Monday, November 09, 2009

Which standard of morality do you pick up?

Which standard of morality do you pick up?

Al Makin , Bochum, Germany | Thu, 10/22/2009 12:07 PM | Opinion, The Jakarta Post

Lately, the Indonesian public has displayed many "standards of morality". At least two tendencies have been in opposition to each other.

There are those that intend to bring public morality back in line with the old religious values - basing their own interpretation on certain religious orthodoxy - and those who are critical of religious conservatism and radicalism playing a large role in the public sphere. Each has its own bargaining position in the eyes of Indonesians. The battle will always go on.

It appears that the proponents of religious morality have their moment now. Yes, Maria Ozawa, known as Miyabi, is unlikely to come to the country for her planned film Menculik Miyabi (Kidnapping Miyabi). The reason for her cancelled trip is clear - it is out of fear. As has always been the case, certain radical and conservative groups in the name of religion have denounced those who invited the movie star to visit the country.

MUI (Indonesian Ulema Council) chairman, Ma'ruf Amin, warned that her visit to Indonesia would damage the image of the country and have a negative effect on the people. According to Ma'ruf, she may only come to the country if she intends to stop starring in porn movies.

Those who took to the streets reasserted the MUI's message, citing Miyabi as a symbol of immorality. To them, Indonesia is a "pious" nation, which should not be polluted with "porn". Who is not deterred?

This faction seems to have won this battle. From the beginning, the pro-Japanese movie star promised to dress appropriately.

To this point, Mohammad Nuh, the then communications and information minister, said there was no reason to reject her trip to this beautiful archipelago - which lured her forefathers to come here in 1942 to dethrone the Dutch.


Indonesians really need to have a `Noah's Ark'

Indonesians really need to have a `Noah's Ark'

Al Makin , Bochum | Thu, 10/08/2009 11:54 AM | Opinion, The Jakarta Post

Indonesians take religion and faith in God seriously. Thus, it is worth pondering for a moment to relate the current series of natural catastrophes - e.g. earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions - to religious traditions.

Religion in its very early form, according to those who study theology, had to do with nature. Religion, for those who hold the spirit of "positivism" under the light of European Enlightenment, served as an answer for humans to solve mysteries related to nature.

Religion was an early form of "science", which at least fulfilled the needs of human curiosity and, more importantly, of salvation.

It is therefore unsurprising that various early religious texts preserve the stories of natural disasters which involve God's intervention in human affairs. The relationship of man and God is often overshadowed by nature.

The Old Testament and the Koran are no exception to this, as various verses of both tell us that the concepts of God and nature are undivorceable.

The Koran clearly says on many occasions that nature itself stands for the sign of the existence and the greatness of God, which are as sacred as the Scripture itself. Thus, we should respect nature as carefully as we do the Bible and the Koran.