Reactions to Anti-Sharia Push

Jun 16th, 2006, in News, by

The attempts by legislators to have Islamic type laws repealed have met with a lukewarm response from the government.

Calls for the central government to scrap sharia-inspired ordinances adopted in many of the nation’s regencies and cities have received a cautious response from top officials, says the Jakarta Post.

Home Minister Muhammad Ma’ruf said he would first let the country’s 33 governors decide whether the bylaws contradicted the Constitution or higher laws.

We have decided governors should be given a greater role in identifying unwieldy bylaws and they should bring them to us for further discussion. calls this approach “passing the buck to local authorities“.

But Antara has a different spin. Internal/Home Affairs minister M. Ma’ruf is reported as saying that he had already sent a letter to provincial governors asking them to provide an inventory of their local laws. Then the laws would be examined to find those that were in conflict with the “national consensus”, that is, Pancasila, the 1945 Constitution, and the concept of Unity in Diversity. The results of this evaluation would then be discussed with the governors.

Regional laws in conflict with national laws and which are against the public interest will be repealed.
(Perda yang bertentangan dengan Undang-undang di atasnya dan melanggar kepentingan umum, kita batalkan.)

Meanwhile, from the same report, the PKS, Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, an Islamic party, voiced its predictable opposition to any plans to annul sharia laws. Mahfudz Sidik of the PKS said the government had no basis to annul Islamically nuanced laws provided they were not unconstitutional. He said that people worried too much about Islamic influence in law-making. In the places where the laws were in force the people did not complain about them, he said, so why should outsiders try to have the laws changed?

Vice president Jusuf Kalla advises people not to be afraid of Islamic laws. He has spent his whole life living in accordance to Islamic law, he said, there is no need to worry about it. But if there are those who think the laws violate the constitution then he recommends taking the matter to the High Court.

Religion Minister is also in the “no worries” camp. So long as such laws are in accordance with higher up laws there should be no problem he said.

I think there is nothing wrong with regional laws that adopt Islamic law.
(Saya kira tidak ada salahnya suatu peraturan daerah mengadopsi syariat Islam.)

If local people did not object to the laws then there was no problem, he said.

NU leader Hasyim Muzadi repeated his earlier opposition to Islamic laws. He said the problems of prostitution, alcohol, and gambling were already dealt with in the national criminal code, so there was no need for special regional laws against them.

5 Comments on “Reactions to Anti-Sharia Push”

  1. Magy says:

    A little strange that a vice president not more firmly upholds the constitiution, but rather says that, if the majority think it is ok then the laws are also ok. A constitution guarantees certain rights whatever the majority decides. Even though 80% of the people in a certain region think sharia is the best thing that could happen to them in life, this does not mean that the rest 20% have to live by those rules. This is the reason you have a constitution. You chould never have to prove yourself or feel unwelcome just because you don’t have the same faith, skin color, political opinion, way to express yourself, etc. Even though people in general might think Jews are not a fine race, the constitution must guarantee that anyone in Indonesia who is a Jew have the same right to exist on her own terms, without having to excuse herself.

    Therefore in this context, Jusuf Kallas answer is alarming. In fact his answer in it self it is a gigant step towards intolerance. Yes Jusuf has lived by sharia all his life without a problem – fine – but this does not mean that no one single person in Indonesia should have to by law.

  2. Hassan says:

    that’s the point, and you missed it MAGY, the other 20 % doesn’t have to live by it. Sharia and Islamic laws only applies to Muslims, non Moslems will still live by the formal constitusional laws. it’s difficult to get the correct pictures regarding Islam these days, not with all these Islamophobia being spewed by the Jewish owned mainstream press all the time.

  3. Magy says:


    I understand your thought, however the problem with this approach is that you have to be either a Moslem or not. This is the problem. There are so many diffent interpretation of what is a Moslem. Do you have to cover yourself? Do you have to pray 5 tiimes a day? Do you have to fast? Are you not allowed to take a loan or get rent? Yes, of course not – if you are a Moslem. But – if I don’t cover myself – can I not be a Moslem then? Who should be the one saying what is right or wrong? The world has arlready too many conflicts based on religion where certain people claim they are god and know what is right or wrong. RI will fall appart as a multicultural country if religous courts should decide what your relationship to religion should be. This is certainly a step in the wrong direction in 2006. Modern Moslems must also incorporate the advances of sciense, 2500 years of development and the fact that the world is becoming more and more multicultural.

    We don’t need bylaws for every religion.

  4. Anonymous_aloy says:

    Hassan, I’m an Indonesian Moslem, and I’ve commented a number of times on this website, about this issue: the implementation of sharia law in Indonesia will make me non-Indonesian and ultimately non-Islam. First you divide the society into first class citizens (the Moslems) and second class citizens (the non-Moslems). Yeah, yeah, I know you’re going to argue “…in Madinah..” bla bla (cue dhimmi-type justification). I don’t buy it. Then you’re going to start to separate “good Moslems” vs “bad Moslems”. The minority? Who knows. It’s really down hill from there. See, Hassan, your mindset and the Vice President’s are the reasons why Moslems in Indonesa are increasingly seen as becoming less tolerant. Shame on you. Islam yes! Sharia law in Indonesia no, no, no! Tolerant, plural Indonesia yes! Arabization no!

  5. Hassan says:

    Anonymous_aloy, what you forgot is the fact that Muslims must live in accordance with the laws of Allah, which is sharia. the very meaning of the word “Muslim” is “a person who surrenders to the will of Allah”, if a Muslim disagree to sharia then he is not one who surrenders to the will of his God, does he? we are after all, just a creation, created by the Almighty, who are we to object His laws? To be a true Muslim we MUST live according to the laws the Almighty had set upon us, if we follow any other then we had taken His right as the undisputed ruler of the universe.

    What happened in Indonesia was that the vast majority, 80% of them, was forced to not follow the rules that their God had set for His creations. Now I ask you, what is the purpose of life if not to please Him, to do what He told us to do and to stay away from what he don’t want us to do? the mission that Adam had failed once in the past. And how can we complete the mission? the answers can be found on His laws, the sharia (way of conduct).

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