Mediati Hafni Hanum

Sep 29th, 2006, in News, by

Gubernatorial candidates in Aceh must be able to recite the Koran. One candidate, Mediati Hafni Hanum, failed the test.

While Sidney Jones says the elections in Aceh, due to be held on December 11th, will not threaten peace in the province, they may threaten Indonesia’s credibility in the eyes of the world. Mediati Hafni Hanum, the only female candidate for governor, said that the Independent Election Committee (KIP) announced that she failed a koranic reading ability test she had underwent on September 7th. Candidates must pass the test to be able to take part in the elections in Aceh. While admitting that she is no Quran reading expert she said:

I was asked to read the books of Al Insyirah and Al Mukminun. I read them just fine.
(Saya diminta membaca surat Al Insyirah dan Al Mukminun. Saya membaca memang biasa saja.)

Mediati Hafni Hanum
Mediati Hafni Hanum.

Mediati, who is currently a member of the Regional Representatives Council in Jakarta, appears to be disputing the matter, claiming that she is actually proficient in Quran recitation and that the electoral authorities just don’t want her to run.

I’m sure that it’s not the fault of the judges but that this comes from conspiratorial acts by the KIP. It really looks like there are several people who want me to withdraw my candidacy.
(Saya yakin yang salah ini bukan para juri penilainnya. Tapi ini berasal dari tindakan konspirasi dari Komisi Independen Pemilu (KIP) NAD. Memang sepertinya ada beberapa pihak yang menginginkan saya agar mengundurkan diri dari pencalonan.)

To prove her competence, she read from the Koran during a fast-breaking ceremony in the office of Home Affairs Minister M. Ma’ruf in Jakarta on the 27th, the Jakarta Post said. She plans to take the matter to the courts if the electoral authorities keep insisting she is a dullard at Quran reading.

October 6th

Out of 290 candidates for various government positions in Aceh 17 failed the Alquran reading test. The relevant law on the matter of quran literacy is to be found in qanun (regional law) No.7/2006 and reads:

Menjalankan syariat agamanya dan mampu membaca Alquran bagi yang beragama Islam.

or “candidates must aid in the application of religious law and Muslim candidates be able to read the Quran”.

4 Comments on “Mediati Hafni Hanum”

  1. Magy says:

    It is strange that only one view of the world is allowed in Aceh. Indonesia is a fine example of that multiple views of the world indeed is allowed and encouraged. The fight for Muslims and for Islam to take place rightfully beside other world religions is not between Islam and other religions, but the fight is between two schools of thought within Islam.

    One school want to take peoples minds and freedoms 2000 years back and only allow ONE view of the world. Contradictionary views are percepted as a threat to Islam and therefore must be fought with sword and bloodshead. Terrorsists are salubrated and suicide bombers haild to the skies.

    The other school want to enhance and encouarge Islam to embrace modern science, research and development and take prode in non-violance. This school of thought are not afraid of different world views, instead critisism of Islam is welcomed and arguments raised to explain and defend peacfully if necessary.

    The silent majority in Indonesia and elsewhere in the world is anti-violence, tolerant and peaceful. They don’t want to be told how to behave, and dress, by others who claim to be Gods interpreters. They want religion to be only ONE part in their quest for a better life, not the only part that is important. They don’t agree with intolerance.

    Once Islam was at the heart of world development and science, human development and prosperity. Todays violent interpretations of Islam is not serving the interest of anyone, those that suffer the most are the poor.

    Let a thousand flowers flourish and let people live a free life and RI will prosper. Islam is a peacful religion, but today has been hi-jacked be extrem fundamentalists, that have extremly little support from ordinary peolple. These intolerant fundamentalists do not represent the people or the deep soul of the Muslims of the world.

    Aceh is a sad example of the triumph of the narrow minded.

    RI is never going to become Islamic.

  2. Andrew says:

    I have a stupid but honest question, please educate me:

    All Muslims can (or are expected to be able to ) read the Koran.
    The Koran is in Arabic.

    Does that mean all Muslims understand Arabic?

  3. Hassan says:

    sadly andrew, many Muslims can read the Quran but only a handful understands Arabic. the case is that they can recite the Quran but they don’t understand what it means. that’s why Indonesian Muslims are the way we are today, people who have a limited understanding of their own religion. that is why I always implore people not to judge Islam based on only the behaviour of it’s followers here in Indonesia, or those extremists in al qaeda.

  4. Andrew says:

    Thank you – and yes, the fact that they may not understand what they recite is potentially dangerous indeed.

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