Monday, October 04, 2010

Disbanding Ahmadiyah costs the freedom of the nation

Disbanding Ahmadiyah costs the freedom of the nation

Al Makin, Yogyakarta | Fri, 09/17/2010 10:48 AM | Opinion, The Jakarta Post

By the end of Ramadan, Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali promised to bestow a “controversial gift” on Indonesians, a gift that would displease proponents of tolerance, peace and common sense.

That is, after Idul Fitri he will take serious steps to disband Ahmadiyah. The arguments supporting his statement sound obsolete and unfounded. That is, the group violated a 2008 joint ministerial decree and the outdated 1965 anti-blasphemy law. The public knows where these “weak laws” lead us.

As a politician of the United Development Party (PPP) and a former cooperatives and small and medium enterprises minister, Suryadharma Ali’s maneuver is not mindless. Genuine motivations behind his effort should be explained.

However, as he will unlikely explain what has really provoked him to lash out at the religious minority, we can only guess.

Take a political drive as the first clue to this puzzle.

As a politician, he needs popularity to enhance the number of voters for his party. To become the center of the media’s attention is of great benefit to him. He is now popular. As soon as you type his name into Google, his statement about disbanding Ahmadiyah will appear in various online publications.

As a party that targets conservative voters, the PPP, which was established in the early years of Soeharto’s government, faces the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) as a serious competitor in the political race.

However, the PKS is seemingly building its image as an “open political party” that “makes room” for the values of pluralism and nationalism. This party has seemed to have learned the lesson that Indonesians are not fond of leaning too far to the right. PKS leaders want to swing the party to the middle, at least in the eyes of the public.

Read more


Post a Comment

<< Home