Sharia Issue Settled

Jul 6th, 2006, in News, by

Parliamentarians have agreed to drop the sharia issue while vice president Jusuf Kalla continues to offer his thoughts on the matter.

As mentioned here before 56 members of parliament recently filed a complaint about the prevalence of Islamic type laws in the cities and provinces of Indonesia, demanding that they be repealed. Later, in response to this, 134 other DPR members, from the Golkar Party, Democrat Party, Justice and Prosperous Party (PKS), National Mandate Party (PAN), Reform Star Party (PBR), and United Development Party (PPP), countered with their own declaration of support for the controversial regional regulations.

Then Muhaimin Iskandar, a Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR), said he would soon bring together the opposing groups in a DPR consultation meeting, to “settle” the matter.

We will look for a format and solution through the valid decrees without dichotomy between the pros and the cons.

said Muhaimin, who is from the PKB.

According to Muhaimin, in the meeting between DPR and party leaders, a solution would be found that is appropriate in terms of constitutionality, and he made the mysterious statement:

The important thing is that there must be understanding in seeing these Islamic regional regulations and other regional regulations with different frames of reference.

Muhaimin said that the DPR together with the Home Affairs Minister have been taking inventories of Islamic regional regulations, some of which contradict the law and some of which do not. Muhaimin asked both groups to stop debating the matter until a solution is agreed upon.

The next day the meeting was held and three options were presented to the participants –

  • let the Home Affairs Minister deal with it
  • let Commission II of the parliament deal with it
  • stop talking about it

It appears the third option won the day.

Muhaimin’s superior, Agung Laksono, the speaker of parliament, said after the meeting that the matter had already been settled. The two groups met and it had been agreed upon that none of the laws violated the constitution and that they were not Islamic ordinances but simply anti-sin ordinances.

In the meeting the leaders of the DPR agreed to stop debating the matter anymore.
(Dalam rapat konsultasi dengan pimpinan DPR hari ini kami disepakati untuk tidak membahas masalah ini lagi.)

Constant Ponggawa, the leader of the anti-sharia group agreed:

We agreed to stop debating the problem.
(Kami setuju tidak ada lagi polemik untuk masalah ini.)

Therefore the letter which had been signed by the 56 dissenters will not be forwarded to the president for consideration, no doubt saving him the trouble of having to make a decision about something. The reason, as given by PAN parliamentarian Patrialis Akbar, was that going through with the 56’s complaint about sharia laws would harm the unity of the country.

…so that the future of the country is good and for our unity, we will no longer trouble with the Islamic sharia issue.
(…demi masa depan bangsa yang lebih baik, demi keutuhan kita, kita tidak lagi mempersoalkan syairat Islam itu.)


While President SBY maintained typical silence over the matter, his deputy, Jusuf Kalla, was not short of advice and wisdom. In various reports, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Kalla regretted that the issue of sharia had come to the forefront of discussion and said that people could live by sharia on their own, without going over the top, and without the need for the support of local government regulations. Any special regulations that did exist must be in accordance with the national law.

You don’t need the support of the state apparatus to live by sharia because that would “reduce” Muslims [to a low, weak level].
(Tidak perlu meminta bantuan aparat pertahanan sipil untuk menjalankan syariat Islam karena itu akan mereduksi umat Islam.)


None of us are without the right to live by sharia law because we are all able to carry it out.
(Tidak ada satupun di antara kita yang tidak berhak melaksanakan syariatnya, karena semuanya dapat kita laksanakan.)

He ridiculed fundamentalists who want the application of sharia given state backing, saying that the duties bound up in the performance of sharia should be done because of God not because of fear of the government.

If we are forced to pray and fast because of a mayoral order, and if we don’t pay alms we go to jail, what then?
(Kalau kita disuruh sholat dan puasa karena perintah bupati, lalu tidak bayar zakat masuk penjara, bagaimana itu?)

He did not however bring up the question of sharia in Aceh where the provincial government does in fact take a keen interest in its citizens performance of their religious duties.

He warmly received the news that the DPR had “settled” the matter and hoped that it wouldn’t be talked about anymore.

One Comment on “Sharia Issue Settled”

  1. Karlira Kanakahuko says: is the most important to eradicate sharia law in Indonesia and to wipe out RUU-APP and most of all, to eradicate sexual morality in whole Indonesia at all.

Comment on “Sharia Issue Settled”.

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