criminal record checks. Admittedly, this does not catch every single pedophile, but it does serve to minimize the risk as much as possible.

    Maybe it is time for a more universal adoption of standards for vetting people who work with children?

  9. avatar ET says:

    The story tells more about the Indonesian public than it does about the culprit principal cum djinn. If he thinks he can blatantly use such an outrageous laughable and absurd excuse and get away with it then he must have reasons to believe that his story will be accepted by a majority of the public.

    If the level of takhyul among the Indonesian public of the 21st century is still that high then one has reasons to despair.

  10. avatar Rob Baiton says:

    @ ET…

    Are you sure that there are not Indonesians out there, and in the majority, that think that the principal cum djinn’s excuse is outrageous and absurd?

    What should one make of people’s fascination of astrology, horoscopes, and other spiritual pursuits in the West? Should this also be a cause for despair? Are all djinns evil?

  11. avatar timdog says:

    BrotherMouzone:

    Once people start coming out and talking about the abuse they have experienced, it will the cause the same sort of damage to Indonesian Islam as it did to the Catholic church in Ireland.

    That is a very good point. The impact of the scandals in Ireland really cannot be underestimated. It has had a huge effect in reducing the respect and influence of the church in a country that was until very recently both very religiously conservative by European standards…
    There is, however, a significant difference. The “church” in Ireland is an organised institution. It is not “Catholicism” as such (despite the fact that the entire religion is more of an organised institution than “Islam”) that has been discredited and lost influence there; rather it is the priesthood and the institution…
    For that reason – and for that reason only – a mass of pedophilia scandals in Indonesia would be unlikely to have a similar effect.
    A closer parallel would be if, say, NU was found to be riddled with pedophiles. The organisation would lose stature; the religion itself would not…
    Not saying that’s a good thing; just pointing out the difference.

  12. avatar ET says:

    @ Rob

    Are you sure that there are not Indonesians out there, and in the majority, that think that the principal cum djinn’s excuse is outrageous and absurd?

    What should one make of people’s fascination of astrology, horoscopes, and other spiritual pursuits in the West? Should this also be a cause for despair? Are all djinns evil?

    I can hardly imagine somebody in the West with a function like a school principal would believe he can fool the public by pretending his misdeeds or crimes were perpetrated by a ghost. Notwithstanding widespread belief in astrology and horoscopes, there is a borderline brought forth by western education as to what is plausible or not, certainly in a case like this. If this principal would have been a westerner he might have pleaded to suffer from temporary insanity but certainly not put the blame on a devil or a ghost.

  13. avatar Rob Baiton says:

    @ ET…

    I am not saying that the comment is neither outrageous or absurd. To me it is both of those things.

    Agreed, in the West a temporary insanity plea might be what is offered up.

    However, I think the point I was trying to make (and perhaps did not do too well) was that maybe there are a significant number of Indonesians that think the claim is outrageous and absurd as well.

    There are still those in the West that believe in evil spirits and the idea of being able to perform an exorcism to rid people of evil spirits. The majority of ‘westerners’ probably do not buy into that, but it doesn’t mean that it does not exist, does it?

    There are a few cults in the West where the spiritual leaders have god complexes and claim to be possessed (or God incarnate) who then sexually abuse children, are there not?

    I guess in this very long-winded way, what I was trying to say was that I have quite a few Indonesian friends who responded “WTF?” when they heard about this story.

  14. avatar bs says:

    @rob

    Wild guess, but do your Indonesian friends perhaps not live in a rural desa and do they have a reasonable education?

    As long as people can get away with everything because they are “such good muslims/christians/catholics” or have loads of money, this is not going to stop.
    Even villagers who have the “WTF” reaction will think twice before speaking their minds, at best they’ll keep their daughters away from such places.

  15. avatar ET says:

    I guess in this very long-winded way, what I was trying to say was that I have quite a few Indonesian friends who responded “WTF?” when they heard about this story.

    Sure, but what bothers me is the fact that the principal would have thought that he might get away with it, which means that he based his arguments on the presumed gullibility of his fellow Indonesians.

    But luckily for me he didn’t blame it on an ET, although I admit some Westerners would have done so, like abductions and weird experiments on hypnotized women…

  16. avatar Laurence says:

    This one is really weird, I hope no one in Indo believes this excuse. Just lock him up and throw away the key.

  17. avatar deta says:

    ET said

    what bothers me is the fact that the principal would have thought that he might get away with it, which means that he based his arguments on the presumed gullibility of his fellow Indonesians.

    That makes sense. But in my opinion, the school principal would not have come with that excuse if he had known that this would be an open public case. He thought that he could fool the girl’s parents with his excuse and closed the case, but looks like he too underestimated them. I don’t think he will persist about this genie thing when the case gets to court, but instead he will come up with some other excuses, extra terrestrial could be one of ‘em 😉

  18. avatar ET says:

    instead he will come up with some other excuses, extra terrestrial could be one of ‘em

    I deny everything.

  19. avatar BrotherMouzone says:

    There is, however, a significant difference. The “church” in Ireland is an organised institution. It is not “Catholicism” as such (despite the fact that the entire religion is more of an organised institution than “Islam”) that has been discredited and lost influence there; rather it is the priesthood and the institution…
    For that reason – and for that reason only – a mass of pedophilia scandals in Indonesia would be unlikely to have a similar effect

    True. What got people upset about misdeeds within the priesthood was the fact that events were covered up and buried and that known/suspected pedophiles were placed in parishes and schools by a trusted authority.

    The lack of a coherent framework in Indonesian Islam probably means that if everything ever does come into the open, it will just put Indonesians off sending their kids to Islamic boarding schools rather than tainting Islam as a whole.

    On balance, not a bad outcome. It’s just a horrible shame that in the meanwhile, children are still being abused…

  20. avatar Odinius says:

    When you read the education literature on Indonesia, the thing that sticks out is that Indonesian parents are sending their kids to Islamic schools not because of the religious content, but that in many places–particularly rural areas–these schools provide better quality general education than the state schools and are more responsive to parental demands. The implication there is that there are a lot of parental demands.

    Given that, how is a school or school network going to remain credible when the say this kind of sh*t?

  21. avatar Ross says:

    Don’t know for sure, but heard the pesantren are less costly. Also they keep the students there all week, boarding -style, leaving both parents free to work.

  22. avatar bs says:

    @odinius,

    I don’t know who told you this, but it’s the other way around. Unlike in most other countries, the state schools generally score better than private schools (it has to with funding) in Indonesia

    The Islamic schools in general (including the pesantren) get the lowest ratings (these are in the public domain, just ask for them at the local DIKNAS) and even devout Muslims rather have their kids in a state school. Most pesantren are located in poor, rural areas. Kids go there because there’s food. It sort of a last resort.

  23. avatar Oigal says:

    Wild guess, but do your Indonesian friends perhaps not live in a rural desa and do they have a reasonable education?

    To suggest that belief in Djins, spirits, ghosts and other assorted creatures is restricted to the uneducated (?) or the rural people in Indonesia flys in the face of the facts.

    The majority of Indonesians have those beliefs and they are quite strong at every level of society. Let’s not forget we have Presidents who consulted mystics and people who believe they have ‘special” powers. In he Lapindo affair, the goverment actually employed mystics to stop the mudflow. Dang, they even had a pre qaulifing exam for mystics before they were employed.

    The spritual and “occult” (for want of a better word) is very much a part of everyday life and you ignore its influence at your peril.

    Of course, that doesn’t excuse a filthy old creature like our cleric here.

  24. avatar Odinius says:

    bs said:

    I don’t know who told you this, but it’s the other way around. Unlike in most other countries, the state schools generally score better than private schools (it has to with funding) in Indonesia

    The Islamic schools in general (including the pesantren) get the lowest ratings (these are in the public domain, just ask for them at the local DIKNAS) and even devout Muslims rather have their kids in a state school. Most pesantren are located in poor, rural areas. Kids go there because there’s food. It sort of a last resort.

    I don’t pretend to have any personal experience with rural indonesian schools, but there have been some interesting studies conducted by IAIN and Western collaborators in the past few years that highlight the fact that many rural parents send their kids to schools run by Muhammadiyah, PKS and other modernist Muslim organizations because they perceive these schools as offering better general education.

  25. avatar bs says:

    @odinius
    I did a research project into the subject in 2008 and at that time didn’t come across this phenomenon. I’d love to read more on this. Might be a case of cognitive dissonance though.
    Do you remember the title of the study?

    @oigal

    The majority of Indonesians have those beliefs…

    Yes, and the majority also is poorly educated and lives in rural Java. But you’re right, there’s probably not a 100% overlap. However, most educated Indonesians I know are spiritually inclined but would never believe the crap in the story above. Poor peasants are more likely to believe it.

  26. avatar Oigal says:

    Yes, and the majority also is poorly educated and lives in rural Java.

    Nagh.. I will still wager you push 99% of even the most educated Indonesians and you will get an admission that they are believers in the weird n wonderful extra dimension complete with ghosts, hobgoblins and their unworldly cousins. You will probably get the wet smile and the embarrassed denials at the start but….

    It is just a fact of life in Indonesia and many other countries as well. Besides if you are going to believe in flying horses or drinking the blood of christ then its a short walk to ghosts n flying knives.

  27. avatar bs says:

    @oigal

    You will probably get the wet smile and the embarrassed denials at the start but….

    I tend not to believe everything people say. People vote with their money and their feet. I would believe it if they put their money where their mouth is and…
    shit … Ponari …

    It just scares me you know…

  28. avatar Odinius says:

    bs said:

    I did a research project into the subject in 2008 and at that time didn’t come across this phenomenon. I’d love to read more on this. Might be a case of cognitive dissonance though.
    Do you remember the title of the study?

    It was a companion to the study of pesantren/madrasah teachers headed by Bob Hefner and Azyumardi Azra, so it might be in a collection of essays with one or more of their names on it. Think i read about it in “Schooling Islam,” but can’t quite remember.

    Pesantren/madrasahs in Indonesia is an incredibly diverse category, of course.

  29. avatar Ross says:

    I have to say that almost everybody I’ve met here believes in supernatural beings. I don’t mean God or Allah or saints etc., but djinns, tuyuls, babi nyepet and the whole galaxy of things that go bump in the night, which we enjoy watching in the horror movies.
    The Queen of the South Seas commands belief in the highest levels of society.

  30. avatar Oigal says:

    The Queen of the South Seas commands belief in the highest levels of society.

    Yup, you just try and get an Indonesian to wear a green tshirt on a boat…and you will see the voting with your feet in action.

    Although, it is a cool story and I love the Sultan Marriage ritual that goes with it.

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