http://www.ThePersecution.org/ Religious Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community
Recommend UsEmail this PagePersecution News RSS feedeGazetteAlislam.org Blog
Introduction & Updates
<<… Indonesia >>
>> Papers & Analysis
Monthly Newsreports
Media Reports
Press Releases
Facts & Figures
Individual Case Reports
Pakistan and Ahmadis
Critical Analysis/Archives
Persecution - In Pictures
United Nations, HCHR
Amnesty International
H.R.C.P.
US States Department
USSD C.I.R.F
Urdu Section
Feedback/Site Tools
Related Links
Loading

Annual Reports on the Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Pakistan. These reports summarise the events and describe how members of the community are harassed, threatened and even killed by the extremists.
US$10.00 [Order]
Author: Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, The Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi
Description: Fully cross-referenced English translation of the Universally acclaimed exegesis, delivered at the conference of Great Religions held in Lahore in December 1896. Subjects include the physical, moral and spiritual states of man; proofs of existence of God; the state of man after death; sources of Divine knowledge; others. An excellent introduction to the study of Islam. (read it online)
US$4.99 [Order]
By Muhammad Zafrulla Khan
This concisely written text presents the teachings of Islam and their distinct superiority over various Articles that make up the Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations and universally acclaimed as the greater charter of freedom. The author explains how 1400 years ago, Islam emancipated the poor and oppressed and gave the world the basic prescription for the respect and value of all human beings irrespective of class, colour or creed. Those instructions contained in the Holy Qur'an remain as relevant today as they were at the time that it was revealed. However, with the passage of time, some parts of Muslim society neglected Qur'anic teachings with an inevitable decline in moral standards. The author however concludes on an optimistic note that the revival of Islam is happening and with it a close adherence to the values laid out in the Holy Qur'an
US$7.00 [Order]

Home Worldwide Indonesia February, 2010 INDONESIA: Freedom of …
INDONESIA: Freedom of religion not protected
AHRC Logo
Asian Human Rights Commission — Statement
INDONESIA: Freedom of religion not protected

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AHRC-STM-032-2010
February 23, 2010

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

INDONESIA: Freedom of religion not protected

U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit Indonesia, the place of his childhood, in March. It is important that the President does not waste this opportunity and uses his good relations with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to raise the issue of religious tolerance in Indonesia.

Late last year Obama External Link - Opens new browser window stated that “Indonesia is important… as one of the world’s largest democracies, as one of the world’s largest Islamic nations… it has enormous influence and really is… a potential model for the kind of development strategies, democracy strategies, as well as interfaith strategies that are going to be so important moving forward.”

(Photo source: Carolincik, 2008, Yogyakarta, flickr)While his statement is no doubt true in some respects, the essence of Obama’s remark is at odds with the current situation in Indonesia.

In recent years the United Nations has expressed disquiet at religious discrimination and intolerance in the country. There is continuing concern at the distinctions made in legal documents between the six recognized religions of Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism, and the adverse impact on the freedom of thought, conscience and religion of people belonging to minorities, ethnic groups and indigenous peoples in Indonesia.

In 2007 the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination noted with concern that mixed-faith couples – in which the man and woman hold different recognized beliefs – faced difficulties in officially registering their marriages and that their children were not provided with birth certificates, as they were not the products of “lawful” marriage. Paradoxically, people that change their religion in order to marry their partner can face stigmatization.

Furthermore, there is no provision for individuals with no religious belief to enter into a civil marriage contract, and no legal documentation for those without such a belief. This results in people keeping their atheist beliefs secret and when the time comes to marry, they make the choice of either marrying in a religious ceremony that is devoid of meaning for them, or not marrying at all, which can leave their family and offspring without legal protection.

Moreover, under Indonesian Law No. 23 of 2006 on Civic Administration, individuals are required to record their faith on legal documents such as identity cards and birth certificates. Atheists who ascribe to no religion or those who wish to leave the column blank or to register under one of the “non-recognized” religions face discrimination and harassment - including refusal of employment.

Forcing an Indonesian to adopt a religion as part of her identity grossly undermines his right to freedom of thought and religion under article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Concern has been expressed in Indonesia and internationally about religious minorities such as the Ahmadiya – followers of a disputed branch of Islam – being targeted by fundamentalists that have branded them members of heretical cults. The Asian Human Rights Commission External Link - Opens new browser window and other human rights organizations have highlighted violent attacks and intimidation against the Ahmadiya people and other religious groups, and their places of religious worship. But so far there has been no concerted effort to protect the rights of these groups.

To the contrary, religious intolerance and discrimination is effectively condoned under Law No.1/1965 on the Prevention of Religious Abuse and Blasphemy, which amends the Indonesian Penal Code (Article 156 (a)) to allow the state to prosecute people deemed to commit blasphemous acts which “principally have the character of being at enmity with, abusing or staining a religion adhered to in Indonesia”. The maximum penalty is five years imprisonment.

To combat this law and the issues of state-authorized religious intolerance within it, human rights groups have gone to the Constitutional Court to seek a judicial review of the law, in the hope that it will be struck down as incompatible with human rights and freedom of religion.

However, state officials have reacted against the review. They claim that if the court were to uphold freedom of religion and expression, as guaranteed in international and domestic law, as well as in the principles of Pancasila External Link - Opens new browser window, the official philosophical foundation of the Indonesian state, it would create “unlimited religious freedom.” They fear this could lead to social upheaval, with people worshiping in ways not authorized by the state. Such intolerance is clearly a breach of the Indonesian Constitution under Articles 28 and 29 External Link - Opens new browser window.

The state, by only recognising six religions and enforcing a blasphemy law which alienates and criminalises those that hold beliefs outside of those six, is in effect, giving Indonesians a choice between one of six religions. The right to choose between one religion or another is a false choice and only creates the illusion of freedom.

Both President Obama and President Yudhoyono should understand very well that tolerance and acceptance of varying beliefs, including atheist belief, are vital for a peaceful, democratic society. Practices and laws requiring people to adopt a faith that they do not actually hold is not in accordance with the principles of tolerance, equal rights and non-discrimination, which are the cornerstones of democracy and human rights.

Any blasphemy law should be struck down as unconstitutional. The religions that Indonesia’s blasphemy law seeks to protect can withstand criticism and do not need the full force of the criminal law to ensure adherence. No state should interfere in the practice of religion or belief other than to protect the rights of individuals to freedom of expression, assembly and thought including the right to be free from religious thought.

In a diverse democratic society that prides itself on being multicultural, multi-religious and multi-racial, the Indonesian government should welcome this judicial review and enforce laws to prohibit discrimination based on faith.

In a democratic Indonesia which seeks to adhere to the rule of law and the supreme law of its Constitution, the state should seek to protect the rights of religious minorities from the tyranny of those that wish to foster intolerance and discrimination.

# # #

About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.

Source:  
www.ahrchk.net/statements/mainfile.php/2009statements/2430/
Top of page