South East Sulawesi

Apr 8th, 2007, in News, by

South East Sulawesi is a model of religious harmony.

The province of South East Sulawesi rarely crops up in our reports here and this may be, as head of the Center for Research and Development at the Religious Affairs department, Atho Mudzhar, says, because South East Sulawesi has very good relations between religious groups. Speaking in Kendari on the 2nd of April Mudzhar said that sectarian violence did not occur in the fair province of Sulawesi Tenggara (Sultra) and the followers of all the religions there, which include Islam, Buddhism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Hinduism, got along just fine.

In Harmony.

While neighbouring Central Sulawesi has often been wracked by inter-religious violence the people of South East Sulawesi were not easily provoked by such events and respected each other, he said. The mutual respect and brotherhood among people was a good example for other provinces, he went on, and whenever problems arose religious leaders sat down and discussed things. Mudzhar hoped that religious leaders could keep up the good work. kompas

According to Department of Religion figures the numbers for each faith in the province are: 1,692,644 Muslims, 30,458 Protestants, 12,957 Catholics, 39,300 Hindus, and a paltry 913 Buddhists. depag John T. Sidel says in Riots, Pogroms, Jihad that the absence of conflict is not necessarily a good sign for a society – it may or may not mean that the dominant group is simply very successfully repressing minorities, to the point that nearly all sections of the dominant group feel content with the situation and therefore have no need to lash out and attack, while minorities are suitably cowed or intimidated as to not make too many dissenting noises.

9 Comments on “South East Sulawesi”

  1. e askan says:

    Of course, having a majority Muslim population does not necessarily guarantee peacefulness or equality either. In West Malaysia, northern Nigeria, Bangladesh and Makassar in Sulawesi, Muslims form a predominant majority of the population but still the minorities are subjected to horrific violence and treatment as second or third class citizens. So, the question is exactly what is the situation regarding the rights of minorities. If Muslims form a large majority, the situation could be that the minority is always assualted and treated badly, i.e. Pakistan, North Nigeria or Bangladesh, or they are 2nd class citizens too subdued to fight back, i.e. West Malaysia, or in a few cases because Muslims are actually willing to promote mutual religious respect.

    I would love to know if there is anyone here in Sulawesi who can comment on these issues. In general, how well do non-Muslims live among Muslim majorites in Sulawesi, except Makassar which is clearly hopelessly Islamist? Can they live as equals, build religious sites without regulation and not be forced to pay jizyah? Are they subjected to attacks or threats of violence by the Muslim majority?

    Lastly, I know I’ve addressed this before, but how do local populations in Sulawesi view the West and America, including its policies in the Middle East and elsewhere? Does it depend on the religion of the people being asked? For instance, in Manado the locals are known to be strongly pro-West, pro-America, pro-Israel and interested in ridding the world of Islamic terrorists. In Makassar, the opposite holds, they despise all the West stands for and view figures like Bin Laden, Khomeini, Hamas and Hezbullah as their heroes. How do people in the rest of Sulawesi view such topics as American foreign policies, Israel and the Jews and Western principles in general? Are their views universal or dependent on religion?

  2. Odinius says:

    Askan: have you ever actually been to Sulawesi? To Indonesia?

  3. Ihaknt says:

    Why not just be happy that at least there is a place where people from different beliefs live harmoniously? It’s better than being in a pointless religious war. And let’s just hope this is not just a story but a reality.

  4. Arema says:

    Well, I have a friend from SE Sulawesi, and what is written in this report is true. It is not the case where the minorities are intimidated, but it is a true example of racial harmony, as I heard from his testimonial. A really, really good example to follow.

  5. Tuan says:

    It does not really matter if the matter if the majority is Muslim or Christian or Holy roller. it is human nature for the majority segment of the population to discriminate against the minority segment. I was born and raised in the US where the the majority population has had a history of discriminating against minorities.

  6. Mr.wrong says:

    South East Sulawesi is a model of religious harmony.
    yes. it is good thing,when people of indonesia respect christians. but you have to know,what is happening in your country and the world.
    In indonesia the christians from Europe give poor muslims money to leave you think,that the christians countries will allow you to do this in their countries?
    look at the world. in all big christians countries living a lot of muslims too. do you think, they have any right there?no. they never give the muslims the same right.
    I am one of muslims living in Europe. I have a lot of good high level education,but the christians countries will never give me good job.
    We don’t have the right to build our Masjid for praying, the never respect the Islam.they all the time support they people,whom saying bad things about Islam.
    I have to tell the truth to you. they treat the muslims as is better to be Dog in Europe then muslim.
    plz treat christians, as the treat you in Europe.

  7. Aluang Anak Bayang says:

    Praise be to Allah swt, the most merciful, oft-forgiving.

    Assalamualaikum Pak Wrong.

    I thank you for opening our eyes to all the wrong doings done to our Muslim brothers in evil Christian lands. Perhap you and all Muslim brothers should one day organize a mass exodus from their land to teach all non-Muslims that we are serious about leaving. Without Muslims, their world would be as corrupt as China and India.

    I can see that you have a very high level of education from your written English. Which country are you from originally?


  8. agam says:

    Pak Wrong, you could be wrong, since in the UK, mosques can be found everywhere, especially in the IPB (India, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, I believed this is coined by our Indonesian brothers in the UK who sick of their Pakistanis’ landlord) areas….

    btw, have you noticed that our IPB brothers are strick followers of Kiyosaki’s teachings? They possess more properties per capita than average white British and have reached the status of financial freedom. They live simple life, I mean, own properties, rent the, and the rest of the time will be spent in mosques.

    but I have to admit that I dont know how our muslim brothers are treated in the rest of Europe.

  9. maman says:

    southeast sulawesi indeed many natural resources are adequate, but the rise of bad management makes every day more and more risks to be encountered. therefore presumably in the management of natural resources should be more wisely. Remember! not only to the generations here who need it.

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