JUMLAH kerusuhan dan kekerasan demi agama meningkat di NKRI yg
berdasarkan Pancasila yg katanya melindungi hak setiap warga negara
menjalankan ibadah agamanya.

Gabriela Rantau

Cases of religious violence up: Report
Adianto P. Simamora        ,        The Jakarta Post          ,     
Jakarta      |  Thu, 12/11/2008 7:32 AM  |  Headlines

Religious violence is on the rise in the world's largest Muslim
country according to a report by the Wahid Institute, which places the
blame on the government for its failing to crack down on radical groups.

The institute, a moderate Islamic think tank founded by former president
Abdurrahman "Gus Dur" Wahid to promote pluralism in Indonesia,
reported that religious freedom-related violence had increased
throughout the country, with 232 cases reported this year compared to
197 last year.

Many of the incidences of violence were perpetrated by state
authorities, according to the annual report released on Human Rights
Day, Wednesday.

"The acts of violence against religious freedom were 60 percent
carried out by civilian groups and 33 percent by the state," the
report said.

It said the state perpetrators included local administrations, police,
legislators, courts and the Religious Affairs Ministry.

Civilian perpetrators were identified as members of the Islam Defenders
Front (FPI), the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) and the Communications
Forum for Religious Harmony.

The frequency and severity of the violence increased from last year, the
report said. It noted that the government had been weak in administering
punishment, which it said set a worrisome trend for the future.

The institute said violations against religious freedom had come in the
form of physical attacks, raids, destruction of houses of worship and
accusations of apostasy and heresy.

The report recorded some 50 cases of violence this year, which were
sparked by issuances of fatwa by the MUI against certain groups it
branded "heretical or deviant".

"MUI fatwa against specific groups are often used to legalize
violence and stereotyping," said Ahmad Suaedy, executive director of
the Wahid Institute, which is headed by Gus Dur's daughter, Yenny
Zannuba Wahid.

Suaedy criticized the government for bowing to pressure from hard-liners
to disband the Jamaah Ahmadiyah sect.

The government in June this year issued a joint ministerial decree
banning Ahmadiyah from disseminating its doctrine.

"It is an example that the mobilization of masses can be used to
force the government to take actions that can be conceived as
constitutional violations. If (it allows) such practices to continue,
the government is investing in a future disintegration of the
nation," Suaedy said.

In its report, the institute lists the "Monas tragedy" as the
worst act of violence against pluralism in 2008, referring to an event
in which activists from the National Alliance for Freedom of Religion
and Belief were attacked by members of the FPI, injuring 70 people,
including Suaedy.

National Commission on Human Rights chairman Ifdal Kasim warned that
including religious affairs in state policies could lead to attacks
against religious freedom.

"This contradicts the principles of human rights that oblige the
government to protect its citizens, and (uphold) religious freedom,"
he told a discussion on the report.

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