TV Stations Uphold Correct Religion

Aug 11th, 2006, in News, by

An analyst complains that television news programs are overly interested in matters of theology and religious doctrine.

Siti Musdah Mulia, a lecturer at the Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) Syarif Hidayatullah, while speaking at a discussion “Media dan Keberagaman” held by the Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (AJI) in Jakarta, on 7th August, said that television news reports detailing the existence or activities of minority sects such as the Lia Eden cult and Ahmadiyah.

The media too often looks at the matter of those two groups from a theological perspective and provides shallow and baseless commentary which is often wrong.
(Media terlalu banyak mengungkap soal pandangan teologi dari kedua kelompok itu, dan itu pun dengan ulasan yang dangkal dan tidak berdasar, bahkan sering kali salah.)

Siti named Metro TV as the first station to bring up the existence of the Lia Eden group in Jakarta, but, in their report the station seemed intent on discrediting the group, and pointing out that their teachings were at variance with Islamic orthodoxy. One part of said report read:

The Lia Eden sect has recently proclaimed that it has left Islam and has instructed its adherents that it is not necessary to pray five times a day and that it is acceptable to eat pork.
(Kelompok Lia Eden yang akhir-akhir ini menyatakan diri keluar dari Islam dan menganjurkan penganutnya untuk tidak salat dan memakan daging babi.)

It seems Metro TV was intent on waving a red flag in front of a bull, particularly with the pork reference.

And when news reports feature stories on the Ahmadiyah sect, Siti says, they focus on the theological issue, that Ahmadiyah does not recognise Muhammad as the last prophet, and this helps create conflict.

She hoped that the media in future would show less bias and be more inclined to take into account the feelings of minority groups, and:

I hope the media will not judge and provoke the public into hatred and validate the violence done in this country.
(Saya berharap agar media tidak ikut-ikutan menilai dan memprovokasi publik untuk membenci dan membenarkan perilaku kekerasan di negeri ini.)

One Comment on “TV Stations Uphold Correct Religion”

  1. Magy says:

    Media has a tremendous influence on peoples thinking. Look at all totalitarian societies. They couldn’t exist without having control over broadcasts and what is printed. The question to ask is. How controls the media in Indonesia? Who are the most influential? Is it many different interests or is it dominated by one or few interests?

    Anyone know about this?

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