Friday, January 23, 2009

The apparent battle: The politicians against the pundits

Al Makin , MONTREAL | Fri, 01/16/2009 4:48 PM | Opinion, The Jakarta Post

Who is actually battling whom in the Indonesian public realm? Is the battle occurring between Muslim moderates and radicals? To some extent, this may be true. Yet it does not entirely portray what is going on in Indonesia.

Recall who supported the pornography bill and who opposed it. If we conclude that Muslim moderates are all annoyed by that already signed bill, and their fellow hard-liners are always prepared to support it, this would oversimplify the more complex reality.

True, this ambiguous and disputed law will fuel some more radicals to be vigilantes in the name of guarding religious morality.

However, if we take a closer look, this battle seems also to be between the politicians and the so surprised with this conclusion, as it's supported by the following signals.

Besides the voices from eastern parts of Indonesia, particularly Bali and Papua, during their demonstrations against the billwho else stood behind those voices? The answer is pundits, be they artists, academics, writers, priests or community leaders.

Their voices have loudly been echoed. Yet our politicians, the House of Representatives and the executive, did not listen to them. Our politicians have gone on their own pathproposing, drafting, revising, defending and finally signing that bill.



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