Critiques of Moderate Indonesia

May 16th, 2006, in News, by

Articles from the world’s press increasingly focus on the lack of moderation in Indonesia and Indonesian Islam.

First up is Bloomberg with a report on the implications of the anti-porn law currently being debated.

Fauzia Damayanti stands to spend 10 years in prison unless she mends her wicked ways. Her possible crime? The Jakarta housewife wears miniskirts.

Keep reading Miniskirts Clash With Islam as Indonesia Drafts Pornography Law.

The Asia Times has a far meatier piece which deals in part with the tennis boycott of Israel and the recent visit by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. Both issues reveal the essential weakness of the leadership of Indonesia, its failure to take bold steps, its lack of innovation under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Despite the West’s cheerleading rhetoric about Muslim world leadership and the ill-considered US embrace of Indonesia’s unreformed military to combat terrorism, even its biggest boosters realize Indonesia is not a neutral player. Rather than exporting its moderate Islamic values, Indonesia has been importing those of Middle Eastern Muslim extremists.

The result is creeping Islamization of the country.

Read the full article.

The Washington Post also has a piece on the enthusiastic welcome given to the Iranian leader by some Muslims. It concludes:

Although Indonesia is relatively moderate and maintains generally cordial relations with the West, the Iranian leader’s message resonates with many of its young people.

Finally, as some sort of response to all this, UCLA International Institute reports on a speech given by M. Din Syamsuddin of Muhammadiyah and the Ulema Council at UCLA last week.

4 Comments on “Critiques of Moderate Indonesia”

  1. Treespotter says:

    why is it student greeting a visiting friendly nation leader a bad sign for Moslem? How does “the recent visit by Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad reveal the essential weakness of the leadership of Indonesia, its failure to take bold steps, its lack of innovation under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’? I don’t really understand that.
    what exactly are you proposing Indonesian to do with him instead?
    Educated Muslims don’t necessarily share those views, those that he holds anyway.
    what does a tennis match in Israel have to do with moderate Moslem in Indonesia?
    The Asia Times is a also inaccurate, there’s no creeping Islamization in the country, Indonesia already 88% Moslem population. You can’t really Islamize Islam can you?

  2. Tree Grower says:


    Santri Muslims, conservatives and hardliners have been trying to Islamicize Indonesia for centuries. In a country where Muslim parents give their children names like Sri (Javanese rice goddess), Darmawan (from Dharma = way of the buddha), and Bima (from the Mahabharata), and celebrate slametan, it ain’t exactly pure untainted Islam. Not to mention “Muslims” like “Haji” Mohammad Suharto, who openly practiced kejawen, meditating in caves and carrying around krises.

    What they’re worried about are things like the decree from the MUI against pluralism, liberalism and secularism and not Islamicization, but Saudi-Arabianization like telling Javanese and Balinese woman to not show their shoulders (breasts in the Balinese case), something they’ve been doing for centuries.

    How many of the 88 % Muslim are KTP Muslims….?


  3. Masindi says:

    This is what happens when Indonesia’s lawmakers are uneducated narrow minded individuals who are mostly reading al-Quran like a technical manual.

    With the youths losing respect of the government and senior politicians, they have chosen to uphold the technical manual, instead (in their eyes, the al-Quran seems more stable, full of integrity than the rotten government).

  4. Karlira Kanakahuko says:

    This is further sprerad of being the narrow-mindedness among Indonesians, especially uneducated conservative Muslim Indonesians. Indonesia is the shame, because they imports devils from Middle East to Islamize Indonesia.

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